Approximate areas occupied by the three Kazakh jüzes in the early 20th century. Green represents the Little jüz, orange represents the Middle jüz and red represents the Great jüz.
Great jüz (Kazakh: Ұлы жүз, Ulı jüz, also Senior Juz, Turkish: Büyük Orda) is one of three traditional unions of the pastoral tribes of the Central Asiansteppe area (called Desht-i Kypchak, "Kipchak Steppe" by some) within the territories of modern Southeastern and southern Kazakhstan, parts of northwestern China (Xinjiang) and parts of Uzbekistan. In contemporary Kazakhstan, the Great jüz is regarded as one of the oldest unions of the Kazakh nation. According to some sources, the origins of the three jüzes go back to the Genghisid military/state traditions. Following Genghisid military tradition, the Great jüz designated the left flank of the steppe armies. According to others, the Great jüz was the inheritance of the eldest son of the legendary forefather of Kazakhs. Jüzes are also regarded as nomadic military confederations. Still, researchers, such as Yuri Zuev, argued that Desht-i Kypchak comprised three ecological, topographic zones that divided nomadic clans from each other. The Great jüz, south, southeastern steppe, was set apart from the two other zones by Lake Balkhash, constituting a distinctive ecological zone for nomadic habitation. The Great jüz is located in the Zhetysu area and is also known as the Uysun (or Uysyn) Orda.
The Great jüz was formed sometime between 16th-17th centuries. The first time the name Great jüz was recorded by a western researcher was in 1748, by a Tatar servant of the Tsar who had been sent to the steppe to negotiate the submission of Abul Khair Khan in 1732. According to Nikolai Aristov, the estimated population of the Great jüz was about 550 thousand people in the second half of the 19th century. In this time, it was conquered by Kokand Khanate in 1820s but Russians took this region is between 1850 and 1868.