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They are not to be confused with the Kankali in India.

Kankalis, Qanqlis, or Kangly (Kanglı/Qangli) were a Turkic people of Eurasia. They were supposedly related or part of the Pechenegs.[1] Alternatively they could have been Kipchaks.[2] The relationship of the "Kangars" (allies of the Eastern Turk Khahanate against the Western Turk Khaganate), if any, to the Kankalis, is unclear. Byzantine Emperor Konstantinos Porphyrogennetos (aka, Constantine VII) notes in his De Administrando Imperio that three groups of the Pechenegs are called Kangar. The name "Kangar" is associated with the Kang territory and probably with the Kangaris people and the city of Kangu Tarban, mentioned in the Kul Tigin inscription of the Orkhon Turkic peoples.[3]

They first appear in history as a minor branch of the ancient Oghuz Turks. They formed one of the five sections into which the Oghuz khan divided his subjects. After the fall of the Pecheneg Khanate in the early 10th century, the role of the Kankali Turks became prominent. They were closely related to the Kypchaks.[4] They may have been a separate nomadic people earlier but the Turkic peoples on the Pontic-Steppe became assimilated into each other by the 13th century.

Many Kankali warriors joined the Khwarezmid Empire in the 11th century. In 1175 they, or some of them, lived north of Lake Balkhash and transferred their allegiance from the Kara Kitai to the Jin dynasty.[5] They suffered heavy losses from Genghis Khan in 1219-1223. For example, all Kankalis in Bukhara who were taller than a wheel, were slain by the Mongols. Jochi subdued their relations who still lived in the land of the Kyrghyz and Kipchak steppes in 1225. Khwarizmi Kankali remnants submitted to Great Khan Ögedei after a long resistance under Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu against his general Chormaqan and governor Chin-temur. After the Mongol conquest, the remaining Kankalis were absorbed into other Turks and Mongols. Some of them who served in the Yuan Dynasty became Kharchins.

There are Kankali clans among the Kazakhs, the Uzbeks, Bashkirs, the Nogais and the Karakalpaks.



  1. ^ Constantine Porphyrogenitus, ca 950, De Administrando Imperio, http://faculty.washington.edu/dwaugh/rus/texts/constp.html
  2. ^ The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, Volume 1, Denis Sinor, pg 272
  3. ^ The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, Volume 1, Denis Sinor, pg 272
  4. ^ Thomas T. Allsen, "Prelude to the western campaigns: Mongol military operations in the Volga- Ural region, 1217- 1237", Architum Eurasiae Medii Aevi, pp. 5-24
  5. ^ Michael Biran, Empire of the Kara Kitai, page 57


See also[edit]