Siberian Bukharans

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The Siberian Bukharans (self-designation: Bukharlyk, Sart) are an ethnographic and sociocultural group in Siberia. Their ancestors came from the Khanate of Bukhara, and they constituted a significant part of the Siberian Tatars.

Ethnically they consisted of Uzbeks, Tajiks, Uyghurs and in lesser degree Kazakhs and Karakalpaks. The main languages were Chagatai and Farsi. They were merchants from the Khanate of Bukhara and started to settle in the area in the 17th century[1] after the start of the Russian conquest of Siberia in the 1580s.

Their name as an ethnic group — Bukharan appeared in documents until the early 1930s. Now that name refers to people from the city of Bukhara.

Russians formerly used the term "Bukharan" to refer to any caravan merchant from Central Asia, since the Russians did not always have a clear understanding of the geography and peoples further south.


The Siberian Bukharans maintained their own identity and were quite numerous. They numbered 23,700 in 1926. Their main bases of settlement were Tobolsk, Tara and Tyumen.

In the Tobolsk Governorate there were several Bukharan towns in different uyezds. In Tarsk uyezd of the Tobolsk Governorate Bukharan Town (Russian: Бухарская волость), where the population was primarily Bukharans, existed until the early 20th century.

In Tyumen there is a raion that is officially named Bukharan Settlement (Russian: Бухарская слобода). There are some settlements in the Omsk Oblast which were founded by Bukharans.


  • Wixman, Ronald. The Peoples of the USSR (Armonk: Sharpe, 1984) p. 32


  1. ^ Compare: Olson, James Stuart; Pappas, Lee Brigance; Pappas, Nicholas Charles, eds. (1994). "Bukharan". An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 113. ISBN 9780313274978. Retrieved 2015-10-12. The Bukharans, who call themselves the Bukharlyks (Pukharlyks) and have also been known as Sarts, are a small group of several thousand people in the former Soviet Union. Russians refer to them as the Bukhartsy. They are primarily located in Tobol'sk, Tara, Tyumen, and Astrakhan today. Their ancestors were Uzbek merchants from Bukhara who established trading colonies in south central Russia and Siberia in the seventeenth century. They are Sunni Muslims in religion.