Toquz Oghuz (Old Turkic: , Toquz Oγuz) was a political alliance of nine Turkic tribes. Toquz Oghuz consolidated within the Turkic Kaganate (552-743), and after its fragmentation preserved their union. The etymology of their name comes from the Turkic word "Oghuz" = "Community", which developed into "Tokuz Oghuz" = "9 Oghuz (Communities)" for Uyghurs, and similarly "Uch-Oguzes" (Turkic: uch "three"). = "3 Oghuz (Communities)" for Karluks. The base for the generalized ethnical term "Oghuz" is the word "og" = "clan, tribe", which in turn descends from the ancient Turkic word "og" = "mother". Initially the word "oguz" could designate "tribes", "tribal union", and eventually became an ethnonym, which in some cased gained an additional determinant as "Toquz-Oghuz" = "9 (different) Oghuz"", "Uch-Oghuz" = "3 (different) Oghuz". Toquz Oghuz were mentioned in the Orkhon inscriptions written in the 730s AD.
The Toquz Oghuz were mentioned in Chinese histories as the Uighurs, the Bukhu, the Khun, the Bayirku, the Tongra, Ssu-chieh, Ch'i-pi, A-pu-ssu, and Ku-lun-wu-ku. Of these, the first seven are listed as separate tribes who lived north of the Gobi, the A-pu-ssu, and Ku-lun-wu-ku only become accepted on equal footing with the others after 742. The A-pu-ssu was original a subtribe of Ssu-chieh, and the Ku-lun-wu-ku was a combination of two tribes.
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