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The Tuhsis were a medieval Turkic-speaking tribe, who lived alongside the Chigil, Yagma, and other tribes, in Zhetysu and today southern Kazakhstan.[1] Tuhsi were also considered remnants of the Türgesh people.[2][3] Turkologist Yury Zuev noted a nation (國) named 觸水昆 (Mand. Chùshuǐkūn < *t͡ɕʰɨok̚-ɕˠiuɪX-kuən) in Jiu Tangshu,[4][5] so he reconstructed 觸水昆 as *Tuhsi-kun; however, Nurlan Kenzheakhmet noted that Tongdian's authors[6] transcribed the same ethnonym as 觸木昆 (Mand. Chùmùkūn < *t͡ɕʰɨok̚-muk̚-kuən), the name of a Duolu Turk tribe, also transcribed as 處木昆 (Chǔmùkūn < t͡ɕʰɨʌX-muk̚-kuən).[7] Even so, it's unclear whether the ethnonym Tuhsi is of Turkic origin.[8] Tuhsi may be connected to Cuman clan Toqsoba, if Toqsoba did not derive from Common Turkic toquz "nine" and oba "clan".[a][10] Hungarian orientalist Karoly Czeglédy compares the name Tuhsi to that of a medieval Eastern Iranian-speaking Alano-As[11][12] tribe Duχs-Aṣ, located in the North Caucasus by ibn Rustah, and proposes that Tuhsis had been of Iranian-speaking As origins.[13][b]

Whatever their origins, by the 11-century, Tuhsis led a nomadic lifestyle amongst the Turkic peoples and on the steppe, possessed a Turkic culture, and their language belonged to the Turkic language family. According to Karakhanid lexicographer Mahmud of Kashgar, contemporary Tuhsis were Turkic-speaking monoglots; after carefully analyzing linguistic materials collected from Tuhsi dialect, he praised the Tuhsi Turkic dialect, among others, for being "pure" and "most correct", both in terms of accent and vocabulary.[15]


  1. ^ e.g. Hungarian Turkologist Imre Baski suggested that the element Toqs in Toqsoba could mean "plump leather bottle"[9]
  2. ^ Alternatively, D.hsās might be a scribal error for *Ruḫs-Ās, who were possibly connected to the Roxolani.[14]


  1. ^ Didar Kassymova (2012). Historical Dictionary of Kazakhstan, in: Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East. Scarecrow Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780810879836.
  2. ^ Gumilyov, L. Searches for an Imaginary Kingdom: The trefoil of the Bird's Eye View' Ch. 5: The Shattered Silence (961-1100)
  3. ^ Pylypchuk, Ya. "Turks and Muslims: From Confrontation to Conversion to Islam (End of VII century - Beginning of XI Century)" in UDK 94 (4): 95 (4). In Ukrainian
  4. ^ Jiu Tangshu vol 194 lower
  5. ^ Zuev Yu.A., "Horse Tamgas from Vassal Princedoms (translation of Chinese composition "Tanghuiyao" of the 8th to 10th centuries)", Kazakh SSR Academy of Sciences, Alma-Ata, 1960, pp. 124 (in Russian).
  6. ^ Tongdian vol. 199
  7. ^ Kenzheakhmet, Nurlan (2014). ""Ethnonyms and Toponyms" of the Old Turkic Inscriptions in Chinese sources". Studia et Documenta Turcologica. II: 296, 304.
  8. ^ Minorsky, V. "Commentary" on "§17. The Tukhs" in Ḥudūd al'Ālam. Translated and Explained by V. Minorsky. p. 300
  9. ^ "On the Ethnic Names of the Cumans of Hungary". In: Kinship in the Altaic World. Proceedings of the 48th PIAC, Moscow 10–15 July 2005. Ed. by E. V. Boikova and R. B. Rybakov. Harrasowitz Verlagh, Wiesbaden 2006, p. 50 of pp. 43–54.
  10. ^ Golden, Peter B. "The Polovci Dikii" in Harvard Ukrainian Studies Vol. 3/4, Part 1. pp. 296-309
  11. ^ Abaev, V.I.; Bailey, H.W. (1985). "ALANS". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. I, Fasc. 8. pp. 801–803
  12. ^ Alemany, Agustí (2000). Sources on the Alans: A Critical Compilation. BRILL. p. 1-7
  13. ^ Golde, P.B. (1992) "An Introduction to the History of the Turkic peoples", Turcologia 9. p. 53
  14. ^ Alemany, Agustí (2000). Sources on the Alans: A Critical Compilation p. 5-9
  15. ^ Maħmūd al-Kašğari. "Dīwān Luğāt al-Turk". Edited & translated by Robert Dankoff in collaboration with James Kelly. In Sources of Oriental Languages and Literature. (1982). Part I. p. 82-84