Turkic tribal confederations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Turkic term oğuz or oğur (in z- and r-Turkic, respectively) is a historical term for "military division, clan, or tribe" among the Turkic peoples. With the Mongol invasions of 1206–21, the Turkic khaganates were replaced by Mongol or hybrid Turco-Mongol confederations, where the corresponding military division came to be known as orda.


The 8th-century Kul Tigin stela has the earliest instance of the term in Old Turkic epigraphy: Toquz Oghuz, the "nine tribes".

Later the word appears often for two largely separate groups of the Turkic migration in the early medieval period, namely:

The stem uq-, oq- "kin, tribe" is from a Proto-Turkic *uk. The Old Turkic word has often been connected with oq "arrow";[1] Pohl (2002) in explanation of this connection adduces the Chinese T'ang-shu chronicle, which reports: "the khan divided his realm into ten tribes. To the leader of each tribe, he sent an arrow. The name [of these ten leaders] was 'the ten she', but they were also called 'the ten arrows'."[2][3] An oguz (ogur) was in origin a military division of a Nomadic empire, which acquired tribal or ethnic connotations, by processes of ethnogenesis.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin, Turkic etymology (Online Etymological Database Project), citing VEWT 511, ЭСТЯ 1, 582-583, Егоров 76. Starostin thought the connection with "arrow" was made "erroneously".
  2. ^ the "arrows" connection was first reported by Édouard Chavannes, Documents sur les Tou-kiue (Turcs) occidentaux, 1900.
  3. ^ a b Walter Pohl, Die Awaren: ein Steppenvolk im Mitteleuropa, 567-822 n. Chr, C.H.Beck (2002), ISBN 978-3-406-48969-3, p. 26-29.
  • Karoly Czeglédy, On the Numerical Composition of the Ancient Turkic Tribal Confederations, Acta Orient. Hung., 25 (1972), 275-281.

Further reading[edit]