Mongols

Mongols

Overview
Mongols) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 (smaller number of Mongols can also be found in Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 in northwest China). The Buryat
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

 branch of the Mongol ethnic group can be found in the autonomous republic of Buryatia
Buryatia
The Republic of Buryatia is a federal subject of Russia . Its capital is the city of Ulan-Ude. Its area is with a population of 972,658 .-Geography:...

, Russia. Ethnic Mongols are bound together by a common language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 and culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

.
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Timeline

1215   Beijing, then under the control of the Jurchen ruler Emperor Xuanzong of Jin, is captured by the Mongols under Genghis Khan, ending the Battle of Beijing.

1238   The Mongols burn the Russian city of Vladimir.

1240   Mongol invasion of Rus: Kiev under Danylo of Halych and Voivode Dmytro falls to the Mongols under Batu Khan.

1241   Kraków is ravaged by Mongols.

1258   Baghdad falls to the Mongols, and the Abbasid Caliphate is destroyed.

1260   The Mamluks defeat the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut in Palestine, marking their first decisive defeat and the point of maximum expansion of the Mongol Empire.

1294   Temür, grandson of Kublai, is elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty with the reigning titles Oljeitu and Chengzong.

1307   Külüg Khan enthroned as Khagan of the Mongols and Wuzong of the Yuan.

1332   Rinchinbal Khan, Emperor Ningzong of Yuan became the Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, reigning for only 53 days.

1409   Battle of Kherlen, the second significant victory over Ming China by the Mongols since 1368.

 
Encyclopedia
Mongols) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 (smaller number of Mongols can also be found in Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 in northwest China). The Buryat
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

 branch of the Mongol ethnic group can be found in the autonomous republic of Buryatia
Buryatia
The Republic of Buryatia is a federal subject of Russia . Its capital is the city of Ulan-Ude. Its area is with a population of 972,658 .-Geography:...

, Russia. Ethnic Mongols are bound together by a common language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 and culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

. They speak languages belonging to the Mongolic languages
Mongolic languages
The Mongolic languages are a group of languages spoken in East-Central Asia, mostly in Mongolia and surrounding areas plus in Kalmykia. The best-known member of this language family, Mongolian, is the primary language of most of the residents of Mongolia and the Mongolian residents of Inner...

. The contiguous territories inhabited by ethnic Mongols is also known as Greater Mongolia
Greater Mongolia
Greater Mongolia as a region, is the contiguous territories primarily inhabited by ethnic Mongols. It approximately includes the modern state of Mongolia, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China , and the Buryat Republic as well as a few smaller territories in...

. Owing to wars and migrations, the Mongols are also found throughout Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. There are approximately 10 million ethnic Mongol people in total.

Definition


A definition includes the Mongols proper, who can be approximately divided into the eastern Mongols (the Khalkha Mongols, the Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

ns, the Buryats
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

), and the Oirats
Oirats
Oirats are the westernmost group of the Mongols who unified several tribes origin whose ancestral home is in the Altai region of western Mongolia. Although the Oirats originated in the eastern parts of Central Asia, the most prominent group today is located in the Republic of Kalmykia, a federal...

. In a wider sense, the Mongol people includes all people who speak a Mongolic language, such as the Kalmyks of eastern Europe.

The name "Mongol", appeared first in eighth century records of the Chinese Tang dynasty; as a tribe of Shiwei
Shiwei
Shiwei were a Mongolic people that inhabited far-eastern Mongolia, northern Inner Mongolia and northern Manchuria and were recorded from the time of the Northern Wei until the rise of the Mongols of Genghis Khan in 1206 when the name "Mongol" and "Tatar" were applied to all the Shiwei tribes....

, but then only resurfaced in the late eleventh century during the rule of the Khitan
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

. After the fall of Liao Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

 in 1125, the Mongols became a leading tribe on the steppe and also had power in Northern China. However, their wars with the Jin Dynasty and Tatars had weakened them. In the thirteenth century, the word Mongol grew into an umbrella term for a large group of Mongolic and Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 tribes united under the rule of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

.

History



In various times Mongols have been equated with the Scythians, the Magog
Gog and Magog
Gog and Magog are names that appear primarily in various Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptures, as well as numerous subsequent references in other works. Their context can be either genealogical or eschatological and apocalyptic, as in Ezekiel and Revelation...

 and the Turkic peoples
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

. Based on Chinese historical texts the ancestry of the Mongol peoples can be traced back to the Donghu, a nomadic confederation occupying eastern Mongolia and Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

. The identity of the Xiongnu is still debated today. Although some scholars maintain that they were proto-Mongols, the fact that Chinese histories trace certain Turkic tribes from the Xiongnu complicates the issue. The Donghu, however, can be much more easily labeled proto-Mongol since the Chinese histories trace all the subsequent Mongolic tribes and kingdoms (Xianbei
Xianbei
The Xianbei were a significant Mongolic nomadic people residing in Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and eastern Mongolia. The title “Khan” was first used among the Xianbei.-Origins:...

 and Wuhuan
Wuhuan
The Wuhuan were a proto-Mongolic nomadic people who inhabited northern China, in what is now the provinces of Hebei, Liaoning, Shanxi, the municipality of Beijing and the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia....

 peoples) from them, although some historical texts claim a mixed Xiongnu-Donghu ancestry for some tribes (e.g. the Khitan
Khitan people
thumb|250px|Khitans [[Eagle hunting|using eagles to hunt]], painted during the Chinese [[Song Dynasty]].The Khitan people , or Khitai, Kitan, or Kidan, were a nomadic Mongolic people, originally located at Mongolia and Manchuria from the 4th century...

).

The Donghu are mentioned by Sima Qian
Sima Qian
Sima Qian was a Prefect of the Grand Scribes of the Han Dynasty. He is regarded as the father of Chinese historiography for his highly praised work, Records of the Grand Historian , a "Jizhuanti"-style general history of China, covering more than two thousand years from the Yellow Emperor to...

 as already existing in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 north of the state of Yan in 699-632 BC. Mentions in the Lost Book of Zhou (Yizhoushu) and the Shanhaijing indicate the Donghu were also active during the Shang dynasty
Shang Dynasty
The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was, according to traditional sources, the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as "China proper" in the Yellow River valley...

 (1600-1046 BC). The Mongolic-speaking Xianbei originally formed a part of the Donghu confederation, but existed even before that time, as evidenced by a mention in the Guoyu
Guoyu (book)
The Discourses of the States or Guoyu is a classical Chinese history book that collected the historical records of numerous states from Western Zhou to 453 BC. Its author is unknown, but it is sometimes attributed to Zuo Qiuming, a contemporary of Confucius...

 ("晉語八" section) which states that during the reign of King Cheng of Zhou
King Cheng of Zhou
King Cheng of Zhou or King Ch'eng of Chou was the second sovereign of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty. The dates of his reign are 1042-1021 BC or 1042/35-1006 BC King Cheng was young when he ascended the throne...

 (reigned 1042-1021 BC) the Xianbei came to participate at a meeting of Zhou subject-lords at Qiyang (岐阳) (now Qishan County
Qishan County
Qishan County is a county of Baoji, Shaanxi, China. It was the site of Zhouyuan , the first capital of the Zhou Dynasty . Historically, the site was also known as Qiyi or Qishan . It is located in Fengchu township on the Weishui River to the south of Mt. Qi...

) but were only allowed to perform the fire ceremony under the supervision of Chu (楚), since they were not vassals by covenant (诸侯). After the Donghu were defeated by Modu Chanyu the Xianbei
Xianbei
The Xianbei were a significant Mongolic nomadic people residing in Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and eastern Mongolia. The title “Khan” was first used among the Xianbei.-Origins:...

 and Wuhuan
Wuhuan
The Wuhuan were a proto-Mongolic nomadic people who inhabited northern China, in what is now the provinces of Hebei, Liaoning, Shanxi, the municipality of Beijing and the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia....

 survived as the main remnants of the confederation. Tadun Khan of the Wuhuan (died 207 AD) was the ancestor of the proto-Mongolic Kumo Xi
Kumo Xi
The Kumo Xi ) were a Mongolic steppe people located in current Manchuria from 207 AD to 907 AD. After the death of their ancestor Tadun in 207 they were no longer called Wuhuan but joined the Khitan Xianbei in submitting to the Yuwen Xianbei. Their history is widely linked to the more famous Khitan...

. In 49 AD the Mongolic Xianbei ruler Bianhe (Bayan Khan?) raided and defeated the Xiongnu, killing 2000, after having received generous gifts from Emperor Guangwu of Han
Emperor Guangwu of Han
Emperor Guangwu , born Liu Xiu, was an emperor of the Chinese Han Dynasty, restorer of the dynasty in AD 25 and thus founder of the Later Han or Eastern Han...

. The Xianbei reached their peak under Tanshihuai Khan (reigned 156-181) who expanded the vast, but short lived, Xianbei state
Xianbei state
The Xianbei state or Xianbei confederation was a nomadic confederation existed in northern Manchuria and eastern Mongolia from 93 to 234 AD. They descended from the Donghu and spoke a Mongolic language....

.


Three prominent proto-Mongol groups split from the Xianbei
Xianbei state
The Xianbei state or Xianbei confederation was a nomadic confederation existed in northern Manchuria and eastern Mongolia from 93 to 234 AD. They descended from the Donghu and spoke a Mongolic language....

, as recorded by the Chinese histories: the Nirun
Rouran
Rouran , Mongolia name Jujan or Nirun Ruanruan/Ruru , Tan Tan , Juan-Juan or Zhu-Zhuwas the name of a confederation of nomadic tribes on the northern borders of Inner China from the late 4th century until the middle 6th century...

 (claimed by some to be the Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

), the Khitan
Khitan people
thumb|250px|Khitans [[Eagle hunting|using eagles to hunt]], painted during the Chinese [[Song Dynasty]].The Khitan people , or Khitai, Kitan, or Kidan, were a nomadic Mongolic people, originally located at Mongolia and Manchuria from the 4th century...

 and the Shiwei
Shiwei
Shiwei were a Mongolic people that inhabited far-eastern Mongolia, northern Inner Mongolia and northern Manchuria and were recorded from the time of the Northern Wei until the rise of the Mongols of Genghis Khan in 1206 when the name "Mongol" and "Tatar" were applied to all the Shiwei tribes....

 (a sub-tribe called the "Shiwei Menggu" is held to be the origin of the Genghisid Mongols). Besides these three Xianbei groups, there were other Xianbei groups with Mongolic affiliation such as the Murong
Murong
Murong refers to an ethnic Xianbei tribe who are a Mongolic people attested from the time of Tanshihuai . Different strands of evidence exist linking the Murong to the language family of Mongols. Murong is also a Chinese surname...

, Duan
Duan (tribe)
The Duan was a pre-state tribe of Xianbei ethnicity during the era of Sixteen Kingdoms in China. The reason the tribe adopted the Han Chinese family name Duan is unknown. Duan Wuwuchen was given in 303 a hereditary title— the "Duke of Liaoxi" —by the Jin Dynasty...

 and Tuoba
Tuoba
Tuoba, or Tabgach, were a clan of Xianbei people of ancient China.-Xianbei Tuoba:Tuoba was a clan of the Xianbei people in the early centuries of the 1st millennium AD. They established the State of Dai from 310 to 376 AD, and the Northern Wei Dynasty from 386 to 536 AD...

. Their culture was nomadic, their religion Shamanism
Shamanism
Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. To quote Eliade: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy." Shamanism encompasses the...

 or Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and their military strength formidable. There is still no direct evidence that the Nirun spoke a Mongolic language, although most scholars agree that they were proto-Mongolic. The Khitan, however, had two scripts of their own and many Mongolic words are found in their half-deciphered writings that are usually found with a parallel Chinese text (for example, nair=sun, sair=moon, tau=five, jau=hundred, m.r=horse, im.a=goat, n.q=dog, m.ng=silver, ju.un=summer, n.am.ur=autumn, u.ul=winter, heu.ur=spring, tau.l.a=rabbit, t.q.a=hen and m.g.o=snake). There is no doubt regarding the Khitan being proto-Mongol.


Geographically the Tuoba
Tuoba
Tuoba, or Tabgach, were a clan of Xianbei people of ancient China.-Xianbei Tuoba:Tuoba was a clan of the Xianbei people in the early centuries of the 1st millennium AD. They established the State of Dai from 310 to 376 AD, and the Northern Wei Dynasty from 386 to 536 AD...

 Xianbei
Xianbei
The Xianbei were a significant Mongolic nomadic people residing in Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and eastern Mongolia. The title “Khan” was first used among the Xianbei.-Origins:...

 ruled Inner Mongolia and northern China, the Nirun (Yujiulu Shelun
Yujiulü Shelun
Yujiulü Shelun was khagan of the Rouran from 402 to 410. He came to power after his father Heduohan was defeated and killed by the Touba Northern Wei. Shelun led retaliatory raids against Northern Wei, but suffered a serious defeat in 399 and was forced to flee westward...

 was the first to use the title Khagan in 402) ruled Outer Mongolia, the Khitan were concentrated in Southern Manchuria north of Korea and the Shiwei were located to the north of the Khitan. These tribes and kingdoms were soon overshadowed by the rise of the Gok-Turks in 555, the Uyghurs in 745 and the Yenisei Kirghiz
Yenisei Kirghiz
The Yenisei Kirghiz, also known as the Khyagas or Khakas, were an ancient people that dwelled along the upper Yenisei River in the southern portion of the Minusinsk Depression from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE...

s in 840. The Tuoba were eventually absorbed into China. The Rouran fled west from the Gok-Turks and either disappeared into obscurity or, as some say, invaded Europe as the Avars under their Khan Bayan I. Some Rouran under Tatar Khan migrated east founding the Tatar
Tatar confederation
Tatar was one of the five major tribal confederations in Mongolian plateau in 12th century. The name "Tatar" was first recorded in history in 732....

 tribes, who became part of the Shiwei
Shiwei
Shiwei were a Mongolic people that inhabited far-eastern Mongolia, northern Inner Mongolia and northern Manchuria and were recorded from the time of the Northern Wei until the rise of the Mongols of Genghis Khan in 1206 when the name "Mongol" and "Tatar" were applied to all the Shiwei tribes....

. The Khitan, who were independent after their separation from the proto-Mongol Kumo Xi
Kumo Xi
The Kumo Xi ) were a Mongolic steppe people located in current Manchuria from 207 AD to 907 AD. After the death of their ancestor Tadun in 207 they were no longer called Wuhuan but joined the Khitan Xianbei in submitting to the Yuwen Xianbei. Their history is widely linked to the more famous Khitan...

 (of Wuhuan
Wuhuan
The Wuhuan were a proto-Mongolic nomadic people who inhabited northern China, in what is now the provinces of Hebei, Liaoning, Shanxi, the municipality of Beijing and the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia....

 origin) in 388 AD, continued as a minor power in Manchuria until one of them, Abaoji (872-926), established the Khitan Liao Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

 (907-1125). The Khitan fled west after their defeat by the Tungusic Jurchens
Jurchens
The Jurchens were a Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century, when they adopted the name Manchu...

 (later known as Manchus) and founded the Kara-Khitan or Western Liao dynasty (1125–1218) in eastern Kazakhstan. In 1218 Genghis Khan destroyed the Kara-Khitan Kingdom after which the Khitan passed into obscurity. The modern-day minority of Mongolic-speaking Daurs in China are their direct descendants based on DNA evidence.

The Shiwei
Shiwei
Shiwei were a Mongolic people that inhabited far-eastern Mongolia, northern Inner Mongolia and northern Manchuria and were recorded from the time of the Northern Wei until the rise of the Mongols of Genghis Khan in 1206 when the name "Mongol" and "Tatar" were applied to all the Shiwei tribes....

 included a tribe called the Shiwei Menggu. Bodonchir Munkhag (c. 970) the founder of the House of Borjigin and the ancestor of Genghis Khan is held to be descended from the Shiwei Menggu. The early Shiwei paid tribute to the Tuoba Wei
Northern Wei
The Northern Wei Dynasty , also known as the Tuoba Wei , Later Wei , or Yuan Wei , was a dynasty which ruled northern China from 386 to 534 . It has been described as "part of an era of political turbulence and intense social and cultural change"...

 (386-534) and submitted to the Khitans. After the Khitans left Mongolia the Shiwei Mongols rose to prominence, when from the 1130s there were reciprocally hostile relations between the successive khans of the Khamag Mongol
Khamag Mongol
Khamag Mongol was a major tribal confederation in Mongolian plateau in 12th century. It is sometimes also considered a predecessor state to the Mongol Empire....

 confederation (Khaidu, Khabul Khan
Khabul Khan
Khabul Khan was the first known Khan of the Khamag Mongol confederation and great-grandfather to Genghis Khan.Khabul Khan was a son of Tumbinai Setsen and great-grandson of the Khaidu....

 and Ambaghai Khan
Ambaghai
Ambaghai Khan was a khan of Khamag Mongol in 1149-1156, one of the great grandson Khaidu Khan and the cousin and predecessor of Hotula Khan. During his rule, he was captured by the Tatars under the commands of the Chinese Jin Dynasty in response to the Mongols' growing power.In 1211 Genghis Khan...

) and the emperors of the Jin dynasty.

With the expansion of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

, the Mongols settled over almost all Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 and carried on military campaigns from the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 to Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 and from Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 to Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

. Mongols simultaneously became Padishah
Padishah
Padishah, Padshah, Padeshah, Badishah or Badshah is a superlative royal title, composed of the Persian pād "master" and the widespread shāh "king", which was adopted by several monarchs claiming the highest rank, roughly equivalent to the ancient Persian notion of "The Great" or "Great King", and...

s of Persia, Emperors of China, Great Khans of Mongolia and one Mongol even became Sultan of Egypt
Sultan of Egypt
Sultan of Egypt was the status held by the rulers of Egypt after the establishment of the Ayyubid Dynasty of Saladin in 1174 until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. Though the extent of the Egyptian Sultanate ebbed and flowed, it generally included Sham and Hejaz, with the consequence that the...

 (Al-Adil Kitbugha
Al-Adil Kitbugha
Kitbugha , was the 10th Mamluk Sultan of Egypt from December 1294 to November 1296.-Background:He was originally an ordinary Mongol soldier in the Ilkhanid army of Hulagu...

). The Mongols of the Golden Horde established themselves to govern Russia by 1240. By 1279, the Mongols conquered the Song Dynasty and brought all of China under control of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

. With the breakup of the Empire, the dispersed Mongols quickly adopted the mostly Turkic cultures surrounding them and were assimilated, forming parts of Tatars
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

 (not confused with a tribe in ancient Mongolia), Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

, Kazakhs
Kazakhs
The Kazakhs are a Turkic people of the northern parts of Central Asia ....

, Yugurs and Moghuls
Mughal (tribe)
The term Mughal is simply a Turkic word and many groups in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh use the term Mughal to describe themselves...

; linguistic and cultural Persianization
Persianization
Persianization or Persianisation is a sociological process of cultural change in which something non-Persian becomes Persianate. It is a specific form of cultural assimilation that often includes linguistic assimilation...

 also began to be prominent in these territories. However, most of the Mongols returned to Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, retaining their language and culture. After the fall of the Yuan Dynasty in 1368 the Mongols established their independent regime as Northern Yuan. However, the Oirads or Western Mongols began to challenge the Eastern Mongols under the Borjigin
Borjigin
Borjigin , also known as the Altan urug , were the imperial clan of Genghis Khan and his successors....

 monarchs in the late 14th century.

Present-day Khalkha
Khalkha
Khalkha is the largest subgroup of Mongol people in Mongolia since 15th century. The Khalkha together with Tsahar, Ordos and Tumed, were directly ruled by the Altan Urag Khans until the 20th century; unlike the Oirat people who were ruled by the Dzungar nobles or the Khorchins who were ruled by...

 Mongols and Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

ns are the most prominent of the remaining Eastern Mongols while the Kalmyks (formerly Oirats) in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 are the main descendants of the Western Mongols. The Khalkha emerged during the reign of Dayan Khan
Dayan Khan
Dayan Khan , was a Mongol khan who reunited the Mongols under Chinggisid supremacy in the Northern Yuan Dynasty in Mongolia...

 (1464–1543) as one of the six tumen
Tumen
Tumen or Tümen was a part of the decimal system used by Turkic and Mongol peoples to organize their armies. Tumen is an army unit of 10,000 soldiers...

s of the Eastern Mongols. They quickly became the dominant Mongol clan in Outer Mongolia.

Language




The specific origin of the Mongolic languages and associated tribes is unclear. Some researchers have proposed a link to languages like Tungusic
Tungusic languages
The Tungusic languages form a language family spoken in Eastern Siberia and Manchuria by Tungusic peoples. Many Tungusic languages are endangered, and the long-term future of the family is uncertain...

 and Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

, which are often included alongside Mongolic in a group called Altaic languages
Altaic languages
Altaic is a proposed language family that includes the Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, and Japonic language families and the Korean language isolate. These languages are spoken in a wide arc stretching from northeast Asia through Central Asia to Anatolia and eastern Europe...

, though this is controversial.

Religion



The original religion of the Mongols from the time of the Donghu was Tengriism
Tengriism
Tengriism is a Central Asian religion that incorporates elements of shamanism, animism, totemism and ancestor worship. Despite still being active in some minorities, it was, in old times, the major belief of Turkic peoples , Bulgars, Hungarians and Mongols...

. The Xianbei came in contact with Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 and Daoism but eventually adopted Buddhism. In the 5th century the Buddhist monk Dharmapriya was proclaimed State Teacher of the Rouran Khaganate and given 3000 families. In 511 the Rouran Douluofubadoufa Khan sent Hong Xuan to the Tuoba court with a pearl-encrusted statue of the Buddha as a gift. The Tuoba Xianbei and Khitans were mostly Buddhists, although they still retained their original Tengriism. The Tuoba had a "sacrificial castle" to the west of their capital where ceremonies to Tengri and other spirits took place. Wooden statues of the spirits were erected on top of this sacrificial castle. One ritual involved seven princes with milk offerings who ascended the stairs with 20 female shamans and offered prayers, sprinkling the statues with the sacred milk. The Khitan had their holiest Tengriist shrine on Mount Muye where portraits of their earliest ancestor Qishou Khagan, his wife Kedun and eight sons were kept in two temples. Mongols were also exposed to Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 (Qormusta Tengri is still worshipped), Manicheism, Nestorianism
Nestorianism
Nestorianism is a Christological doctrine advanced by Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 428–431. The doctrine, which was informed by Nestorius's studies under Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch, emphasizes the disunion between the human and divine natures of Jesus...

, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 from the west. The Mongols, in particular the Borjigin, had their holiest Tengriist shrine on Mount Burkhan Khaldun where their ancestor Borte Chinua (Blue Wolf) and Goo Maral (Beautiful Doe) had given birth to them. Genghis Khan kept a close watch on the Mongol supreme shaman Kokochu Teb Tengri who sometimes conflicted with his authority. Later the imperial cult of Genghis Khan (centered on the eight white gers
Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan is located along a river in Kandehuo Enclosure, Xinjie Town, Ejen Khoruu Banner, Ordos Prefecture-Level City , Inner Mongolia, People's Republic of China. The Mausoleum is a cenotaph, where the coffin contains no body, but only headdresses and accessories, because...

 and nine white banners in Ordos
Ordos
-Places:*Ordos Loop of the Yellow River, a region of China*Ordos Desert, in Inner Mongolia*Ordos City, city and district in Inner Mongolia*Ordos International Circuit, a race track in Ordos City.-People:...

) grew into a highly organized indigenous religion with Tengriist scriptures in the Mongolian script
Mongolian script
The classical Mongolian script , also known as Uyghurjin, was the first writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most successful until the introduction of Cyrillic in 1946...

. Indigenous moral precepts of the Mongols were enshrined in oral wisdom sayings (now collected in several volumes), the anda (blood-brother) system and ancient texts such as the Chinggis-un Bilig (Wisdom of Genghis) and Oyun Tulkhuur (Key of Intelligence). These moral precepts were expressed in poetic form and mainly involved truthfulness, fidelity, help in hardship, unity, self-control, fortitude, veneration of nature, veneration of the state and veneration of parents.

In 1254 Mongke Khan
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

 organized a formal religious debate (in which William of Rubruck
William of Rubruck
William of Rubruck was a Flemish Franciscan missionary and explorer. His account is one of the masterpieces of medieval geographical literature comparable to that of Marco Polo....

 took part) between Christians, Muslims and Buddhists in Karakorum
Karakorum
Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and of the Northern Yuan in the 14-15th century. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today's town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery...

, a cosmopolitan city of many religions. The Mongol Empire was known for its religious tolerance, but had a special leaning towards Buddhism and was sympathetic towards Christianity. The Mongol leader Abaqa Khan
Abaqa Khan
Abaqa Khan , also Abaga , or Abagha Khan, was the second Mongol ruler of the Persian Ilkhanate. The son of Hulagu Khan and Yesuncin Khatun, he reigned from 1265–1282 and was succeeded by his brother Tekuder Khan...

 sent a delegation of 13-16 Mongols to the Second Council of Lyon
Second Council of Lyon
The Second Council of Lyon was the fourteenth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, convoked on 31 March 1272 and convened in Lyon, France, in 1274. Pope Gregory X presided over the council, called to act on a pledge by Byzantine emperor Michael VIII to reunite the Eastern church with the West...

 (1274), which created a great stir, particularly when their leader 'Zaganus' underwent a public baptism. Yahballaha III
Yahballaha III
Yahballaha III , known in earlier years as Rabban Marcos or Markos, was Patriarch of the Church of the East from 1281 to 1317...

 (1245–1317) and Rabban Bar Sauma
Rabban Bar Sauma
Rabban Bar Sauma , also known as Rabban Ṣawma or Rabban Çauma, , was a Turkic/Mongol monk turned diplomat of the Nestorian Christian faith. He is known for embarking on a pilgrimage from Mongol-controlled China to Jerusalem with one of his students, Rabban Markos...

 (c. 1220-1294) were famous Mongol (part-Turkic) Nestorian Christians. The western Khanates, however, eventually adopted Islam (under Berke
Berke
Berke Khan was the ruler of the Golden Horde who effectively consolidated the power of the Blue Horde and White Hordes from 1257 to 1266. He succeeded his brother Batu Khan of the Blue Horde and was responsible for the first official establishment of Islam in a khanate of the Mongol Empire...

 and Ghazan) and the Turkic languages (because of its commercial importance), although allegiance to the Great Khan and limited use of the Mongolian language can be seen even in 1330's. The Mongol nobility during the Yuan dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 studied Confucianism but mainly followed the Sakya
Sakya
The Sakya school is one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the others being the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Gelug...

 school of Tibetan Buddhism. The general populace still practised Tengriism. Dongxiang and Bonan Mongols adopted Islam, as did Mongol-speaking peoples in Afghanistan. In the 16th century the Gelug
Gelug
The Gelug or Gelug-pa , also known as the Yellow Hat sect, is a school of Buddhism founded by Je Tsongkhapa , a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader...

 school of Tibetan Buddhism became the state religion of the Mongols. The Red Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism coexisted with the Gelug Yellow Hat sect. Tengriism was absorbed into the newly formed state religion
Buddhism in Mongolia
Buddhism in Mongolia derives much of its recent characteristics from Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelugpa school. Traditionally, Mongols worshiped heaven and their ancestors, and they followed ancient northern Asian practices of shamanism, in which human intermediaries went into trance and spoke to...

 while being marginalized in its purer forms, later only surviving in far northern Mongolia. Monks were some of the leading intellectuals in Mongolia, responsible for much of the literature and art of the pre-modern period. Zanabazar (1635–1723), Zaya Pandita (1599–1662) and Danzanravjaa
Danzanravjaa
Dulduityn Danzanravjaa was a prominent Mongolian writer, composer, painter and medic and the the Fifth Noyon Khutagt, the Lama of the Gobi...

 (1803–1856) are among the most famous Mongolian holy men. The 4th Dalai Lama Yonten Gyatso (1589–1617), a Mongolian, was the only non-Tibetan Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word далай meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning "teacher"...

. Many Buryat Mongols also became Christians due to the Russian expansion. During the socialist period religion was officially banned, although it was practiced in clandestine circles. Today, a sizable proportion of Mongols are atheist
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 or agnostic
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

. In the most recent census in Mongolia, almost forty percent of the population reported as being atheist, while the majority religion was Buddhism, with 53%.

Physical characteristics



In terms of physical characteristics, Mongols exhibit a variety of features, with typical Mongoloid features being most noticeable. "Mongoloid" was first used in 1868 as a racial designation to distinguish Asians. People with Down's Syndrome were first called "Mongolian" in 1866. The World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 (WHO) officially dropped references to "Mongolism" in 1965 after a request by the Mongolian delegate. Mongols are predominantly Tungid with Nordsinid and Turanid features observable occasionally. Mongolian folds of the eyelids exist on almost all Mongols along with relatively high and pronounced cheekbones. The Mongolian spot
Mongolian spot
A Mongolian spot, also known as "Mongolian blue spot," "Congenital dermal melanocytosis," and "Dermal melanocytosis" is a benign, flat, congenital birthmark with wavy borders and irregular shape, discovered on and named after Mongolians by Erwin Bälz. It is also extremely prevalent among East...

 which is common among Mongols, is looked upon proudly as a distinguishing feature of the ethnic group. The vast majority of Mongols have black hair and brown eyes, although a certain number of Mongols, particularly the Oirat tribe in western Mongolia tend to exhibit lighter features such as fair skin, blue or green eyes, varying shades of brown hair, and sometimes even red or blonde hair. The majority of Mongols today who exhibit some slight Caucasoid features most likely stem from historical intermixing with ancient Central Asian and Siberian Europoids, as opposed to recent intermixing with Slavics and other Europeans. Genetic test have shown ethnic Mongolians in Xinjiang China to be 14.3% Eurasian. The old distinction between Mongols with complete Mongoloid features and Mongols with semi-Caucasoid features is casually acknowledged by Mongols themselves, with the semi-Caucasoids being called "shar" (yellow) while the rest are called "bor" (brown). Both types of Mongols are fully accepted as Mongols. However the vast majority of mongols today have pure mongoloid phenotypes and even the ones that are mixed are predominately mongoloid.

Geographic distribution


Today, people of Mongol origin live in modern state of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (mainly Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

), Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, and a few other central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

n countries.

The differentiation between tribes and peoples (nationalities) is handled differently depending on the country. The Tumed
Tümed
The Tümed are a Mongol subgroup. Most engage in sedentary agriculture, living in mixed communities in the suburbs of Huhhot. Part of them live along Hulun Buir, Inner Mongolia...

, Chahar, Ordos, Bargut (or Barga), Altai Uriankhai
Altai Uriankhai
The Altai Uriankhai refer to a Mongolian tribe around the Altai Mountains that were organized by the Qing Dynasty. They now form a subgroup in western Mongolia and eastern Xinjiang....

, Buryats
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

, Dörböd
Dörbed
The Dörbet is the second largest subgroup of the Mongol people in modern Mongolia and was one major tribe of the Four Oirat confederation in 15th-18th century. In early times, the Dörbet and the Dzungars were ruled by collateral branches of the Choros...

 (Dörvöd, Dörbed), Torguud, Dariganga
Dariganga
The Dariganga are an eastern Mongol subgroup who mainly live in Dari Ovoo and Ganga Lake, Sukhbaatar Province.It is believed that the Dariganga were resettled by the Qing Dynasty from Chahar, Khalkha and Ööled to herd horses of the Emperor in the late 1690s.From 1912 on, a Ministry of Internal...

, Üzemchin
Üzemchin
The Üzemchin are a subgroup of Mongols in eastern Mongolia and Inner Mongolia. They settle mainly in Sergelen, Bayantu'men, Choibalsan city of the Dornod Province and in Xilin Gol League of the Inner Mongolia...

 (or Üzümchin), Bayid
Bayid
The Bayid is third largest subgroup of the Mongols in Mongolia and was a tribe in Four Oirats. Bayids were a prominent clan within the Mongol Empire. Bayids can be found in both Mongolic and Turkic peoples...

, Khoton, Myangad (Mingad), Zakhchin
Zakhchin
Zakhchin is a subgroup of the Oirats residing in Khovd Province, Mongolia.Zakhchin means 'Border people'. They are so called because they are originated form the border garrison of Dzungar Empire...

 (Zakchin), Darkhad
Darkhad
The Darkhad is a subgroup of Mongol people living mainly in northern Mongolia. They living mainly in the Bayanzürkh, Ulaan-Uul, Renchinlkhümbe, and Tsagaannuur sums of Khövsgöl Province. The Darkhad valley is named after them...

, and Oirats
Oirats
Oirats are the westernmost group of the Mongols who unified several tribes origin whose ancestral home is in the Altai region of western Mongolia. Although the Oirats originated in the eastern parts of Central Asia, the most prominent group today is located in the Republic of Kalmykia, a federal...

 (or Öölds or Ölöts) are all counted as tribes of the Mongols.

Mongolia



The population of modern Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 consists of 94.9% Mongols, numbering approximately 2.8 million. From the middle ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 to early modern period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

 the Khalkha
Khalkha
Khalkha is the largest subgroup of Mongol people in Mongolia since 15th century. The Khalkha together with Tsahar, Ordos and Tumed, were directly ruled by the Altan Urag Khans until the 20th century; unlike the Oirat people who were ruled by the Dzungar nobles or the Khorchins who were ruled by...

, Uriankhai
Uriankhai
"Uriankhai" , also known as Urianhai or Uryangkhai, is a term applied to several neighboring ethnic groups...

 and Buryats
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

 were counted as eastern Mongols while the Oirats
Oirats
Oirats are the westernmost group of the Mongols who unified several tribes origin whose ancestral home is in the Altai region of western Mongolia. Although the Oirats originated in the eastern parts of Central Asia, the most prominent group today is located in the Republic of Kalmykia, a federal...

, living mainly in the Altay
Altay Mountains
The Altai Mountains are a mountain range in East-Central Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan come together, and where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their sources. The Altai Mountains are known as the original locus of the speakers of Turkic as well as other members of the proposed...

 region, belonged to the western Mongols.

China


The 2000 census of People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 counted 5.8 million Mongols, according to the narrow definition above. It should be noted that 1992 census of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 counted only 3.6 million Mongols. Most of them live in the Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 autonomous region, followed by Liaoning
Liaoning
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northeast of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "辽" , a name taken from the Liao River that flows through the province. "Níng" means "peace"...

 province. Small numbers can also be found in provinces near those two.

Other peoples speaking Mongolic languages are the Daur, Monguor, Dongxiang
Dongxiang people
The Dongxiang people are one of 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China...

, Bonan
Bonan
The Bonan people are an ethnic group living in Gansu and Qinghai provinces in northwestern China...

, and parts of the Yugur
Yugur
The Yugurs ,or Yellow Uyghurs as they are traditionally known,are one of China's 56 officially recognized nationalities, consisting of 13,719 persons according to the 2000 census. The Yugur live primarily in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County in Gānsù Province. They are Buddhists, unlike the Xinjiang...

. Those do not officially count as part of the Mongol nationality, but are recognized as nationalities of their own.

Russia


In Russia, the Buryats
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

 belong to the eastern Mongols. The western Mongols include the Oirats
Oirats
Oirats are the westernmost group of the Mongols who unified several tribes origin whose ancestral home is in the Altai region of western Mongolia. Although the Oirats originated in the eastern parts of Central Asia, the most prominent group today is located in the Republic of Kalmykia, a federal...

 in the Russian Altay and the Kalmyks at the northern side of the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

, where they make up 53.3% of the population of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

's autonomous Republic of Kalmykia. The Tuva and the Altay people
Altay people
The Altay or Altai are an ethnic group of Turkic people living in the Siberian Altai Republic and Altai Krai and surrounding areas of Tuva and Mongolia. For alternative ethnonyms see also Teleut, Tele, Telengit, Mountain Kalmuck, White Kalmuck, Black Tatar, Oirat/Oirot.The Uriankhai people were...

 are culturally close to Mongols, but speak Turkic languages. Together they amount to approximately a million people.

Elsewhere


Smaller numbers of Mongols exist in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. Some of the more notable communities exist in the South Korea
Mongolians in South Korea
Mongols in South Korea form the world's largest population of Mongolian citizens abroad.-Population:By 2003, there were already 20,000 Mongols working in South Korea, making their population larger than the combined total of Mongolian Americans, Mongolians in Japan, and Mongolians in Europe...

, the United States
Mongolian American
Mongolian Americans are immigrants from Mongolia to the United States and their descendants. The term Mongol American is also used to include ethnic Mongol immigrants from groups outside of Mongolia as well, such as Kalmyks, Buryats, and people from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region of China...

, the Czech Republic
Mongolians in the Czech Republic
Mongols in the Czech Republic form one of the country's smaller ethnic groups. Workers from Mongolia comprised 3.6% of the foreign workforce , making them the third-largest non-European Union group behind Ukrainians and Vietnamese, and the fifth-largest group overall.-Migration history:In 2005,...

 and the United Kingdom
Mongolians in the United Kingdom
Mongolians in the United Kingdom are a relatively small but fast emerging ethnic group, including both Mongolian-born people in the UK alongside their British-born descendants.-History and settlement:...

.

See also


External links