Central Asia Pastoralist

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Information about Central Asia Pastoralist

Published on October 19, 2008

Author: PaulVMcDowell

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Deacribes the formation of the Mongols under Genghiis Kahn and the characteristics of one descending tribe, the Kirghiz.

Central Asian Pastoralists From Genghis Khan to the Kirghiz

Introduction to Central Asia To most in North America, Central Asia is in the middle of nowhere But out of nowhere came the hordes of Genghis Kahn and his successors Later, under Soviet control, Central Asia was a nuclear testing ground Since then, oil and gas have been discovered in several republics

To most in North America, Central Asia is in the middle of nowhere

But out of nowhere came the hordes of Genghis Kahn and his successors

Later, under Soviet control, Central Asia was a nuclear testing ground

Since then, oil and gas have been discovered in several republics

Location of Central Asia These comprise the Islamic republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, as well as Azerbaijan to the west. Plus the Christian republics of Armenia and Georgia

These comprise the Islamic republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, as well as Azerbaijan to the west.

Plus the Christian republics of Armenia and Georgia

Cultures of Central Asia: Overview Central Asia is best known for: The Silk Road, which linked Europe with Asia in trade (left) Nomadic peoples, including Mongols, Kirghiz, and Kazaks Mongols under Genghis Khan were known as pillagers But they also created a space for extending secure trade routes, including the Silk Road

Central Asia is best known for:

The Silk Road, which linked Europe with Asia in trade (left)

Nomadic peoples, including Mongols, Kirghiz, and Kazaks

Mongols under Genghis Khan were known as pillagers

But they also created a space for extending secure trade routes, including the Silk Road

Central Asia: Physical Geography The region is mountainous (purple) With extensive deserts (tan) And semi-arid steppes or grassland (salmon)

The region is mountainous (purple)

With extensive deserts (tan)

And semi-arid steppes or grassland (salmon)

Central Asia: Physical Geographical Description The landscape includes the Caucasus Mountains to the west; The Tian Shan mountains to the south and southeast Extensive deserts (Taklamakan, Kara Kum, and Kyzyl Kum) Broad-ranging semi-arid grasslands known as the steppe

The landscape includes the Caucasus Mountains to the west;

The Tian Shan mountains to the south and southeast

Extensive deserts (Taklamakan, Kara Kum, and Kyzyl Kum)

Broad-ranging semi-arid grasslands known as the steppe

Pastoralism The steppes, like other grasslands, were unsuitable for non-mechanized agriculture Reason: Sod is impenetrable with hoe and other agricultural implements As elsewhere, herding draft (working) animals is the most effective means of exploiting grasslands In North America, plains Indians used horses to hunt bison, also an effective use of the grasslands In the steppes of Central Asia, horses were the animals of choice Pictures: Mongol horsemen past (above) and present (below)

The steppes, like other grasslands, were unsuitable for non-mechanized agriculture

Reason: Sod is impenetrable with hoe and other agricultural implements

As elsewhere, herding draft (working) animals is the most effective means of exploiting grasslands

In North America, plains Indians used horses to hunt bison, also an effective use of the grasslands

In the steppes of Central Asia, horses were the animals of choice

Pictures: Mongol horsemen past (above) and present (below)

Mongol Empire The Mongols started off as several warring tribal societies How a group of unpromising tribes could merge into an empire is an highly relevant topic They began as five tribes: the Naimans, Tatars, Uighurs, Merkits, and Mongols in 1206 (upper left, in red) At the end, they developed into the largest empire in the world, past and present (lower left; depicted in dark gray, 1237)

The Mongols started off as several warring tribal societies

How a group of unpromising tribes could merge into an empire is an highly relevant topic

They began as five tribes: the Naimans, Tatars, Uighurs, Merkits, and Mongols in 1206 (upper left, in red)

At the end, they developed into the largest empire in the world, past and present (lower left; depicted in dark gray, 1237)

Genghis Kahn, a.k.a. Temüjin Genghis Kahn (given name Temüjin) was no doubt a ruthless warrior Yet under him, war was a last (though brutal) resort He started small; subduing four rival tribes After defeating his rivals his expansion was predicated on trade and public security His aim: to pacify each region to make safe for trade and travel One incident: he sent emissaries to Samarkand in a bid to establish trade relations with the Shah of the Khwarezmid Empire The emissaries were murdered, provoking a war that led to the slaughter of the entire empire of the shah

Genghis Kahn (given name Temüjin) was no doubt a ruthless warrior

Yet under him, war was a last (though brutal) resort

He started small; subduing four rival tribes

After defeating his rivals his expansion was predicated on trade and public security

His aim: to pacify each region to make safe for trade and travel

One incident: he sent emissaries to Samarkand in a bid to establish trade relations with the Shah of the Khwarezmid Empire

The emissaries were murdered, provoking a war that led to the slaughter of the entire empire of the shah

Genghis Kahn: Military Strategist He combined the speed and mobility of a cavalry on the plain With adoption of siege strategy and technology (catapults, rockets) to subdue all fortified cities His soldier traveled light and were highly disciplined, with death for negligence They were expert archers and lancers They traveled light, relying less on supply lines Their rapid mobility compensated for lack of armor Military academies, including West Point, still emulate many of his strategies.

He combined the speed and mobility of a cavalry on the plain

With adoption of siege strategy and technology (catapults, rockets) to subdue all fortified cities

His soldier traveled light and were highly disciplined, with death for negligence

They were expert archers and lancers

They traveled light, relying less on supply lines

Their rapid mobility compensated for lack of armor

Military academies, including West Point, still emulate many of his strategies.

Genghis Kahn: Administrator Popular conception ignores his effectiveness as an administrator Devised a code called yassa Key canon: nobility shared the same hardships as the common man Promotion was based strictly on merit Theft was strictly forbidden; could be punishable by death The empire was safe to travel, a point Europeans commented on Religious tolerance was decreed, and Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians maintained their beliefs in the empire Created trade route and a postal system; the U.S. Pony Express was an imitation of the Mongol system.

Popular conception ignores his effectiveness as an administrator

Devised a code called yassa

Key canon: nobility shared the same hardships as the common man

Promotion was based strictly on merit

Theft was strictly forbidden; could be punishable by death

The empire was safe to travel, a point Europeans commented on

Religious tolerance was decreed, and Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians maintained their beliefs in the empire

Created trade route and a postal system; the U.S. Pony Express was an imitation of the Mongol system.

Legacy of Genghis Kahn After his death in 1227, the empire continued to expand to stretch from Europe to China The Silk Road, established in 1168, continued to flourish Europeans continued to use the roads for trade; Marco Polo was the best known of these The yam was the most efficient postal system worldwide

After his death in 1227, the empire continued to expand to stretch from Europe to China

The Silk Road, established in 1168, continued to flourish

Europeans continued to use the roads for trade; Marco Polo was the best known of these

The yam was the most efficient postal system worldwide

Contemporary Central Asian Cultures Changes occurred under the Russian and Soviet empires The Kirghiz are a tribal people ranging across the Pamir Mountains The Johnson-Earle book focuses of those in Afghanistan Border closings with Russia and China have forced them to intensively exploit their pasture lands

Changes occurred under the Russian and Soviet empires

The Kirghiz are a tribal people ranging across the Pamir Mountains

The Johnson-Earle book focuses of those in Afghanistan

Border closings with Russia and China have forced them to intensively exploit their pasture lands

Kirghiz Cultural Patterns They migrate seasonally, to higher pastures in summer, lower in winter (upper photo) Animals include sheep and goats Animals also include Bactrian (double-humped) camels, yak (cold country oxen), horses Like all nomadic peoples, they live in felt yurts (lower photo) In recent years, higher demand for animal products and land scarcity has induced stratification

They migrate seasonally, to higher pastures in summer, lower in winter (upper photo)

Animals include sheep and goats

Animals also include Bactrian (double-humped) camels, yak (cold country oxen), horses

Like all nomadic peoples, they live in felt yurts (lower photo)

In recent years, higher demand for animal products and land scarcity has induced stratification

Ecological Analysis Sheep and goats are herded together as “companion animals” Sheep graze (eat low-growing plants such as grass) Goats browse (eat high-growing plants such as brush) Yaks are oxen whose two layers of hair covering matted hair protect them from the cold

Sheep and goats are herded together as “companion animals”

Sheep graze (eat low-growing plants such as grass)

Goats browse (eat high-growing plants such as brush)

Yaks are oxen whose two layers of hair covering matted hair protect them from the cold

Social Organization The basic unit is a household averaging 3.5 persons Eighty per cent are nuclear families; Remainder are extended or polygynous families. Traditionally, the yurt (felt tent) houses the family More recently, stone houses have taken their place

The basic unit is a household averaging 3.5 persons

Eighty per cent are nuclear families;

Remainder are extended or polygynous families.

Traditionally, the yurt (felt tent) houses the family

More recently, stone houses have taken their place

Kirghiz Socioeconomic Relations Amanat system: a wealthy sheep owner lends his sheep to individuals for their use of wool, milk, and dung In return, the borrower repays the owner with lambs the sheep has borne, adding to the owner’s herds Sheep were then sold in Kabul Result: the formation of chiefdoms, embodied in the khan Two-thirds of the households studied have few or no herd animals.

Amanat system: a wealthy sheep owner lends his sheep to individuals for their use of wool, milk, and dung

In return, the borrower repays the owner with lambs the sheep has borne, adding to the owner’s herds

Sheep were then sold in Kabul

Result: the formation of chiefdoms, embodied in the khan

Two-thirds of the households studied have few or no herd animals.

Post-Soviet Transition The Soviet invasion forced the Kirghiz to migrate to Pakistan and elsewhere They lost their markets in Kabul and felt threatened by the Soviets, forcing the move In 1981, Kirghiz leader Haji Rahman Gul led a group into Pakistan Because of tropical climate, group lost its animals and more than 100 died Eventually, in the group found refuge in Turkey, whose climate and culture allowed them to develop their herding again

The Soviet invasion forced the Kirghiz to migrate to Pakistan and elsewhere

They lost their markets in Kabul and felt threatened by the Soviets, forcing the move

In 1981, Kirghiz leader Haji Rahman Gul led a group into Pakistan

Because of tropical climate, group lost its animals and more than 100 died

Eventually, in the group found refuge in Turkey, whose climate and culture allowed them to develop their herding again

Conclusion The cultures of the Steppes were predominantly herders However, nomadic cultures could become complex states The mobility of Genghis Khan’s Mongol prove an advantage in military conquest Trade provided an incentive for developing a state The Kirghiz replicated the pattern of state formation through stratification As land and animals became scarce, the kahn (chief) grew wealthy through amanat

The cultures of the Steppes were predominantly herders

However, nomadic cultures could become complex states

The mobility of Genghis Khan’s Mongol prove an advantage in military conquest

Trade provided an incentive for developing a state

The Kirghiz replicated the pattern of state formation through stratification

As land and animals became scarce, the kahn (chief) grew wealthy through amanat

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