People & Culture
Introduction | Tribes |
Art & Craft | Music & Dance | Traditional Weddings | Festivals
Population and Distribution
With a population of 1,250,458, the Kazak ethnic group is distributed mainly in the Xinjiang Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, Mori and Barkol Kazak autonomous counties. In addition, they also live in the Gansu and Qinghai provinces.
The Kazaks are the descendants of the ancient Wushu tribes. These tribes were driven from their homelands in the Hexi Corridor, but became an established power in the Ili region by the first century BC, when the Chinese envoy Zhang Qian courted them.
Kazak language belongs to the Turkic group of Altaic phylum. The Kazak language is written based on Arabian letters, but many people can use Chinese, Uigur and Mongolian.
In the past, the Kazak ethnic minority believed in the Shamanism. In about the 11th century, they began to turn to Islam while some continued to admire nature, soul and fire like the Shamanists. Many festivals, such as the Corban Festival which is also celebrated among the Hui ethnic minority, are close related to their religion.
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