Nogay Tatars

Nogay Tatars [ногаї, ногайці; nohaï, nohaitsi]. A formerly large horde of Tatars who derived their name from Nogay (d 1300), a prominent military leader of the Golden Horde. Until the 16th century they inhabited the steppe between northern Kazakhstan and southern Siberia. In the mid-16th century the Nogay Tatars split into the Great Horde, which came under Russian rule on the lower Volga, and the Little Horde, which migrated into the southern Ukrainian steppe and became a nominal vassal of the Crimean Khanate, constituting 40 percent of its population. The two hordes were reunited in the 1630s after the Great Horde fled from the Siberian Kalmyks. The Nogay Tatars pillaged Ukrainian settlements and were consequently in constant conflict with the Zaporozhian Cossacks. In the 18th century they consisted of four hordes: the Bilhorod Horde, between the Dnister River and the Danube River; the Yedisan Horde, between the Dnister and the Dnieper River; and the Yedichkul and Dzhambuiluk hordes, north of the Crimea between the Dnieper and the Sea of Azov.

In the 1770s, after the Russian conquest of Southern Ukraine, approximately 120,000 Nogay Tatars were forcibly resettled between the Don River and the Kuban River and then in the Caspian steppe but were soon allowed to return to the coast of the Sea of Azov. After the Crimean War some 180,000 Nogay Tatars emigrated to Ottoman-ruled southern Bessarabia, and a minority remained in Subcaucasia. According to the 1989 census there were 75,181 Nogay Tatars in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Most of them lived in Stavropol krai, the Dagestan and Chechen-Ingush autonomous republics, and the Karachai-Cherkess Autonomous oblast of the Russian Federation. According to the 2001 census there are only 385 Nogay Tatars living in Ukraine today. B. Kochekaev's book about 16th- to 18th-century Nogay-Russian relations was published in Alma Ata in 1988.

[This article was updated in 2014.]

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