Kirghiz form 76% of the population, Taranchis 5.7%, Russians 14% and Dzungans most of the remainder.
Live-stock breeding is very extensively carried on by the Kirghiz, namely, horses, cattle, sheep, camels, goats and pigs.
Are covered by the Kalmuck and Kirghiz Steppes.
The chief occupation of the Russians, the Taranchis and the Dzungans, and partly also of the Kirghiz, is agriculture.
It has the Asiatic dominions of the empire, Siberia and the Kirghiz steppes, from both of which it is separated by the Ural Mountains, the Ural river and the Caspian - the administrative boundary, however, partly extending into Asia on the Siberian slope of the Urals.
The Ural, in its lower part, constitutes the frontier between European Russia and the Kirghiz steppe; it receives the Sakmara on the right and the Ilek on the left.
Ural governments (Uralsk, Orenburg, Ufa) the admixture of Turko-Tatars - of Kirghiz in Uralsk, Bashkirs in Orenburg and Ufa, and less important races - becomes considerable.
The Tatars, Bashkirs and Kirghiz are Mahommedans; but the last-named have to a great extent maintained along with Mahommedanism their old Shamanism.
Russia are fine animals, and those of the Kirghiz, though not big, are famous for their endurance.
The area between the northern border of the Persian high lands and the Caspian and Aral Seas is a nearly desert low-lying plain, extending to the foot of the north - western extremity of the great Tibeto-Himalayan mountains, and prolonged east- Trans- ward up the valleys of the Oxus (Amu-Darya) and Caspian Jaxartes (Syr-Darya), and northward across the country re ior, and of the Kirghiz to the south-western border of Siberia.
The Turks are Mahommedans; their tribes extend up the Oxus to the borders of Afghanistan and Persia, and to the Caspian, and under the name of Kirghiz into Russia, and their language is spoken over a large part of western Asia.
Uzbegs and Kirghiz have but small affinity with the Mongol element of Asia.
Of the two divisions (Kara Kirghiz and Kassak Kirghiz) into which the Kirghiz tribes are divided by Russian authorities, the Kassak Kirghiz is the more closely allied to the Mongol type; the Kara Kirghiz, who are found principally in the valleys of the Tian-shan and Altai mountains, being unmistakably Turkish.
The Kipchaks are only a Kirghiz clan.
The language of the Kirghiz is Turki and their religion that of Mahomet.
At the present day steamers ply from Tyumen, at the foot of the Urals, to Semipalatinsk on the border of the Kirghiz steppe and to Tomsk in the very heart of West Siberia.
Both cattle-breeding and sheep-grazing are more profit able than dairying; but the Kirghiz herds are not well tended, being left to graze on the steppes all the year, where they perish from wild animals and the cold.
Farther south on the same wide plain lie the sister lakes Kirghiz-nor and Airyk-nor, which receive another large river, the Dzap'hyn, and the Kungui.
The sheep-like saiga, Saiga tatarica, of the Kirghiz steppes stands apart from all other antelopes by its curiously puffed and trunk-like nose, which can be wrinkled up when the animal is feeding and has the nostrils opening downwards.
After serving as divisional chief of the staff in Poland, he went to Orenburg in 1858 as assistant to the commander of the line of the Syr-Darya, and the following year commanded an expedition to support the Kirghiz tribes on the borders of the Sea of Aral against the Khivans.
The Tungani troops in Yarkand rose, and (Toth of August 1863)massacred some seven thousand Chinese, while the inhabitants of Kashgar, rising in their turn against their masters, invoked the aid of Sadik Beg, a Kirghiz chief, who was reinforced by Buzurg Khan, the heir of Jahanghir, and Yakub Beg, his general, these being despatched at Sadik's request by the ruler of Khokand to raise what troops they could to aid his Mahommedan friends in Kashgar.
The nomad Turkomans and the nomad Kirghiz are also of Turkish origin; while the Sarts, who constitute the bulk of the population in the towns, are a mixture of Turks with Iranians.
Before the close of the century, however, the dynasty was extinct, and Bokhara was at once desolated by a Kirghiz invasion and distracted by a disputed succession.
The native city in 1871 had 78,130 inhabitants, and in 1897 156,414, mostly Sarts, with Uzbegs, Kirghiz, Jews, Russians and Germans.
It was known to the ancient Arab and Persian geographers as the Sea of Khwarizm or Kharezm, from the neighbouring district of the Chorasmians, and derives its present name from the Kirghiz designation of Aral-denghiz, or Sea of Islands.
BALKASH, or Balkhash (called by the Kirghiz Ak-denghiz or Ala-denghiz and by the Chinese Si-hai), a lake of Asiatic Russia, in the Kirghiz steppes, between the governments of Semipalatinsk and Semiryechensk, in 45° to 47° N.
The Kirghiz in 1903 declared that its surface had been rising steadily during the preceding ten years, though prior to that it was dropping.
The Kalmucks (138,580 in 1897) and Kirghiz (260,000) are semi-nomads.
The Kalmucks and Kirghiz have their own local administrations, and so have the Astrakhan Cossacks (25,600).
Above sea-level), Kirghiz-nor, Durga-nor and Kobdo-nor (3840 ft.), and traversed by various mountain ranges, of which the principal are the Tannu-ola, running roughly parallel with the Sayan mountains as far east as the Kosso-gol (boo - lob° E.
The high valleys farther north, on the same western face of the Sailughem range, are but little known, their only visitors being Kirghiz shepherds.
Closely connected with the Khan-tengri knot are the Khalyk-tau on the east, and on the west three diverging lines of elevation, namely the Terskei Ala-tau or Kirghiz Ala-tau, overhanging the south shore of Issyk-kul; the Kokshal-tau, stretching away southwest as far as the Terez Mountains between Kashgar and Ferghana; and, intermediate between these two, the successive ranges of the Sary-jas, Kulu-tau, and Ak-shiryak.
Owing to the irrigation, total failure of crops and consequent famines are unknown, unless among the Kirghiz shepherds.
The flocks of sheep on the Kirghiz steppe are so large that the proprietors themselves do not know their exact numbers.
The Ural-Altaians are numerically the predominant element, and consist of Turkomans, Kirghiz, Uzbegs and Sarts.
Their language and habits are the same as those of the Kirghiz; but for the last century and a half they have had some acquaintance with agrculture.
Their pacific temper exposed them to the raids of the Kirghiz, who compelled them first to settle in Dzungaria, then to move their dwellings several times, and ultimately (in 1742) to recognize the sovereignty of Russia.
The real masters of the steppes and highlands of Turkestan are the Kirghiz, of whom there are two branches - the Kazak (Cossack) Kirghiz, who number about 3,787,000, and the Kara (Black) Kirghiz or Burut, who number nearly 202,000.
The Uzbegs, who played a predominant political part in Turkestan before the Russian conquest, are of Turko-Tatar origin and speak a pure Jagatai (Turkish) dialect; but they are mixed to a great extent with Persians, Kirghiz and Mongols.
Among these last two distinct elements must be noticed - the Cossacks, who are settled on the borders of the Kirghiz steppe and have assumed many Kirghiz habits, and the peasant-settlers, who are beginning to colonize the valley of the Ili and to spread farther south.
In Dzungaria they are Dzungans or Dungans, a Turko-Tatar tribe who nominally profess Mahommedanism, and in Kulja they are Kirghiz, Tatars, Mongols, Dungans and others.
Kirghiz graze the slopes of the Tianshan.