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Dec 17, 2021

The Bulaqs were a Turkic tribe from the Karluks tribal union located in the Altai Mountains.[1][2] The tribe was attested in the Middle Ages and was eventually conquered by the Russians.[3][4][5][6][7]

. . . Bulaqs . . .

Károly Czeglédy and Lajos Ligeti deciphered the Bulaqs name from the Chinese sources in which were mentioned as Mou-luo 謀落 or Moula 謀剌.[8][9]Omeljan Pritsak also derived Mou-la bu-lak, but without any reference to previous scholar’s work.[10] As already Gyula Németh noted,[4] the mi̯əu-lôk[2] or miə̯u-lâk ~ bulaq is etymologically related to the colour of horses which was a usual tribal designation on the steppe.[1] It could mean “white-piebald” horse in some Turkic and Mongolian languages, “white-legged” horse in Chagatai language, or “broad-backed” horse.[4][11]

The Chinese and Arab manuscripts mentioned the tribal names of the Karluks. According to the Chinese sources, the Mou-luo/Mou-lo or Mou-la i.e. the Bulaqs were one of the three core tribes of the Karluk confederation who lived in the Altai Mountains and were among the Western Turkic troops who were defeated in the Tang campaigns against the Western Turks in 650.[1][2][12] In 657 CE, the Tang dynasty set up a Yinshan dudufu (district/prefecture; Yinshan mean “the dark mountain”, Ildikó Ecsedy considered northern slopes of Tarbagatai Mountains[1]) for the Bulaqs. The other two tribes also received separate prefectures with their chiefs appointed as governors.[13][14] Between 690s and 718 the three tribes allied themselves with the Göktürks (Second Turkic Khaganate) or Tang dynasty, while in 718 were conquered by Bilge Khagan and the Tang-alinged chiefs were replaced. Between mid-6th and mid-7th century the Karluk tribes migrated between Mongolian plateau, Altai, and regions south and west, depending on the political-diplomatic orientations of the Karluk yabgu. By 766 they were in possession of the cities of Suyab and Talas around which formed Karluk yabghu (756–940) and Kara-Khanid Khanate (840–1212).[2][12]

The later Arabic sources, like Sharaf al-Zaman al-Marwazi depicted a union of nine tribes, including the Bulaq (bdw, bwâwî), Hudud al-‘Alam noted that the blâq were one of the Yagma constituent components, “mixed with the Toquz Oghuz“, while Al-Kashgari in his 11th century work Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk among the listed Turkic tribes mentioned Bulaq and Elke/Älkä Bulaq.[2][15] According to him, the Bulaqs became captives of the Kipchaks, but later regained their independence and thus came to be called with the former name.[16][17] The Bulaqs were mentioned in the 11th and 12th century, and after only in the 16th century before the Russian conquest (1592[4]). Before the 12th century, the Karluks migrated towards the Islamic territories, that is south and not west.[7]

. . . Bulaqs . . .

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. . . Bulaqs . . .