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Qıpçaq (Kipchak)

The Qıpçaq (Chinese: 屈庾, 屈射; Kharakhanid: قِفچاَق) were one of the major Turkic tribes within Inner-Asia, west of the Xuŋa and Tägäräk, but north of the Qırğır. They are one of the ancestors of the modern Qazaqs


I trace the Qıpçaq name to the ancient Turkic tribe of the Quyu (屈庾) or Qushi (屈射):

Quyu (屈庾) LH *k(ʰ)ut-jo < OC *kut-loʔ - Taishigongshu
Qushi (屈射) LH *k(ʰ)ut-źak < OC *kut-mlak – Hanshu

According to them, their name was connected to Middle Turkic *qovuq (قُوُق) “hollow” and *jɨɣɑːt͡ʃ (يغاَج) “tree.” Clauson (1972) cites quv ağaç or “hollow tree.” I derive their name from Turkic *kubɑː “pale, pale Yellow or gray” and the nominal suffix *-t͡ʃɑk. The name likely referred to their horses. Given, it was common practice to name a tribe after a characteristic of its horses. According to Academia Sinica, the Qıpçaq of Bağatur Darğa’s time inhabited the areas around the Yenisey river, just above the Qırğır.

Early History

Sometime during or after 203 B.C.E., the Xuŋa, led by Bağatur Darğa, conquered the Qıpçaq, Qırğır, Tägäräk, Hun-yu, and the Sır.

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