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According to historical sources, people in the territory of Karakalpakstan lived already in the Neolithic period. On the tombs of the grave of Darius I, belonging to the V century BC, it is said that the "Saki Tigrahauda" (saks in pointed caps) lived in the territory of the Aral Sea and the lower reaches of the Syr Darya (the territory of modern Karakalpakia).

In the II-VI centuries BC. there was the migration of Turkic tribes from the territory of Altai and Eastern Turkestan. Assimilation of the nomadic Turkic and indigenous Saka populations resulted in the emergence of two new ethnic communities: Pechenegs and Oguzes. It was the tribes of the Pechenegs that formed the basis for the ethnic formation of the Karakalpaks.

The ethnonym "Karakalpak" is translated as "black hats" and refers to the fact that part of the Pecheneg tribes living in the territory of present-day Karakalpakia wore caps of black sheep's wool. In the Russian chronicles they were called "black hoods", and in Mongolian - "Malachay kara".

In 1714, Karakalpaks under the leadership of one of the tribal chiefs, Eshmuhammadkhan (Eshimhan) founded their state - the Karakalpak Khanate - in the territory of the Aral Sea and the lower reaches of the Syr Darya. But in 1723 it is disintegrated under the blow of the Kalmyks. The Karakalpak state was divided into two parts: part of the tribes migrated towards Tashkent and became known as the upper Karakalpaks, while the other were remained in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya and was called the lower Karakalpaks.

In 1731 the lower Karakalpaks, along with the Kazakh tribes, go to the embassy of the Russian Empire with a request for citizenship, which they satisfy in 1735.

The territory of Karakalpakstan was attacked several times by Khiva khans, in 1809 and 1811 years. Karakalpaks were part of the Khiva Khanate until the beginning of the XX century. After its abolition, Karakalpakia was renamed the Soviet government in the Karakalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which in 1936 became part of the Uzbek SSR. After Uzbekistan gained independence, Karakalpakia was renamed the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

Now the Republic of Karakalpakstan is an autonomous entity within the Republic of Uzbekistan. More than 600 thousand people live here, but due to the shrinking of the Aral Sea, many Karakalpaks migrate to other regions of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Karakalpakstan is famous for its ancient monuments and numerous ruins of fortresses scattered over sandy deserts.


Tashkent region
Jizzakh region
Navoi region
Andijan region

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