.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}@media all and (max-width:500px){.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{width:auto!important;clear:none!important;float:none!important))You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Swedish. (March 2024) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Swedish article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 217 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Swedish Wikipedia article at [[:sv:Slavhandeln i Bukhara]]; see its history for attribution. You may also add the template ((Translated|sv|Slavhandeln i Bukhara)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Mosque in Bukhara
Samanid coins found in the Spillings Hoard
Map showing the major Varangian trade routes: the Volga trade route (in red) and the Trade Route from the Varangians to the Greeks (in purple). Other trade routes of the eighth-eleventh centuries shown in orange.
Vikings captured people during their raids in Europe.
Trade negotiations in the country of Eastern Slavs. Pictures of Russian history. (1909). Vikings sold people they captured in Europe to Muslim merchants in present-day Russia.
Russian Central Asia – Bokhara
Russischer Photograph, Buchara, 19th century
Bukhara 19th century
Muzaffar bin Nasrullah abolished the Bukhara slave trade in 1873.
'Abd al-Ahad abolished slavery in Bukhara 1885.
Sayyid Mir Muhammad Alim Khan is known to have staffed his royal harem with slaves until the end of the Emirate in 1920

Bukhara slave trade was the slave trade in the city of Bukhara in Central Asia (present day Uzbekistan) from antiquity until the 19th century. Bukhara and Khiva were known as the major centers of slave trade in Central Asia for centuries, until the Russian conquest of Central Asia in the late 19th century.

The city of Bukhara was an important trade center along the Ancient Silk Road, were slave trade were a part of the trade between Europe and Asia. In the Middle Ages, Bukhara came to lie in a religious border zone between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world, which was seen as a legitimate target of slavery by Muslims, and referred to as the "Eastern Dome of Islam". It became the center of the massive slave trade of the Samanid Empire, who bought European saqaliba-slaves from the Vikings in Russia and sold them on to Slavery in the Abbasid Caliphate in the Middle East, and as such constituted one of the main trade routes of Saqaliba (European) slaves to the Muslim world. Bukhara was also a center for the trade in non-Muslim Turkish people from Central Asia to the Middle East and to India, where they were one of the main ethnicities of military slavery (ghilman) for centuries.

In the early modern age, Bukhara met competition as a slave trade in Khiva, but continued to function as a major slave trade center for non-Muslims slaves to Central Asia and the Middle East. In this time period the two main targets were Christian Eastern Europeans, who were acquired by a trading connection with the Crimean slave trade in the Black Sea; and Persians who, while Muslims, were Shia Muslims and therefore still seen as legitimate to enslave by Sunni Muslims Bukhara. The Ancient Bukhara slave trade was not closed until its closure was forced upon the Emir of Bukhara by the Russians in 1873.


Bukhara was a city along the Silk road since Ancient times, and was thus a center of the Silk road trade. The trade along the Silk road included slave trade. Bukhara is known from at least 6th century BC. The city belonged to Persia in antiquity and the First Turkic Khaganate.

In the Middle Ages the city became Islamic after the Islamic conquest of Persia and was a part of the Abbasid Caliphate before gaining independence during the Samanid Empire. Bukhara has been called a center of Islam in Central Asia, or the "Eastern Dome of Islam".[1]


The Ancient Silk Road connecting Mediterranean world and China in East Asia may have existed as early as the 3rd century BC, since Chinese silk has been found in Rome has been dated to about 200 BC.[2] The Silk Road connected to the Mediterranean world via two routes, which met in Bukhars, who thus served as an important center in the Silk Road trade.

From China, the Silk Road continued over the Tian Shan, Hami, Turpan, Almalik, Tashkent, Samarkand and finally Bukhara, where it split in two main roads: a Southern route from Bukhara to Merv and from there to Antioch, Trebizond, or Aleppo; or the Northern route from Bukhara over the Karakum Desert to the Caspian Sea, Astrakhan and Kazan close to the Black Sea.[2]

The Silk Road did not sell only textiles, jewels, metal and cosmetic, but also slaves.[2] connecting the Silk Road slave trade to the Bukhara slave trade as well as the Black Sea slave trade.

Samanid Empire (9th–10th centuries)

Bukhara was a capital of the Samanid Empire. During the Samanid Empire, Bukhara was a major center of the slave trade in Central Asia. The Samanid Empire was strategically well situated geographically to function as a key supplier of slaves to the Islamic world, because it lay in a religious border zone between Dar al-Islam (The Muslim world), and Dar al-Harb, the world of non-Muslim infidels, who by Islamic law were a legitimate target for slaves to the Muslim world.[3]

Slaves were imported to Bukhara from different non-Muslim lands and via Bukhara to the Muslim world over Persia to the Middle East, and over the Hindu Kush (in present-day Afghanistan) in to India. The situation was similar to other religious border zones in Muslim lands, which were also slave trade centers: such as Al-Andalus in Spain, which were the center of the al-Andalus slave trade; Muslim North Africa, which were the center of the Trans-Saharan slave trade and the Red Sea slave trade; as well as Muslim East Africa, which was the center of the Indian Ocean slave trade.

The Samanid slave trade constituted one of the two great furnishers of slaves to the Muslim market to in the Abbasid Caliphate; the other being the Khazar slave trade, who supplied it with captured Slavs and tribesmen from the Eurasian northlands.[4] The Samanid slave trade was one of the major routes of European saqaliba-slaves to the Islamic Middle East, alongside the Prague slave trade and the Balkan slave trade.

The Samanid regulated the transit slave trade across their territories, requiring a fee of 70–100 dirhams and a license (jawāz) for each slave boy; the same fee but no license for each slave girl; and a lesser fee, 20–30 dirhams, for each adult woman.[5]

Indian people

Warfare and tax revenue policies was the cause of enslavement of Indians for the Central Asian slave market already during the Umayyad conquest of Sindh in the 8th century, when the armies of the Umayyad commander Muhammad bin Qasim enslaved tens of thousands of Indian civilians and well as soldiers.[6]

During the Ghaznavid campaigns in India in the 11th century, hundreds of thousands of Indians were captured and sold on the Central Asian slave markets; in 1014 "the army of Islam brought to Ghazna about 200,000 captives (qarib do sit hazar banda), and much wealth, so that the capital appeared like an Indian city, no soldier of the camp being without wealth, or without many slaves", and during the expedition of the Ghaznavid ruler Sultan Ibrahim to the Multan area of northwestern India 100,000 captives were brought back to Central Asia, and the Ghaznavids were said to have captured "five hundred thousand slaves, beautiful men and women".[6] During his twelfth expedition into India in 1018–1019, the armies of Mahmud of Ghazni captured so many Indian slaves that the prices fell and according to al-'Utbi, "merchants came from distant cities to purchase them, so that the countries of Ma wara3 an-nahr (Central Asia), 'Iraq and Khurasan were filled with them, and the fair and the dark, the rich and the poor, mingled in one common slavery".[6]

Viking slave trade

See also: Route from the Varangians to the Greeks and Black Sea slave trade

The Samanid Empire had important trade contacts with Scandinavia and the Baltics, where many Samanid coins have been found. During the early Middle Ages, the Samanid Empire was one of the two major destinations of the Viking Volga trade route, along which the Vikings exported slaves captured in Europe to the Abbasid Caliphate in the Middle East via the Caspian Sea and the Samanid Empire to Iran (the other route was to the Byzantine Empire and the Mediterranean via Dnieper and the Black Sea slave trade).[7][8]

Islamic law prohibited Muslims from enslaving other Muslims, and there was thus a big market for non-Muslim slaves in Islamic territory. The Vikings sold both Christian and Pagan European captives to the Muslims, who referred to them as saqaliba; these slaves were likely both Pagan Slavic, Finnic and Baltic Eastern Europeans [9] as well as Christian Western Europeans.[10]

People taken captive during the Viking raids in Western Europe, such as Ireland, could be sold to Moorish Spain via the Dublin slave trade[11] or transported to Hedeby or Brännö in Scandinavia and from there via the Volga trade route to present day Russia, where slaves and furs were sold to Muslim merchants in exchange for Arab silver dirham and silk, which have been found in Birka, Wollin and Dublin;[12] initially this trade route between Europe and the Abbasid Caliphate passed via the Khazar Kaghanate,[13] but from the early 10th century onward it went via Volga Bulgaria and from there by caravan to Khwarazm, to the Samanid slave market in Central Asia and finally via Iran to the Abbasid Caliphate.[14] Also Slavic Pagans were enslaved by Vikings, Madjars and Volga Bulgars, who transported them to Volga Bulgaria, where they were sold to Muslim slave traders and continued to Khwarezm and the Samanids, with a minor part being exported to the Byzantine Empire.[15] This was a major trade; the Samanids were the main source of Arab silver to Europe via this route,[14] and Ibn Fadlan referred to the ruler of the Volga Bulgar as "King of the Saqaliba" because of his importance for this trade.[14]

The slave trade between the Vikings and the Muslims in Central Asia are known to have functioned from at least between 786 and 1009, as big quantities of silver coins from the Samanid Empire has been found in Scandinavia from these years, and people taken captive by the Vikings during their raids in Western Europe were likely sold in Islamic Central Asia, a slave trade which was so lucrative that it may have contributed to the Viking raids in Western Europe, used by the Vikings as a slave supply source for their slave trade with Islamic world.[16]

The slave trade between the Vikings and Bukhara via present day Russia ended when the Vikings converted to Christianity in the 11th century. However, East Europeans were still exported to the slave trade in Central Asia. During the warfare between the Russian principalities in the 12th century, Russian princes allowed their Cuman (kipchak) allies to enslave peasants from the territory of opposing Russian principalities, and sell them to slave traders in Central Asia.[17]

Turkish peoples

A major source of slaves to the Samanid Empire was the non-Muslim Turkish peoples of Central Asian steppe, which were both bought as well as regularly kidnapped in slave raids by the thousands to supply the Bukhara slave trade.[3]

The slave trade with Turkish people was the biggest slave supply for the Samanid Empire. Until the 13th century, the majority of Turkish peoples were not Muslims but adherents of Tengrism, Buddhism and various forms of animism and shamanism, which made them infidels and as such legitimate targets for enslavements by Islamic law. Many slaves in the medieval Islamic world referred to as "white" were of Turkish origin.

From the 7th century onward, when the first Islamic military campaigns were conducted toward Turkish lands in Caucasus and Central Asia, Turkish people were enslaved as war captives and then trafficked as slaves via slave raids via southern Russia and the Caucasus into Azerbaijan, and through Karazm and Transoxania into Khorasan and Iran;[5] in 706 the Arab governor Qotayba b. Moslem killed all men in Baykand in Sogdia and took all the women and children as slaves in to the Umayyad Empire [18][5] and in 676 eighty Turkish nobles captured from the queen of Bukhara were abducted to the governor Saʿīd b. ʿOṯmān of Khorasan to Medina as agricultural slaves, where they killed their enslaver and then committed suicide.[19][5]

The military campaigns were gradually replaced by pure commercial Muslim slave raids against non-Muslim Turks into "infidel territory" (dār al-ḥarb) in the Central Asian steppe, resulting in a steady flow of Turks to the Muslim slave markets of Bukhara, Darband, Samarkand, Kīš, and Nasaf.[5] Aside from slave raids by Muslim slave traders, Turkish captives were also provided to the slave trade as war captives after warfare among the Turkish peoples themselves in the steppes (as was the case of Sebüktigin), and in some cases sold by their own families.[5]

Turkish slaves were the main slave supply of the Samanid slave trade, and regularly formed a part of the land tax sent to the Abbasid capital of Baghdad; the geographer Al-Maqdisi (ca. 375/985) noted that in his time the annual levy (ḵarāj) included 1,020 slaves.[5] The average rate for a Turkish slave in the 9th century was 300 dirhams, but a Turkish slave could be sold for as much as 3,000 dinars.[5]

The trade in Turkish slaves via Bukhara continued for centuries after the end of the Samanid Empire.

Slave market

The slaves were both sold at the Bukhara slave market for domestic use in the Samanid Empire, as well as sold to slave traders and exported to other lands in the Middle East, particularly to the Abbasid Caliphate.[3]

The slave market in the Muslim world prioritized women for the use of domestic servants and concubines (sex slaves) and men as eunuchs, laborers and slave soldiers.

In the sexual slave market, light skinned girls were considered more exclusive for slave concubinage in the harems of the Muslim world than African women from the Trans-Saharan and the Red Sea slave trade, and European women were popular, but Turkish girls were a more common ethnicity.

Turkish male slaves were considered supremely suitable as slave soldiers for their background in the hard life style of the steppe, a stereotype al-Jahiz described in his Resāla fī manāqeb al-Tork wa ʿāmmat jond al-ḵelāfa ("epistle on the excellences of the Turks"), who were characterized as loyal and having a "single-minded devotion to their masters", being slaves and as such without any loyalty to their own families.[5] Turkish men were particularly preferred to supply the Abbasid Army of ghilman slave soldiers in Baghdad.[3] Mamluk soldiers were introduced in Yemen during the Ziyadid dynasty (818–981),[20] and Turkish slave soldiers were to become a popular ethnicity from the beginning, eventually the preferred choice of ethnicity for this slave category.[21]

In addition to slave soldiers, Turkish male slaves were also popular as palace slaves, and Turkish slaves served as cupbearers to rulers such as the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, whose Turkish cupbearer and favorite Ayāz b. Aymaq played a political role at the Ghaznavid court.[5]

The slave trade was the main trade income of the Samanid Empire,[3] and alongside agriculture and other trade, the slave trade was the economic base of the state.[3]

Chagatai Khanate and Timurid Empire (13th–15th centuries)

By the time of the Mongol campaigns in Central Asia, Bukhara belonged to the Khwarazmian Empire. The city was a still flourishing as a commercial center of the slave trade in Central Asia. During the Mongol invasion of the Khwarazmian Empire, Bukhara was pillaged after the Siege of Bukhara in February 1220. After the conquest of the Mongol Empire, Bukhara belonged to the Chagatai Khanate (1266–1347) and then the Timurid Empire (1370–1501).

Slave trade

See also: Slave trade in the Mongol Empire

Bukhara was rebuilt after have been pillaged by the Mongols in 1220. Having been a major center of slave trade in Central Asia for centuries, Bukhara was integrated in the extensive network of the slave trade of the Mongol Empire. The Mongol Empire conducted a massive international slave trade with captives during the continuous Mongol invasions and conquests, and founded a network of cities to traffick slaves from one end of the Empire to the other.[22] This network functioned to traffick different categories of slaves to slave markets where they were most requested; such as trafficking Muslim slaves to Christian lands and Christian slaves to Muslim lands.[22]

The slave trade network of the Mongol Empire was organized in a route from North China to North India; from North India to the Middle East via Iran and Central Asia; and from Central Asia to Europa via the Steppe of the kipchak territory between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea and Caucasus.[22] This slave trade route was connected via a number of cities used to transport slaves to the peripheries of the Empire, consisting of the capitals of the Mongol Khanates – with the capital of Qaraqorum as the main center – and already existing slave trade centers, notably the old slave trade center of Bukhara.[22]

The slave trade was fed by raids and purchase by slave traders; by tributary system in which subjugated states were forced to give slaves as tributes; and by war captives during the warfare campaigns during the Mongal Empire and its succeeding Khanates. During Timur Lenk's sack of Delhi, for example, thousands of skilled artisans were enslaved and trafficked to Central Asia and gifted by Timur to his subordinate elite.[6]

Indian slaves

During the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526), Hindus were enslaved in such large quantities for export to the Central Asian slave market that Indian slaves became low price slaves, available and affordable, and increased their demand in international markets.[6] Aside from war captives enslaved during that period, the Delhi Sultanate was provided with large numbers of Hindu slaves via their revenue system, in which the subordinate iqta'dars ordered their armies to abduct Hindus in large numbers as a means of extracting revenue.[6] Taxes were often extracted from communities less loyal to the Sultan in the form of slaves, and non-Muslims who were not able to pay taxes could be defined as resisting the authority of the Sultan and thus abducted as slaves in warfare; Sultan 'Ala al-Din Khalji (r. 1296–1316) legalized the enslavement of non-Muslims who defaulted on their revenue payments.[6]

Slave market

The slave market of Bukhara continued as a major center of export of slaves to the Muslim world. The Middle East continued to have a big market for the slave categories of girls for sexual slavery and boys for eunuchs and military slavery.

The supply of Turkish slaves started to gradually reduce from the early 14th century onward in parallel with the growing conversion of Turkish peoples to Islam, which protected them from enslavement by Muslims. However, the demand for Turkish slaves were still high.

Turkish girls continued to be a popular target for sexual slavery as concubines; Shajar al-Durr were likely originally a Turkish slave concubine.[23]

Turkish male slaves kept being viewed as ideal for military slavery. Turkish men were popular as slave soldiers in the slave market of the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526) and the Rasulid dynasty of Yemen (1229–1454).[21]

A Bukhara endowment deed from 1326, for example, named nineteen slaves of several ethnicities: Mongolian, Indian, Chinese (Khitai) and Russian.[24]

Kitan slaves from North China were popular slaves for the Muslim slave market in prior to the Mongol conquest, and were reputed for their beauty in Central Asia in Iran.[24]

In the domestic market in Central Asia, slaves were used in private households, to maintain the garden, and to cultivate the land and managed the livestock on the plantations of Central Asia's wealthy families; they were used for military slaves, as laborers to maintain irrigation canals, in brick factories, and trained to work in construction engineering. Private individuals could own hundreds of slaves: one Juybari Sheikh (a Naqshbandi Sufi leader) owned over 500 slaves, forty of them pottery producers, and others agricultural laborers, tending livestock, and carpenters. Indian slaves were particularly appreciated as skilled artisans because of the advanced Indian textile industry, agricultural production and architecture. A particular category were sex slavery, and attractive slave girls were sold for a higher price than artisans skilled att construct engineering.[6]

Khanate and Emirate of Bukhara (16th–19th centuries)

The slave trade in Khiva and Bukhara was described by the English traveller Anthony Jenkinson in the mid-16th century, at a time when they were major global slave trade centers and the "slave capitals of the world".[25]

In the 16th century, most slaves trafficked via Khiva and Bukhara were either Persians or Russians. About 100,000 slaves were sold in the slave market of Khiva and Bukhara every year, most of them Persians or Russians.[25]

In the 19th century, the Khivean slave trade became bigger than the Bukhara slave trade,[26] but both maintained many similarities. Turkmen tribal groups performed regular slave raids, referred to as alaman, toward two sources of slaves; Russian and German settlers along the Ural, and Persian pilgrims to Mashad, two categories who as Christians and Shia-Muslims respectively were seen as religiously legitimate to target for enslavement.[26]

Indian people

A source of slaves were Hindu Indias imported via the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan, who were popular for the domestic market in Bukhara.[6] Alongside Christian Russians, Buddhist Qalmaqs, non-Sunni Afghans and Shia Iranians, Hindu Indians were an important category of slaves in the Central Asian slave trade from at least the Middle Ages and the early modern era. Due to polytheist Hindus being clearly identified as kafirs, "non-believers" in Islam, Indians were viewed as undoubtedly legitimate targets for enslavement and popular as slaves in the Central Asian slave market.[6]

While the Muslim domination in Northern India did not introduce slavery to India, where slavery are known since the 6th century BC, the institution expanded during the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526) and the Mughal Empire (1526–1856), and contributed to the traffick of humans between Central Asia and India.[6]

Indian merchants transported Indian slaves to the Central Asian slave market, and enslaved Indians were bought or traded for commodities such as horses by Central Asian slave traders, who transported them to Central Asia via the Hindu Kush by caravan; in 1581 the Portuguese Jesuit missionary Father Antonio Monserrate noted that the "Gaccares" (Ghakkars) tribe in Punjab who functioned as mediators in the slave trade between Indian and Central Asia, trading Indian slaves for Central Asian ("TurkV) horses to such a degree that they became associated with the proverb, "slaves from India, horses from Parthia".[6] The caravan roads of Central Asia were frequented by bandits who robbed the merchants along the roads, and in case of Indian merchants, the merchants and their retinue could be not only robbed but themselves taken captive and sold on the slave market.[6]

Indian slaves were also given as gifts between rulers; in the 16th century, for example, four slaves skilled in masonry were given by the Mughal emperor Akbar to 'Abd Allah Khan II of Bukhara.[6] In 1589, the price of a thirty-three-year-old male Indian slave in good health was sold in Samarqand for 225 tanga, and Indians were referred to as "slave-sheep".[6]


A major source for slaves to the Khiva and Bukhara slava trade were Persians; while Islam banned Muslims from enslaving other Muslims, the Persians were Shia-Muslims while Khiva and Bukhara were Sunni-Muslims, and were therefore seen as legitimate targets for slavery.[25]

Shia Iranians were seen as legitimate targets for Sunni Muslim Turkmen and Uzbek slave traders.[6]

Iranian Shia were captured in during the warfare between the Uzbek and the Safavid, and by Turkmen slave raids to villages of North Western Iran.[6]


During the early modern era (16th–18th centuries), Khiva and Bukhara imported large numbers of Europeans slaves kidnapped by the Crimean Tatars (normally Russians).[25]

Christian Russian settlers were as non-Muslim seen as legitimate target for enslavement, and abducted from the frontiers by Crimean Tatars, Nogay, Qalmaq and Bashkir, and transported to the slave markets of Khiva, Balkh and Bukhara.[6]

Slave market

See also: History of slavery in the Muslim world, History of concubinage in the Muslim world, Islamic views on concubinage, Ma malakat aymanukum, Qiyan, Jarya, and Abd (Arabic)

In the 16th century, Bukhara exported slaves to Central Asia, the Middle East and India. The Bukhara slave market was a destination for slave merchants from India and other countries of the "East", who came to Bukhara to buy slaves.[27] The slaves were exported from Bukhara to other Islamic khanates in Central Asia.

Bukhara also used slaves for their domestic market. The use of slaves in Bukhara followed the normal model of slavery in the Islamic world. Female slaves were used as domestic servants or as concubines (sex slaves). Baron Meyendorff reported in the 1820s that a skilled artisan could be sold for about 100 tilla, while an attractive slave girls could be sold for as much as 150 tilla.[6]

Male slaves were used as ghilman slave soldiers. Bukhara also used slave labor in their agriculture, normally Indian slaves.[28]

In the 19th century, the slave markets of Khiva and Bukhara were still among the biggest slave markets in the world. The Turkmen were so known for their slave raids that it was said that Turkmen "would not hesitate to sell into slavery the Prophet himself, did he fall into their hands".[27] The constant raids against travellers constituted a problem for travelling in the region.

Between 20.000 and 40.000 slaves are estimated to have existed in Bukhara in 1821, and around 20.000 in the 1860s.[28]

Royal harem

See also: Circassian slave trade, Abbasid harem, Safavid harem, Qajar harem, and Ottoman Imperial Harem

The royal harem of the ruler of the Emirate of Bukhara (1785–1920) in Central Asia (Uzbekistan) was similar to that of the Khanate of Khiva. The last Emir of Bukhara was reported to have a harem with 100 women, but also a separate "harem" of ‘nectarine-complexioned dancing boys’.[29] The harem was abolished when the Soviets conquered the area and the khan Sayyid Mir Muhammad Alim Khan was forced to flee; he reportedly left the harem women behind, but did take some of his dancing boys with him.[29]


See also: Russian conquest of Bukhara

The slave market in Bukhara as well as that in Khiva was banned in 1873 after Russian conquest. However, the process was different. Bukhara became a Russian protectorate after the Russian conquest of Bukhara in 1868. The Russians did not have complete control over Bukhara, where the Emir was still formally in charge. When the slave trade in neighboring Khiva was abolished after the Russian conquest of Khiva in 1873, this put pressure on the Russians to use their power to abolish slavery also in Bukhara. Russia was under pressure by both nationally and internationally Western opinion to abolish slavery and slave trade.[30]

The Russian-Bukharan Treaty of 1873 abolished the Bukhara slave trade.[30] In contrast to neighboring Khiva, slavery as such was not banned in Bukhara after slave trade was banned.[30] The Russian General Governor congratulated Emir Muzaffar bin Nasrullah for having abolished the slave trade in Bukhara, and expressed his hope that also slavery itself would be gradually phased out during a ten-year period.[30]

The Emir promised the Russians that he would abolish slavery in 1883 on condition that the former slaves remained with their enslavers until then, after which they would be given the right to buy themselves free; after this promise, the Russians abstained from pressuring the emir more in the issue to avoid damaging their diplomatic contact with him.[30]


However, despite the official abolition of 1873, the slave trade continued illegally with the blessing of the emir, who himself continued to buy Persian slaves from Turkmen slave traders to staff his harem with slave soldiers and his harem with slave concubines.[30] In 1878, a Russian agent reported that he had witnessed slave trade in Bukhara,[30] and in 1882 the English traveller Henry Lansdell was made aware about the still ongoing slave trade.[30]

Emir Muzaffar bin Nasrullah did not abolish slavery in 1883 as he had promised the Russians. However his son Emir 'Abd al-Ahad Khan fulfilled his father's promise by officially abolishing slavery in the Emirate of Bukhara.[30] However, slavery in Bukhara continued, and the Royal Household and the Royal Harem continued to be staffed with slaves acquired from Turkmen slave trade agents in secrecy;[30] when the Emirate of Bukhara was annexted by the Communist Soviet Union after the Bukharan Revolution and the Bukhara operation (1920), when the last Emir, Sayyid Mir Muhammad Alim Khan, fled from the Red Army and left his slave concubines behind.[29]

See also


  1. ^ Gangler, A., Gaube, H., Petruccioli, A. (2004). Bukhara, the Eastern Dome of Islam: Urban Development, Urban Space, Architecture and Population. Tyskland: Ed. Axel Menges.
  2. ^ a b c Mayers, K. (2016). The First English Explorer: The Life of Anthony Jenkinson (1529–1611) and His Adventures on the Route to the Orient. Storbritannien: Matador. p. 122-123
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gangler, A., Gaube, H., Petruccioli, A. (2004). Bukhara, the Eastern Dome of Islam: Urban Development, Urban Space, Architecture and Population. Tyskland: Ed. Axel Menges. p. 39
  4. ^ Golden, Peter Benjamin (2011a). Central Asia in World History. New Oxford World History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-979317-4, p. 64
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j BARDA and BARDA-DĀRI iii. In the Islamic period up to the Mongol invasion in Encyclopedia Iranica
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Levi, Scott C. “Hindus beyond the Hindu Kush: Indians in the Central Asian Slave Trade.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 12, no. 3, 2002, pp. 277–88. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25188289. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.
  7. ^ Pargas & Schiel, Damian A.; Juliane (2023). The Palgrave Handbook of Global Slavery Throughout History. Tyskland: Springer International Publishing. p. 126
  8. ^ The Palgrave Handbook of Global Slavery Throughout History. (2023). Tyskland: Springer International Publishing. p. 126
  9. ^ Korpela, J. (2018). Slaves from the North: Finns and Karelians in the East European Slave Trade, 900–1600. Nederländerna: Brill. p. 33-35
  10. ^ The slave trade of European women to the Middle East and Asia from antiquity to the ninth century. by Kathryn Ann Hain. Department of History The University of Utah. December 2016. Copyright © Kathryn Ann Hain 2016. All Rights Reserved. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6616pp7. p. 256-257
  11. ^ "The Slave Market of Dublin". 23 April 2013.
  12. ^ The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 3, C.900-c.1024. (1995). Storbritannien: Cambridge University Press. p. 91
  13. ^ The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives. Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium. (2007). Nederländerna: Brill. p. 232
  14. ^ a b c The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 3, C.900-c.1024. (1995). Storbritannien: Cambridge University Press. p. 504
  15. ^ Korpela, J. (2018). Slaves from the North: Finns and Karelians in the East European Slave Trade, 900–1600. Nederländerna: Brill. p. 62
  16. ^ The slave trade of European women to the Middle East and Asia from antiquity to the ninth century. by Kathryn Ann Hain. Department of History The University of Utah. December 2016. Copyright © Kathryn Ann Hain 2016. All Rights Reserved. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6616pp7.
  17. ^ Eurasian Slavery, Ransom and Abolition in World History, 1200–1860. (2016). Storbritannien: Taylor & Francis. p 143-152
  18. ^ H. A. R. Gibb, The Arab Conquests in Central Asia, London, 1923, pp. 19–20
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  20. ^ The Palgrave Handbook of Global Slavery Throughout History. (2023). Tyskland: Springer International Publishing. 143
  21. ^ a b The Palgrave Handbook of Global Slavery Throughout History. (2023). Tyskland: Springer International Publishing. 149
  22. ^ a b c d The Cambridge World History of Slavery: Volume 2, AD 500-AD 1420. (2021). Storbritannien: Cambridge University Press. p. 88
  23. ^ The Secret History of Iran – Page 127.
  24. ^ a b The Cambridge World History of Slavery: Volume 2, AD 500-AD 1420. (2021). Storbritannien: Cambridge University Press. p. 89
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  26. ^ a b Barisitz, S. (2017). Central Asia and the Silk Road: Economic Rise and Decline Over Several Millennia. Tyskland: Springer International Publishing., p. 223
  27. ^ a b Mayers, K. (2016). The First English Explorer: The Life of Anthony Jenkinson (1529–1611) and His Adventures on the Route to the Orient. Storbritannien: Matador. p. 121
  28. ^ a b Dumper, M., Stanley, B. (2007). Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia. Storbritannien: Bloomsbury Publishing., p. 97
  29. ^ a b c Khan-Urf, R. (1936). The Diary of a Slave. Storbritannien: S. Low. p. 41
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Becker, S. (2004). Russia's Protectorates in Central Asia: Bukhara and Khiva, 1865–1924. Storbritannien: Taylor & Francis., p. 67-68