The Toquz Oghuz (Old Turkic: 𐱃𐰸𐰆𐰔:𐰆𐰍𐰔, romanized: Toquz Oγuz; Chinese: 九姓; pinyin: Jiǔ Xìng; lit. 'Nine Surnames'; Tibetan: དྲུག་རུས་དགུ་, Wylie: drug rus dgu "Turks of Nine Bones")[1][2] was a political alliance of nine Turkic Tiele tribes in Inner Asia, during the early Middle Ages. The Toquz Oghuz was consolidated and subordinated within the First Turkic Khaganate (552–603) and remained as a nine-tribe alliance after the Khaganate fragmented.

Oghuz is a Turkic word meaning "community" and toquz means "nine". Similarly the Karluks were possibly known as the Üç-Oğuzüç meaning "three".[3] The root of the generalized ethnic term "oghuz" is og-, meaning "clan, tribe"; which in turn, according to Kononov, descends from the ancient Turkic word ög meaning "mother" (however, Golden considered such a further derivation impossible).[4] Initially the oguz designated "tribes" or "tribal union", and eventually became an ethnonym.

The Toquz Oghuz were perhaps first mentioned in the Orkhon inscriptions written in the 730s. The nine tribes were named in Chinese histories as the Huihe/Uyghur (回纥), Pugu (仆骨), Hun (浑), Bayegu/ (拔野古), Tongluo (同罗), Sijie (思结), Qibi (契苾), A-Busi (阿布思) and Gulunwugusi (骨仑屋骨思).[5] The first seven named – who lived north of the Gobi Desert[6] – were dominant, whereas the A-Busi and Gulunwugu(si) emerged later and were accepted on an equal footing with the others some time after 743. The A-Busi apparently originated as a sub-tribal group within the Sijie[7][8] and the Gulunwugu(si) as a combination of two other tribes.[9]

Latter Gōktürk Khagan Bilge considered the Toquz Oghuz "[his] own people". It is also mentioned in Kul Tigin inscriptions that the Göktürks and Toquz Oghuz were fighting five times in a year.[10][11][12]


Toquz Oγuz budun kentü budunïm erti teŋіri jer bolγaqïn üčün yaγï boltï.

"Nine Oguz people were my own people. Because of the sky being jumbled up with the earth, they became an enemy."

Likewise, foreign sources suggested the political association of some Toquz Oghuz tribes to Göktürks. A Khotanese Saka text about Turks in Ganzhou mentioned saikairä ttūrkä chārä (< OTrk. *sïqïr türk çor). The Sïqïr Türks were identified with the Sikāri in Sogdian documents as well as the Sijie,[13][14] who were mentioned as Tujue Sijie 突厥思結 in Zizhi Tongjian.[15][16] Among the Eastern Turkic tribes who dwelt south the Gobi desert,[a] Tang Huiyao listed the Sijie (erroneously rendered as Enjie 恩結), who dwelt in the Lushan military governorate 盧山都督府,[18] and Fuli, who dwelt in the same jimi province of Dailin as the Sijie's splinter tribe A-Busi.[19][20] The Fuli(-yu) (匐利[羽]), or Fuli(-ju) (伏利[具]),[21] were identifiable as the Fuluo (覆羅) in other Chinese sources[22][23] and the Bökli-Çöligil (OTrk. 𐰋𐰇𐰚𐰲𐰃:𐰲𐰇𐰠𐰏𐰠), who appeared on Kül-tegin inscription and were proposed to have originated from Tungusic Mohe,[24] Koreans,[25][26] or ethnic Turkic peoples. Kenzheakhmet (2014:297-299) links the Sijie's splinter-tribe Abusi (< OTrk. *Abïz) to the Fuli (< OTrk. *Bükeli < büke "snake, dragon" + coordinating conjunctive suffix -li, possibly).[27][b]

Another list of nine names - Yaoluoge (藥羅葛) (< OTrk. 𐰖𐰍𐰞𐰴𐰺‎ Yaglaqar), Huduoge (胡咄葛), Guluowu (啒羅勿), Mogexiqi (貊歌息訖), A-Wudi (阿勿嘀), Gesa (葛薩),[c] Huwasu (斛嗢素), Yaowuge (藥勿葛), & Xiyawu (奚牙勿)- appeared in the Old Book of Tang[35] and New Book of Tang.[36] According to Haneda (1957), Toquz Oğuz were the Yaglaqar-led group of nine clans included in the Uighur tribe.[37] In contrast, Golden (1992) proposed that Toquz Oğuz were the Tang Huiyao's nine-tribe group led by the Uyghur, which in turn comprised the nine subtribes led by Yaglaqar.[38] The Shine Usu inscription mentioned that the Yağlaqar ruled over the On-Uyğur "Ten[-Tribes] Uyghur" and Toquz Oğuz "Nine[-Tribes] Oghuz".[39] Meanwhile, Hashimoto, Katayama, and Senga propose that the Tang Huiyao's list (led by Uyghur) contained the names of the Toquz Oghuz tribes proper, while each name in the two lists (led by Yağlaqar) in the Books of Tang recorded each surname of each of nine subtribal chiefs (e.g. Uyghur chief's surname is Yağlaqar; Sijie chief's surname is Gesa, etc.).[40]


  1. ^ Dobrovits (2004:259) also included the Qibi among those Eastern Turkic tribes; Qibis' status as an Eastern Turkic tribe was not evident in Tang Huiyao's text, which merely mentioned the similarity between horses of the Qibi and Göktürks south of the Gobi desert.[17]
  2. ^ Reading the ethonym 𐰋𐰇𐰚𐰲𐰃:𐰲𐰇𐰠𐰏𐰠 as Bükli-Çöl-Igil, Kenzheakhmet further links the Abusi and Fuli to Sijie, based on his mistaken interpretation of Zuev that Zuev reconstructed Old Turkic igil for Sijie 思結 when in fact Zuev reconstructed Old Turkic igil for Xījiē 奚結, who dwelt north of the Helianzhi river.[28][29]
  3. ^ Dunlop (1954) links the Jiuxing's Gesa 葛薩 to the Khazars;[30] however, Dunlop's thesis has several problems: rather than to Toquz Oghuz, Chinese sources linked Khazars to the Göktürks by calling them Tūjué Kěsà bù 突厥可薩部 / Tūjué Hésà 突厥曷薩[31] (Tūjué 突厥 then was still reserved for Göktürks and their splinter groups, not all Turkic peoples[32]); the syllable Kha- in Khazar was transcribed with Chinese characters 可 (< LMC & EMC *kʰaX) & 曷 (< LMC *xʱat < EMC *ɣat) while Qa- in Qasar with 葛 (< LMC & EMC *kat); Byzantine historian Theophanes the Confessor mentioned the Khazar military commander Ziebel,[33] who was identified with Western Turkic leader Külüg Sibir.[34]


  1. ^ Kultegin's Memorial Complex, TÜRK BITIG
  2. ^ Venturi, Federica (2008). "An Old Tibetan document on the Uighurs: A new translation and interpretation". Journal of Asian History. 1 (42): p. 24 of pp. 1-35
  3. ^ Gumilev L.N. Ancient Turks, Moscow, 'Science', 1967, Ch.5[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Golden, B. P. "Oq and Oğur ~ Oğuz", Turkic Languages, 16/2 (2012), p. 183–188
  5. ^ Theobald, U. "Huihe 回紇, Huihu 回鶻, Weiwur 維吾爾, Uyghurs" in - An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art
  6. ^ Jiu Tangshu Vol. 199 lower txt. "自突厥強盛,鐵勒諸郡分散,衆漸寡弱。至武德初,有 [...] 契苾回紇、[...] 僕骨拔野古同羅渾部思結、[...] 等,散在磧北。" tr. "As Tujue are strong and prosperous, all Tiele districts are divided and scattered, the masses gradually dwindled and weakened. At the beginning of Wude [era], there are [...] Qibi, Huihe, [...] Pugu, Bayegu, Tongluo, Hun, Sijie, [...] etc. scattered north of the desert."
  7. ^ Old Book of Tang (Volume 199b "Tiele") and Tang Huiyao vol. 73 mentioned that the Dailin province (林州) was founded in the territory of the splinter tribe of Sijie (思結別部)
  8. ^ Old Book of Tang (Vol. 195 "Huihe") mentioned that the Guilin province (林州) was founded in the territory of the tribe A-Busi (阿布思)
  9. ^ Colin Mackerras (March 1990). "Chapter 12 - The Uighurs". In Denis Sinor (ed.). The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-521-24304-9.
  10. ^ Ergin 1970:81
  11. ^ Gündüz 2002/2:263
  12. ^ Bilge Khagan Inscription at Türik Bitig
  13. ^ Bailey, H.W. (1949) "A Khotanese texts concerning the Turks in Kanṭṣou" in Asia Major New Series 1.1, p. 50 of pp. 28-52
  14. ^ Bailey, H.W. "The Staël-Holstein Miscellany" (1951) in Asia Major New Series 2.1, p. 19 of pp. 1-45
  15. ^ Sima Guang et al. Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 196
  16. ^ Zuev, Yu. "Horse Tamgas from Vassal Princedoms" (Translation of Chinese composition "Tanghuiyao" of 8-10th centuries), Kazakh SSR Academy of Sciences, Alma-Ata, 1960, p. 114 (in Russian)
  17. ^ Tang Huiyao, vol. 72. txt. "契苾馬。與磧南突厥相似"
  18. ^ Jiu Tangshu, Vol. 199b Tiele
  19. ^ Tang Huiyao, vol. 72 txt. "匐利羽馬。磧南突厥馬也。剛摩利施山北。今蹛林州。印勿" tr. "Horses of the Fuli wing, i.e. horses of Tujue south of the desert. [They dwelt] north of Gangmolishi mountains, in present-day Dailin province. Tamga [resembles] [character] 勿"
  20. ^ Dobrovits, M. "The Thirty Tribes of the Turks" in Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hung. Volume 57 (3), p. 259 of pp. 257–262 (2004)
  21. ^ Suishu Vol. 51
  22. ^ Tongdian vol. 199 Tiele
  23. ^ Zuev, (1960) p. 110
  24. ^ Yıldırım, Kurşat. (2019) "Some Opinions on the Role of the Mohe 靺鞨 People in the Cultural and Ethnical Relationships between Tungusic, Turkic and Mongolian Peoples" in "Competing Narratives between Nomadic People and their Sedentary Neighbours" Studia Uralo-altaica, 53 , Ed. Chen Hao, Szeged, pp. 327-332."
  25. ^ Kül-tegin inscription Note 139 at Türik Bitig
  26. ^ Henning, W. (1948). The Date of the Sogdian Ancient Letters. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 12(3/4), p. 611 of pp. 601-615.
  27. ^ Kenzheakhmet, Nurlan(2014). ""Ethnonyms and Toponyms of the Old Turkic Inscriptions in Chinese sources". Studia et Documenta Turcologica. II: p. 297-299 of pp. 287-216
  28. ^ Tang Huiyao, Vol. 72 "奚結馬。與磧南突厥馬相類。在雞服山南。赫連枝川北住。今雞祿州。印坎" "The Xijie's horses, i.e. horses of the Tujue south of the [Gobi] desert. They dwelt south of Jifu mountains, north of Helianzhi river, now [in] Jilu pronvince. Their tamga [resembles] [the character] 坎"
  29. ^ Zuev, Yu.A. (2002) Early Turks: Sketches of History and Ideology Daik-Press, Almaty. p. 45 (in Russian)
  30. ^ Dunlop, Douglas Morton (1954). History of the Jewish Khazars. New York: Schocken Books. p. 34-40
  31. ^ Golden, P.B. (2007). "Khazar Studies: Achievements and Perspectives". In Golden, Peter B.; Ben-Shammai, Haggai; Róna-Tas, András (eds.). The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives. Handbook of Oriental Studies. 17. BRILL. p. 16-17 of pp. 7–57.
  32. ^ Lee, Joo-Yup (2016)."The Historical Meaning of the Term Turk and the Nature of the Turkic Identity of the Chinggisid and Timurid Elites in Post-Mongol Central Asia". Central Asiatic Journal 59(1-2): p. 103-105 of pp. 101–32.
  33. ^ The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor: Byzantine and Near Eastern History AD 284-813 (1997). translated by Cyril Mango and Roger Scott, assisted by Geoffrey Greatrex. Clarendon Press, Oxford. p. 447
  34. ^ de la Vaissière, Étienne "Ziebel Qaghan identified" in C. Zuckerman (ed.), Constructing the 7th century (Travaux et mémoires 17), Paris 2013, pp. 741–748
  35. ^ Jiu Tangshu Vol. 195
  36. ^ Xin Tangshu Vol. 217a
  37. ^ Haneda Tōru 羽田亨,「九姓回鶻とToquz Oγuz との関係を論ず」, 1957:341.
  38. ^ Golden, P.B. (1992) An Introduction the History of Turkic Peoples p. 156-157
  39. ^ Golden, P.B. "’Eternal Stones’: Historical Memory and Notions of History Among the Early Turkic Peoples" ed. I. Poonawala, Turks in the Indian subcontinent, Central and West Asia (New Delhi: Oxford University Press-Delhi, 2017): p. 16, 51 of 3-63.
  40. ^ Senga, T. (1990). "The Toquz Oghuz Problem and the Origins of the Khazars". Journal of Asian History. 24 (1): 57–69. JSTOR 419253799.