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The Kazakhs (also spelled Kazaks, Qazaqs; Kazakh: Қазақ, Qazaq, قازاق‎ About this sound /qɑ’zɑq/ (help·info), Qazaqtar, Қазақтар, قازاقتار‎ About this sound /qɑzɑq’tɑr/ (help·info); the English name is transliterated from Russian) are a Turkic people who mainly inhabit the southern part of Eastern Europe and the Ural mountains and northern parts of Central Asia (largely Kazakhstan, but also parts of Uzbekistan, China, Russia and Mongolia), the region also known as the Eurasian sub-continent. Kazakh identity is of medieval origin and was strongly shaped by the foundation of the Kazakh Khanate between 1456 and 1465, when several tribes under the rule of the sultans Zhanibek and Kerey departed from the Khanate of Abu’l-Khayr Khan.

The Kazakhs are descendants of the Turkic and medieval Mongol tribes – Argyns, Dughlats, Naimans, Jalairs, Keraits, Khazars, Qarluqs; and of the Kipchaks and Cumans,[25][26] and other tribes such as the Huns and Nogais, and ancient Iranian nomads like the Sarmatians, Saka and Scythians who populated the territory between Siberia and the Black Sea before the 5th and 13th centuries AD.[27][28][29][30]