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‘Our Greatest Riches’: Horses at the Intersection of Settler and Kazakh Society in the Late Imperial Period

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image of Journal of Migration History

This article examines interactions between Slavic peasant migrants and mobile pastoralist Kazakhs within the setting of the Kazakh Steppe during the period of heaviest resettlement to the region beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing into the early twentieth century. It considers how the importance of horses to both settlers and Kazakhs alike dictated these interactions and how the sedentary world of the settlers disrupted the seasonal migration routes of Kazakh horse herders. Particularly with concern to the greatly expanded horse market, issues regarding land use, and increased instances of horse theft throughout the region, the Russian state’s encroachment into the steppe forever altered the social and economic makeup of the region.

Affiliations: 1: Michigan State University,


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