Kazakhstan (Kaz. Kazak Respublikasy)
- Alma Kunanbayeva
- and Saida Elemanova
(Kaz. Kazak Respublikasy)
Country in Central Asia. The Kazakhs are a Turkic-speaking people who inhabit a vast area of 3000 km² from east (the Altai mountains) to west (the Caspian Sea) and 2000 km² from north (the southern Urals) to south (Tien Shan); 2·7 million km² in total. In 1991 the Kazakhs numbered approximately 10 million people, of which 6,797,000 lived in the Kazakh Republic, 1,665,000 in republics of the former USSR and 1,535,000 in other countries. The percentage of Kazakhs in the Republic's population reached 53·4% in 1999. Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Koreans, Uighurs, Uzbeks, Tartars and others (there are about a hundred ‘nationalities’) also live in the Republic, whose total population is estimated at 16·93 million in 2000.
Until the gradual annexation to Russia, completed by the mid-19th century, Kazakh musical culture was that of nomadic pastoralists, who migrated widely across steppeland in seasonal movements. Living in the transportable round felt tent or the ...