Ulus of Jochi: what schoolchildren and students study on the history of the Golden Horde

Ulus of Jochi
Collage credit: DALL·E/Kazinform

This year Kazakhstan is celebrating a significant event - the 800th anniversary of Ulus of Jochi. Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the National Kurultai held in Atyrau noted the special role of Ulus of Jochi in the history of Kazakhstan. Kazinform News Agency invites the reader to learn more about how the history of Jochi is studied in schools and universities in our country.

Study in schools: program and content

As the Ministry of Enlightenment reports to a Kazinform News Agency correspondent, information about the Ulus of Jochi is available in textbooks for the 6th and 10th grades.

“In accordance with the standard curriculum for the subject “History of Kazakhstan” for grades 5-9 and grades 10-11 of secondary or general secondary levels of education, textbooks for grades 6 and 10 contain information about the era of the Golden Horde regarding the Ulus of Jochi, the development of the ulus systems on the territory of Kazakhstan,” says the Ministry’s response.

A textbook on the history of Kazakhstan for the 6th grade was published in 2018 by the “Mektep” and “Atamura” publishing houses. It includes two chapters about the Ulus of Jochi.

“The textbook contains information about the empire of Genghis Khan and the uluses, as well as about the formation of the Golden Horde (Ulus of Jochi). Students are introduced to the nature of the Turko-Mongol empire created by Genghis Khan. At the same time, along with information about the uluses created by the heirs of Genghis Khan - Chagatai, Ogedei, Tole - information is given about the ulus of Genghis Khan's eldest son - Khan Jochi, about the creation of the ulus and its territories. Thus, students, learning about continuity in the structure of states, study the development of the ulus system on the territory of Kazakhstan. Using the map of the empire created by Genghis Khan and his heirs, they analyze the path of transformation of the Golden Horde state into a huge empire,” reports the press service of the Ministry of Enlightenment.

In the textbook on the history of Kazakhstan for the 10th grade (“Mektep” publishing house, 2019) there is a chapter “Ethnogenesis and ethnic processes on the territory of Kazakhstan in the Mongol era.” It examines the periods of origin of the Kazakhs, the emergence of the ethnonym “Kazakh”, the importance of the ethnogenesis of the Kazakhs in the creation of the Kazakh Khanate and the cultural and genetic code.

“The textbook includes the topics “Development of the ulus system on the territory of Kazakhstan”, “Geopolitical activity of states in the XIII-XV centuries and their influence on historical processes in Eurasia.” Students become acquainted with the government structure of the Ulus of Jochi (Golden Horde), receive information about the relations between the Golden Horde and Rus'. Children will learn about continuity in government on these topics and study the development of the ulus system in Kazakhstan. Children develop knowledge about the main periods and features of the social, cultural, political and economic development of society on the territory of Kazakhstan, from ancient times to the era of the Golden Horde (Ulus of Jochi),” says the Ministry’s response.

Also, the Ministry of Enlightenment also announced that textbooks will be updated and new information about the Ulus of Jochi will be included.

Studying at universities

A historian participating in writing a new academic history of Kazakhstan, director of the Scientific Institute for the study of the Jochi Ulus of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, PhD, Zhaksylyk Sabitov, said that so far there is no course on studying the history of Jochi in our higher educational institutions.

He notes that it is a matter of time before the study of the history of Jochi becomes standard at all universities in Kazakhstan.

“It’s a matter of time, we are only now starting to focus on it. And I think that, of course, this historical topic will soon appear in our universities and will be presented very widely in school textbooks. Of course, in the foreseeable future there will be board games based on Jochi, comics for children, and children's books. Today, the task of our historical community is to discover new information on the history of Kazakhstan, research, popularize and publish in different languages ​​for different categories of readers,” says Sabitov.

Zhaksylyk Sabitov also noted many interesting works by Kazakh and foreign historians, where those interested in the history of Jochi can find out additional information. Among them are the early work of Zardikhan Kinayat, the work of Agatay Otkirbay about Jochi in English in the Golden Horde review, a scientific book by Artem Porsin and a collective book by Emma Usmanova and Kanat Uskenbay about the mausoleum of Jochi.

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