Forced Migration of Kyrgyz to China in the 20th Century: Field Research in 2015 in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China
The paper discusses the issue of forced migration of Kyrgyz known as “Urkun” to China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in 1916-1934. It is based on fieldwork research on the territory of China inhabited by ethnic Kyrgyz who had settled there due to forced migration. Currently, Kyrgyz live in seven villages which have national status. The main part of research consists of fieldwork observations in two Kyrgyz national villages of Kulja and Nylky in the Ile-Kazakh Autonomous Province of China. When telling their stories of “Urkun,” the respondents confirmed that there were three forced migrations and explained which one of the migrations is called “Big Urkun” and which one is “Small Urkun.” Archival documents from the Soviet period also revealed evidence about the existence of a clear division of forced migration in three phases, based on the memory of Kyrgyz living in China.