Kara Del
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Kara Del
Kara Del
c. 1389-1513
Location of Kara Del
Location of Kara Del
Common languagesMongolian, Old Uyghur language
Historical eraPost-classical
o Gunashiri breaks away from Northern Yuan dynasty
c. 1389
o Kara Del accepts Ming supremacy
o Conquered by Esen of the Northern Yuan dynasty based in Mongolia proper
o Coup staged by pro-Mongol faction
o Ming restores Gunashiri dynasty
Mansur Khan from the Chagatai Khanate overthrew the Gunashiri dynasty and the region's conversion to Islam
Today part ofChina

Kara Del or Qara Del was a Mongol kingdom that existed in Hami in present-day Xinjiang. It was founded by the Yuan prince Gunashiri, a descendant of Chagatai Khan, in the late 14th century (c.1389), and ruled by the Chagatayids thereafter until 1463. From 1380, it began to tribute to Ming dynasty. From 1406, it was governed by Ming under the Kara Del Guard (Chinese: ), however sometimes it was still under the influence of Northern Yuan, and the ruler was called the Obedient King (Chinese: ) under the Jimi system. It was destroyed as a result of the wars between Ming China and Oirat Mongols and dynastic succession struggles in 1513. Kara Del means "Black chest" in the Mongolian language.


In 1389, the Buddhist Chagataid prince Gunashiri broke away from the Northern Yuan dynasty, which had fallen under the reign of Jorightu Khan Yesüder, an Arig-Bokid prince. He established himself in Hami by 1390 and ruled over a Uyghur population.[1][2]

In 1404, Gunashiri's successor Engke Temiir accepted the establishment of a Ming guard and became Hami Prefecture.[2] However the Ming did not directly govern Hami or collect taxes. Engke Temiir was granted the title Zhongshunwang (meaning the obedient prince) by the Ming court.[3] During the 1430s, Kara Del submitted to the Oirats. The Uyghurs of Hami came into regular contact with Mongols in southwestern Inner Mongolia. Several Uyghur chiefs became major leaders of the western Mongols, leading to the spread of Uyghurjin as a clan name in the Ordos area.[2]

In 1463 the khan was overthrown by a pro-Mongol faction and a serious succession crisis ensued. From 1467, the Ming emperors repeatedly reinstalled members of Gunashiri's house but the situation in Hami never stabilized. Hami was conquered by Mansur Khan, the ruler of Moghulistan in 1513.[2] Mansur forcefully converted all people living in Kara Del to Islam.[4]

It was reported that between Khitay and Khotan the Sarigh Uyghur tribes who were "impious" resided, and they were targeted for ghazat (holy war) by Mansur Khan following 1516.[5][6] After the islamization of Kara Del, Uyghur fell into disuse until the 20th century, except as a local term for Muslim Turks in Hami and Turpan. In 1923, Uyghur was revived again as a general designation for Xinjiang's Tarim Basin oasis dwellers.[2]


Buddhism survived in Uyghurstan (Turfan and Qocho). during the Ming dynasty.[7]

List of rulers of Kara Del

According to Japanese popflock.com resource (ja:?):

  • Una?iri(?) (1380-1393)
  • Engke Temür () (1393-1405) (He was vassal of China since June 1404)
  • Toqto( () (1405-1411) (He was vassal of China)
  • Mengli Temür () (1411-1425) (He was vassal of China)
  • Buda?iri (? Bo Dá Sh? L?) (1425-1439) (He was firstly vassal of China, later of Northern Yuan dynasty). He was rivalled firstly To?on Temür () (1427-1437) and Toqto Temür () (1437-1439), the son of rival.
  • Khal?l suln () (1439-1457) (He was vassal firstly of Northern Yuan dynasty till 1455, later of China)
  • Bürege () (1457-1460)

Rivalry between Nuganda?iri () (1460-1472) and Ba? Temür (?) (1466-1472)

  • Qan?in () (1472-1488)
  • Engke Bolad (?) (1488-1492) and (1493-1497)
  • ?amba () (1492-1493) and (1497-1505)
  • Beyaz?t () (1505-1513)

See also


  1. ^ Ed. Reuven Amitai-Preiss, Reuven Amitai, David Morgan-The Mongol empire and its legacy, p.294
  2. ^ a b c d e Atwood 2004, p. 564.
  3. ^ Kim 2008, p. 68.
  4. ^ -? -
  5. ^ T?y? Bunko (Japan) (1986). Memoirs of the Research Department. p. 3.
  6. ^ T?y? Bunko (Japan); T?y? Bunko (Japan). (1983). Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko: (the Oriental Library). Tôyô Bunko. p. 3.
  7. ^ Saintly Brokers: Uyghur Muslims, Trade, and the Making of Qing Central Asia, 1696--1814. ProQuest. 2008. pp. 75-. ISBN 978-1-109-10126-3.


  • Atwood, Christopher P. (2004), Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, Facts On File

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