Religion Past and Present

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(325 words)

[German Version]

The Uighurs are a confederation of Turkic tribes that belonged to the tokuz oguz, “nine tribes,” mentioned in Old Turkic inscriptions (7th cent.). In the 8th century, under their leader Kutluġ Bilgä Kaġan they established an independent khaganate with its capital at Karabalghasun, north of the Tien Shan mountains (Nestorian mission, map). The title of their ruler in the trilingual (Uighur, Sogdian, and Chinese) Karabalghasun inscription, tängridä bolmiş bilgä kaġan (“ruler made wise by the heavens”), exemplifies the autochthonous religious notion of tängri, an …

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Kollmar-Paulenz, Karénina, “Uighurs”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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