István Zimonyi (University of Szeged, Hungary) “Identities among the Nomads of Central Eurasia”


Nationality among the nomads of Eurasia has special aspects: 1. The nomadic tribes and tribal confederacies can be described as using the model of gens, including the common origin, traditions and language; 2. The lack of political stability is a key factor in the history of Eurasian steppe. It means that there is no ethnic continuity from the Middle Ages; 3. A nomadic way of life is against the territorial principles of settled civilisations. The confusion of linguistic and historical aspects is a source of misunderstanding, the languages can be identified with ethnic groups and the use of affinity among peoples is logically absurd and unacceptable. Finally, the formation of modern Uygur and Tatar nations are analysed as examples.