Stage 1 – Hazara ancestors before 12th century (The Huns)

30 10 2009

Note: Please read Introduction before continuing with this post.

The Kushans

Kushan Empire is believed to be one of the first recorded empires in the history of Afghanistan. It was a religious and multi-ethnic empire that had its capital located at Bamiyan city. Hazara ancestors had settled in Bamiyan and other area around it before the first century. The Kushan Empire was run by the people of Bamiyan who were Buddhist at that time. They were also joined by the people of Takharistan. Kushan Empire started in the 1st century AD and ended 300 years later.

The Huns

‘Turan’ is an ancient Dari word which means Central and part of North Asia. To be more specific it refers to the regions that are today known as Mongolia and some countries surrounding it. Around 400 BC, present day Mongolia was home to many nomadic tribes. It was around 250 BC when a young and capable leader named Touman Khan appeared among the tribal Khans in the steppes of Mongolia. In 234 BC his son Modu/Mette was born who later formed the Great Hun Empire in 209 BC.

There are some sources that introduce Huns as an Iranic people or just as an unidentified group of people. However, it is quite clear who Huns were and what their origin was. ‘Hun’ is an ancient Mongol/Turkic word which means ‘people’. Huns were the ancestors of all Mongol and Turk tribes.

All the nomadic tribes who lived in the great vast steppes of Mongolia were united by Modu Khan and formed one united Hun army. Chinese sources refer to Huns as ‘Xiongnu’. Their sources contain information regarding Hunnic lifestyle, tradition and military conquests. All the sources refer to them as brave and skilful hunters and superb horsemen who had a nomadic lifestyle.

Hun Empire kept growing year by year. Their confidence and unity made them believe that there was no power that could resist or stand against their army. Slowly they started expanding to the West in Eurasian regions as well as to other parts of Asia.

In Europe, Huns were led by Atila Khan, where he created the European Hun empire. Later, his successors established Hungary and Bulgaria.

Sami are the indigenous people of Sweden. They have a lot in common with the Huns. Their language and culture suggest that they are also Mongoloid and related to Huns.

Hun conquestsRed Huns and Ak Huns

Moving back to the Hun conquest, while most of the Huns continued their expansion in the West, some rode South towards present day Afghanistan. Red Huns also known as Chionites, settled in Central Afghanistan and were in power for one hundred years (from 320 AD – 420 AD) when the Ak Huns (Hephthalites) also came and replaced the Red Huns.

Ak Huns ruled from 420 AD till 600 AD. Ak in Turkic means white, therefore, Ak Hun means White Huns or Hephthalites. After their settlement in those regions, they had a long history of conflicts with the Sasanids. Sasanids were an Indo-European people located in the present day Iran.

Buddhas of Bamiyan were built by the Huns of Central Afghanistan. But it is still uncertain as to which particular Hunnic group built them. According to Ann Heirman and Stephan Peter (1), the Giant Buddhas of Bamiyan were built by the Ak Huns. However, another source mentions that these Buddhas were erected by the Red Huns, before the arrival of the Ak Huns (2).

Unfortunately there are not enough sources to tell us the exact names of all the tribes that were part of these Huns. However, the link between the present day Hazaras and the Huns are quite clear. Uar and Hun were the two biggest tribes, but there were many more.

Atta, Yezderi, Baghcheri and Gari are some of the ancient Hazara tribes who live mainly in Ja Ghury, Afghanistan. Without a doubt, these names resemble ancient Hunnic names. There are many similarities and proofs that suggest these tribes are descendants of Ak Huns.

Hazara ancestors before the 12th century created several empires:

  1. Kushan Empire
  2. Red Hun and Ak Hun Empires
  3. Kabul Turk Shahi
  4. Ghaznadiv Dynasty
  5. Ghurid Turkic Dynasty



(1) “The Spread of Buddhism” by Ann Heirman & Stephan Peter Bumbacher, Part 8 Vol. 16, pp 88

(2) “Rhie 1999-2002” Vol. 1. pp 232f




19 responses

2 11 2009

Quite interesting and some new information for me. Where do you have your source from?

3 11 2009
Baatur Shefa

I used various sources in my posts. What I’m presenting here are summaries of what I found. I wasn’t able to source everything, but in this post, I used the following books. They go into proper details talking about Turk o Mongol (Hunnic) Empires in general. Lets keep in mind that Hazara is a new name, which was given to us after the collapse of the Ilkhaanid Hazara Empire (Mongol State) in the Middle East. So if we try searching for the name Hazara before the Ilkhaanid Empire we won’t find anything. BTW thanks for your interest Maina jan and I hope it answers your question.

1- Nomadic Empires: From Mongolia to the Danube
Author – Gerard Chaliand

2- The Huns
Author – E. A. Thompson

4 11 2009

Great Post Batur.
Keep up posting such findings. Fingers crossed for you!

4 11 2009

It’s plausible that the Huns drifted to west from China. It doesn’t really suggest that they are the only people who lived in the world at that time. If so, why are there merely hundreds of different tribes and culturaly distinct hazaras around the the geographical location of koshan empire. Mongols are mixed with Hazaras, but they are not the sole and only origin of Hazaras. I suggest that you review some scholorly sources from Hazara authors.
Bias will cost you, your credibility. If you want to write about history. Don’t make up things that satisfy your make-believes.

5 11 2009
Baatur Shefa

Don’t get confused between the “Huns” that I’m writing about and “Hans” of China. Just to clear things up, this post has NOTHING to do with the ethnic Han Chinese. “Huns” and “Hans” are two different races from different countries. The Huns that I’m writing about here were the ancestors of todays Mongols, Hazaras, Turks, Bulgarians, Hungarians etc, not Chinese Hans. Thanks anyways!

4 11 2009
Razik Moghulkhani

درود باتور عزیز
نوشته و تحقیقت در خور ستایش است. آفرین. کاری عالی انجام داده اید. می خواستم یک نکته را یاد آوری کنم که هون های سفید بعد از کوشانی ها به قدرت رسیده اند یعنی همزمان با زوال کوشانی ها، هون ها قدرت را دردست گرفته اند. آتیلا قهرمان نامدار هون ها هست که قلمروش از شرق چین تا خاک المان کنونی بوده است. جالب است بدانید که فرانسوی ها به آلمانی ها هون می گویند، دلیلش می گویند که آلمان ها مخلوطی از نژاد آریایی و هون است به حساب فرانسوی ها. حالا چقدر واقعیت دارد، به خدا معلوم

شاد باشی و شادم کام

4 11 2009

Hey Baatur, great work I just got this link in my facebook and was looking for the same sort of info. About the history of hazaras so thanx!

5 11 2009
Baatur Shefa

Thanks for your kind words everybody. Daiyar jo, how lucky can you get to be in the country where our ancestors came from. All the best berar.

Rizak birar jor bashi. Its interesting to know that Germans are called by that name by the French. Sounds a bit difficult to accept at first, but Hun history is full of surprises. Getting back to the topic, different sources present different info/theories regarding this so it really depends on where we are getting our info from. Its good to hear from you brother, keep in touch alai.

5 11 2009

Baatur jan thanks. I hope to see more posts from your reserchs.

5 11 2009

great articles.
would you mind if i mention it in my hazara mongol blog.
most of my readers are mongolians would like to know about hazaras.

5 11 2009
Baatur Shefa

Hi Byamba. Thats a good idea. I will email you the complete and sourced version by next week friday, after my exams. Thanks bro!

6 11 2009
Арслантай авдар

Монгол хэлээр бичлээ. Чамд болоод гэр бүлийнхэнд чинь сайн сайхныг хүсъе!
Монгол ах дүү нартайгаа байнгын холбоотой байгаарай. Бид Хазара ах дүүсээ үргэлж дэмжиж туслах болно шүү. Амжилт хүсъе!!!

6 11 2009

i did mention it simply.
you can reiview it.

9 11 2009
11 11 2009
Baatur Shefa

کتته رحمت بوله
یاشاسین آنایورتوموز گونی ترکستان و هزارستان

15 12 2009
Steve in the Swamps

Sam has a good point. The Huns who took several Centuries-interacting with Caucasian Central Asians probably outnumbering them-to migrate over Central and West Asia before invading Eastern Europe, may have a least some Caucasian ancestry. I am not denying they have officially West Mongolian origins (like Latin Americans and Spain), and a significant amount of their blood therefrom. But do you have actual evidence and sources that the Western Huns were pure-Mongoloid, by the time Atila invaded France and Italy?

Also: Claiming the Sami-perfectly isolated from East Asians-are pure or at leasting mostly Mongoloid is a bold claim! Do you have evidence and sources for this, either?

23 12 2009
Hamed Shefa

Firstly, Sam was confusing himself with the Han-Chinese. Like I said, “Han” is different to the “Hun”. One is Chinese and one is Mongoloid, they are even pronounced differently.

Secondly, you used the word “pure” several times while you were questioning me, which shows that you are very concerned about coming up with your own explanation of the Hunnic-race. I am aware that some Huns looked Eurasian, some had blonde hair and blue eyes. However, I’m more concerned about the identity that a group of people are bound to. The very minor Caucasian mix that they had, didn’t have any influence over their identity. There was absolutely no link between the Caucasian tribes and the Hunnic tribes of Central Asia. They are two different identities. If you are concerned about Hunnic appearance or race, they were pure Mongoloid with some Eurasian features just like the present day Hazaras, Tatars, Mongols etc who are some of their descendants.

3 03 2011

i’m mongolian /би бол Монгол хүн/. all mongolians think we are ‘Hun’??? /бид бол “хүн”/

12 03 2013
najib ataei

Gusys u are doin a great job by inlightening the rich history of the hazaras no matter what religion they blong they are all one hazara.
All we need is unity and insha allah history well repeat its self.

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