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Borjigin (plural Borjigit or Borjigid; Khalkha Mongolian: Боржигин, Borjigin; ; Manchu: ), also known as the Golden kin, Golden family or Altan urug, were the imperial clan of Genghis Khan and his successors. The Mongolian Borjigin clan is most renowned family in Inner Asia. The senior Borjigids provided ruling princes for Mongoliamarker and Inner Mongolia until the 20th century.

The clan formed the ruling class among the Mongols, Kazakhs, and other peoples of Inner Asia. Today, the Borjigid are found throughout most of Mongolia and parts of Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang.


The patrilineage began with Blueish Wolf (Borte Chinoa) and Fallow Doe (Ghoa Maral). As in the Secret History of the Mongols, their 11th generation descendant Dobun Mergen's widow Alangua the Fair was impregnanted by a ray of light. Her youngest son became the ancestor of the later Borjigid. He was Bodonchar Mungakgh (the Simple), who along with his brothers sired the entire Mongol nation. According to Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, many of Mongolian old clans were founded by Borjigin members - Barulas (Barlas), Urud, Manghud, Taichiut, Chonos, Kiyat etc. The first Khan of the Mongol was Bodonchar Mungakgh's great-great-grandson Khaidu Khan. Khaidu's grandsons Qabul Khan and Ambaghai (founder of the Taychigud sub-clan) succeeded him. Thereafter, Qabul's sons, Qutula and Yesugei, and great-grandson Temujin (Genghis Khan) ruled the Khamag Mongol. By the unification of the Mongols in 1206, virtually all of Temujin's uncles and first cousins died, and from then on only the descendants of Yesugei Ba'atur formed the Borjigid.

Mongol Empire

The Borjigin family ruled over the Mongol Empire from the 13th to 14th century. The rise of Genghis (Chingis) narrowed the scope of the Borjigid-Kiyad clans sharply. This separation was emphasized by the intemarriage of Genghis's descendants with the Barulas, Baarin, Manghud and other branches of the original Borjigid. In the western regions of the Empire, the Jurkin and perhaps other lineages near to Genghis's lineage used the clan name Kiyad but did not share in the privileges of the Genghisids. The Borjigit clan had once dominated large lands stretching from Koreamarker to Turkeymarker and from Indo China to Novgorodmarker. In 1335, with the disintegration of the Ilkhanate in Iranmarker, the first of numerous non-Borjigid-Kiyad dynasties appeared. Established by marriage partners of Genghisids, these included the Suldus Chupanids, Jalayirids in the Middle East, the Barulas dynasties in Chagatai Khanate and Indiamarker, the Manghud and Onggirat dynasties in the Golden Horde and Central Asia, and the Oirats in western Mongoliamarker.

In 1368, under Toghun Temür, the Yuan Dynastymarker was overthrown by the Ming Dynastymarker in China but members of the family continued to rule over Mongoliamarker into the 17th century, known as the Northern Yuan Dynasty. Descendants of Genghis Khan's brothers, Qasar and Belgutei, surrendered to the Ming in 1380's. By 1470 the Borjigin lines were severely weakened, and Mongolia was in almost chaos.

Post-Mongol Empire

The Tumens of Mongolia Proper and relict states of the Mongol Empire by 1500
After the break up of the Golden Horde, the Kiyad or Qiyat continued to rule the Crimeamarker and Kazanmarker until the late 18th century. Another lineage of the Borjigin-Kiyat family ruled Kazakh Khanate and Moghulistan until 18th century. They were annexed by the Russian Empiremarker and the Chinesemarker. The Kazakh aristocracy traced back their lineage to Tuqa-Timur, a son of Jochi. In Mongolia, the Kublaids reigned as Khagan of the Mongols, however, descendants of Ogedei and Arikboke usurped the throne briefly.

Under Batumongke Dayan Khan (1480-1517) a broad Borjigid revival reestablished Borjigid supremacy among the Mongols proper. His descendants proliferated to become a new ruling class. The Borjigin clan was the strongest of the 49 Mongol banners. The eastern Khorchins were under the Qasarids, and the Ongnigud, Abagha Mongols were under the Belguteids and Temuge Odchigenids. A fragment of the Qasarids deported to Western Mongolia became the Khoshuds.

The Qing Dynastymarker respected the Borjigin family and the early Emperors married the Qasarid Borjigids of the Khorchin. Even among the pro-Qing Mongols, traces of the alternative tradition survived. Aci Lomi, a banner general, wrote his History of the Borjigid Clan from 1732-35. The 18th century and 19th century Qing nobility was adorned by the descendants of the early Mongol adherents including the Borjigin.


Descent from Genghis Khan is traceable primarily in Central Asia. His four sons and other immediate descendants are famous by names and by deeds. Later Asian potentates attempted to claim such descent even with flimsy grounds. In the 14th century, valid sources (heavily dependent on Rashid al-Din and other Arabic historians) all but dry up. With the recent popularity of genealogical DNA testing, a wider circle of people started to claim descent from the great conqueror.

Among the Asian dynasties descended from Genghis Khan were the Yuan Dynastymarker of Chinamarker, the Ilkhanids of Persiamarker, the Jochids of the Golden Horde, the Shaybanids of Siberiamarker, and the Astrakhanids of Central Asia. As a rule, the Genghisid descent was crucial in Tatar politics. For instance, Mamai had to exercise his authority through a succession of puppet khans but could not assume the title of khan himself because he was not of the Genghisid lineage.

The word "Chingisid" derives from the name of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan (c. 1162–1227 CE). Genghis and his successors created a vast empire stretching from the Sea of Japanmarker to the Black Seamarker.

  • The Chingisid principle, or golden lineage, was the rule of inheritance laid down in the (Yassa), the legal code attributed to Genghis Khan.

  • A Chingisid prince was one who could trace direct descent from Genghis Khan in the male line, and who could therefore claim high respect in the Mongol and Turkic world.

  • The Chingisid states were the successor states or Khanates after the Mongol empire broke up following the death of the Genghis Khan's sons and their successors.

  • The term Chingisid people was used to describe the people of Genghis Khan's armies who came in contact with Europeans, primarily the Golden Horde, led by Batu Khan, a grandson of Genghis. These were predominantly OghuzTurkic speaking people rather than Mongols. (Although the aristocracy was largely Mongol, Mongols were never more than a small minority in the armies and the lands they conquered.) Europeans often (incorrectly) called the people of the Golden Horde Tartars.

Babur and Humayun, founders of the Mughal Empire in Indiamarker, asserted their authority as Chinggisids. Because they claimed it through their maternal lineage, they had never used the clan name - Borjigin.

The last ruling monarch, Mohammed Alim Khan (d.1944), of Genghisid ancestry was overthrown by Red Army in 1920.

Yuan Dynasty family tree in Mongolia

Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire in 1206. His grandson, Kublai Khan founded the Yuan Dynastymarker in Chinamarker in 1271. The dynasty was overthrown by the Ming Dynastymarker during the reign of Toghaghan-Temür in 1368, but it survived in Mongoliamarker, known as the Northern Yuan. Although the kingship was usurped by Esen Tayisi of the Oirats in 1453, he was overthrown in the next year. A recovery of the khaganate was achieved by Batumongke Dayan Khan, but the territory was segmented by his descendants. The last khaan Ligden died in 1634 and his son Ejei Khongghor submitted himself to Hong Taiji the next year, ending the Northern Yuan regime. However, the Borjigin nobles continued to rule their subjects until the 20th century under the Qing.

Wada Sei did pioneer work on this field, and Honda Minobu and Okada Hidehiro modified it, utilizing newly discovered Persian (Timurid) records and Mongol chronicles.

Modern relevance

The Borjigin lost power when Communists took control. Aristocratic descent was something to be forgotten in the socialist period. Stalin's henchmen executed some 30,000 Mongols including Borjigin nobles in a series of campaigns against their culture and religion. Clan association has lost its practical relevance in the 20th century, but is still considered a matter of honour and pride by many Mongoliansmarker. In 1920s the communist regime banned the use of clan names. When the ban was lifted again in 1997, most families had lost knowledge about their clan association. Because of that, a disproportionate number of families registered the most prestigious clan name Borjigin, many of them without historic justification. The label Borjigin is used as a measure of cultural supremacy.

In Inner Mongolia, the Borjigid or Kiyad name became the basis for many Chinese surnames. The Inner Mongolian Borjigin Taijis took the surname Bao (from Borjigid) and in Ordosmarker Qi (Qiyat). Recent genetic research has confirmed that as many as 16 million men from Manchuria to Afghanistanmarker may have Borjigid-Kiyad ancestry. The Qiyat clan name is still found among the Kazakhs, Uzbeks and Karakalpaks.

List of Kiyad-Borjigin dynasties

Prominent Kiyads or Borjigins

Rulers of the Khamag Mongol (11th century-1206)

Emperors and rulers of the Mongol Empire (1206-1368)

Heads of appanages

East Asia
Eastern Europe and Siberiamarker


Central Asia

Post-Mongol Empire Golden Horde (1360-1502)

Crimean Khanate (1441–1783)

Kazan Khanate (1438–1552)

Uzbek Khanates (15th - mid 20th century)

Kazakh Khanate (1456–1731)

Northern Yuan Dynasty (Post-imperial Mongolia) (1368-1635)

Ruler of the Tumed


Empress of the Qing Dynasty (1636-1717)


Image:Genghis_Khan.jpg|Chinggis KhaanImage:TuluiWithQueenSorgaqtani.jpg|Tolui with his wife Sorghaghtani BekiImage:Altan Khan.jpg|Altan KhanImage:Mengli bayezid.jpg|Mengli Giray at the court of Bayezid IIImage:Imperial Portrait of Empress Xiao Zhuang Wen.jpg|Empress Dowager XiaozhuangImage:Sengge Rinchen.jpg|Sengge RinchenImage:CoronationOfOgodei1229.jpg|Ögedei KhanImage: Batumongke Dayan Khaan.jpg|Batumongke Dayan Khan

See also


  • Wada Sei 和田清. Tōashi Kenkyū (Mōko Hen) 東亜史研究 (蒙古編). Tokyo, 1959.
  • Honda Minobu 本田實信. On the genealogy of the early Northern Yüan, Ural-Altaische Jahrbücher, XXX-314, 1958.
  • Okada Hidehiro 岡田英弘. Dayan Hagan no nendai ダヤン・ハガンの年代. Tōyō Gakuhō, Vol. 48, No. 3 pp. 1–26 and No. 4 pp. 40–61, 1965.
  • Okada Hidehiro 岡田英弘. Dayan Hagan no sensei ダヤン・ハガンの先世. Shigaku Zasshi. Vol. 75, No. 5, pp. 1–38, 1966.


  1. Caroline Humphrey, David Sneath-The end of Nomadism?, p.27
  2. The Secret History of the Mongols , Ch.1 $17
  3. Herbert Franke, Denis Twitchett, John King Fairbank - The Cambridge History of China: Alien regimes and border states, 907-1368 , p.330
  4. Kahn, Paul. The Secret History of the Mongols, p. 10.
  5. C.P.Atwood-Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, p.45
  6. Peter C. Perdue-China marches west, p.487
  7. Pamela Kyle Crossley-A Translucent Mirror, p.213
  8. Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History (Chapter VIII) By Charles J. Halperin, Published by Indiana University Press, 1985 ISBN 0253204453, ISBN 9780253204455
  9. Ann Heirman, Stephan Peter Bumbacher-The spread of Buddhism, p.395
  10. David Sneath-Changing Inner Mongolia: pastoral Mongolian society and the Chinese state, p.21
  11. Caroline Humphrey, David Sneath-The end of Nomadism?, p.28
  12. Jack Weatherford-Genghis Khan, p.XV
  13. Carole Pegg-Mongolian music, dance, & oral narrative, p.22
  14. Genetic legacy of the Mongols, American journal of Human genetics 72. p. 717-721
  15. According to H.H.Howorth, Mamai used the clan name Kiyad which is near to Genghisid lineage. However, he was not direct descendant of Genghis Khan, The History of the Mongols, part.II, D.II, p.190

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