The article deals with developing of the Kazakhs image under the influence of changing Russian socio-political environment of the XIXth century. Though the Kazakhs area was nominally a part of the Russian Empire, the Kazakhs were still a serious threat for Russian near-border settlements. It drove to the tensed national relations thus promoting an aggressive and hostile image of the Kazakhs. Later mostly due to boundary conflicts having been arranged and attacks upon the Cossacks having been stopped as well as to closer interpersonal relations having been developed, the negative “barbarian” image of the Kazakhs gave way to a new more positive and attractive one of a little naïve and light-minded, but generous, hospitable, curious, kind and softhearted nation. After The Central Asia was conquered, it had to be completely incorporated into the Russian Empire, and the Kazakhs were treated as the main allies in the process. The further image developing exposed such significant Kazakhs traits as intelligence (they were characterized as “sharp-minded”, “clever”, “curious”), striving for education, seeming religion tolerance (“absence of fanatism”), good-treating the Russians (“Russia favoritism”). All these together held out a hope of the steppe-dwellers easy and quick incorporation into the Russian Empire.
About the autors:
Svetlana Vitalievna Gorbunova, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Documentation Studies and General History
Place of employment:
Nizhnevartovsk State University
Text of scientific work: (PDF format)
Kazakhs, Russian policy towards Kazakhs, border conflicts, “the image of Other”, Islam, Westernization, incorporation of Central Asia into the Russian Empire