Glottocode: oira1262, ISO 639-2: xal

Oirat Mongolian

The western provinces of Mongolia – Bayan-Ölgii, Khovd, Uvs – are inhabited by an extremely diverse range of ethnic groups made up of the Altai Uriankhai, Bayad, Dörvöd, Zakhchin, Khoton, Khoshuud, Myangad, Ööld, and Torguud. All these groups together make up the Oirat Mongolian people who, along with official Khalkha Mongolian, speak their native dialects of the Oirat language, also known as Altai Oirat.

After conquering and depopulating the Dzungar Khanate between 1755 and 1758, the Qin dynasty administration divided the surviving Oirats according to their own administrative groups. As a result, large numbers of Dörvöd, Bayad, and Khoton people were relocated to Kobdo (Khovd) district of Qin's Empire, established in 1762 on the vast lands east of the Altai Mountains. By the end of the 18th century the Kobdo district included 30 khoshuun (administrative unit) with population of Bayad, Dörvöd, Zakhchin, Khoton, Khoshuud, Khoyid, Myangad, Torguud, Uriankhai, Uuld (Elute) ethnic origin (Ochirov 2010: 14).

Settlements represented in our collection