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Dzungar people or Ööled (Ööld, Öölöd, Eleuths, Olot) or (Future Mongolian Ӫлөд) are the collective identity of several Oirat tribes that formed and maintained one of the last nomadic empires, which is one of the four major sub-tribes of the Oirat people. They are named to Zunghars (also Jungar, Dzungar or Zungar; Mongolian: Зүүнгар Züüngar; Kazakh: Жоңғар Zhongar) that means Left hands. The ancestral destan of the Choros resembles that of the ancient Uyghur empire, and the Choros claimed to have persisted through the Naiman federation prior to the Genghis conquest. They as a tribal name first appeared in the 17th century as one part of the Oirat confederation. The Qing Dynasty used the term Öölöd as euphemism for the hated word Zunghar.[1]



The Dzungars were a confederation of several Oirat tribes that emerged in the early 17th century to fight the Altan Khan of the Khalkha (not to be confused with the more well-known Altan Khan of the Tümed), the Jasaghtu Khan, and later the Manchu for dominion and control over the Mongolian people and territories. This confederation rose to power in the Altai Mountains and the Ili River Valley. Initially, the confederation consisted of the Olöt, Derbet and Khoit tribes. Later on, elements of the Khoshut and Torghut tribes were forcibly incorporated into the Dzungar military, thus completing the re-unification of the West Mongolian tribes.

According to oral history, the Olöt and Dörbed tribes are the successor tribes to the Naiman, a Turco-Mongol tribe that roamed the steppes of Central Asia during the era of Genghis Khan. The Olöt shared the clan name Choros with the Dörbed and their ancestral legend resembles that of the Uyghur royal family.


On the Öölöds before the Qing Dynasty, see Zunghar Empire.

In 1697, two relatives of Galdan Khan, Dajila and Rabdan, surrendered to the Manchu Qing Dynasty. Their people were organized into two Oolod banners and resettled in modern Bayankhongor Province. In 1731 500 households fled back to the Zunghars and the remaining Oolods were deported to Hulun Buir. After 1761 part of them were resettled in Arkhangai Province.

The Hulun Buir Oolods formed an administrative banner along the Imin and Shinekhen Rivers. Under the Chinese Empire, a body of them were resettled to Yakeshi city. In 1764 many Oolods migrated to Khovd Province and supplied corvee services for the Khovd garrison of the Qing. Their number reached 9,100 in 1989.

The Zunghars remaining in Xinjiang were also renamed Oolods. They dominated 30 sums of 148 Mongol sums during the Qing. They numbered 25,000 in 1999.



  1. ^ C.P.Atwood-Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, p.425

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