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October 8, 2002

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Kazak is a Turkic word that means adventurer or outlaw. Today's Kazaks are descendents of the Mongol and Turkic hordes of Ghengiz Khan (as are the Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, and Tatars) and the Kazak's separate identity begins in 1468 when an internal feud split a leftover Golden Horde remnant of Islamic Mongols into two groups, one group in the south settled down to become Uzbeks while the northern group continued their nomadic ways and became Kazaks. The Kazaks created the last great nomadic empire, stretching for miles east and west from the Syr-Darya River.
The statue depicts the famed Kazak singer, Zhambyl (yes, of course, him). The ramshackle tenement keeps a museum on the ground floor that holds Kazakhstan's most treasured archaeological find...
...the Golden Man, a Scythian warrior dressed in a glittering funeral suit of armor, made of 4000 gold pieces put together over 2500 years ago.