The Slavery in Central Asia (the first half of the XIX century): the Nature and Manifestations
Authors: Ivan A. Ermachkov, Larisa A. Koroleva, Elena K. Mineeva, Leonid L. Balanyuk
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The article deals with slavery in the khanates of Central Asia, primarily in Khiva and Bukhara in the first half of the XIX century. The attention is paid to the capture of prisoners and their ethnic structure, the slave trade, the living conditions of slaves, as well as attempts to free slaves from slavery, which were made both personally by the captives and by different states.
As materials, we used various materials of personal origin. First of all, these are the materials of personal origin of representatives of Russian diplomatic missions, Russian officers of the participants in the Khiva campaigns, as well as Russian and foreign travelers.
In conclusion, the authors state that the slave trade and slave capture in Central Asia accounted for a significant part of the region's economic income. The prisoners were captured by nomadic Turkmens in Persia and Russia, and then taken to slave markets in the Asian khanates. It should be clarified that the status of Asian slaves was comparable to the status of domestic animals, and various forms of violence were used against the slaves, including for religious reasons.
For the captives brought to the slave market, the nomadic Turkmens received food, and the buyers sent the captives to agricultural work, for the food production. As a result, an economically attractive chain was created between the nomad, the slave trader and the exploiter. Due to the lack of slaves, the captives were harshly exploited, receiving a minimum of food and clothing from the slave owners. Most of the slaves in Central Asia were natives of Persia, slaves from Russia were much less due to the measures to protect the border – the Orenburg line. However, to completely stop the raids on the territory of Russia, more drastic measures were required, namely, the creation of fortifications directly in the Kyrgyz steppe.