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Azim Malikov

Abstract

The Kazakhs, Turkmens, Tajiks, Qaraqalpaqs, Uyghurs and Uzbeks in Central Asia share some distinct sacred lineages – Sayyids and Xojas – some of which appear in two or more of these ethnic groups. In the article, I will analyse some data on the history and identity of Islamic sacred lineages of Samarqand, compiled during ethnographic research of the population and archival materials. I will analyse the stories of the representatives of sacred families about their past, as well as published narratives. The analysis of the sources shows that despite the preservation of the historical family library, a secularised society and the Soviet-era education influenced the views and the identity of sacred families.

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Azim Malikov

Abstract

The Kazakhs, Turkmens, Tajiks, Uyghurs and Uzbeks in Central Asia share some distinct religious elite groups – Xojas – some lineages of which appear in two or more of them. The Xoja group is a patrilineage, which traces kinship through blood relationships. Endogamous marriages prevail among the Uzbek-speaking Xoja contrary to descendants of nomadic, Kazakh-speaking Xojas. In this article I compare the kinship systems of the Uzbek-speaking Xoja of the Uzbek people and the Kazakh-speaking Xoja of the Kazakh people and analyse their transformation in the twentieth century. The analysis shows that interpretation of differences in kinship terminology is situational: in some cases it is interpreted as an example of adaptation to different cultures, and in other instances it may serve as a symbol of belonging.