Kuchum Khan (
Kuchum Khan of Sibir - Tatar: Küçüm, Күчүм,
Russian: Кучум; in Siberian Tatar Köçöm is pronounced
approximately as /kœtsœm/ - Көцөм; the name in English comes
from the Tatar pronunciation) (died ca. 1605) was the
last khan (ruled 1563–1598) of the Khanate of Sibir.
Kuchum Khan's attempt to spread Islam and his cross-border raids met
with vigorous opposition from the Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible
(reigned 1547-1584), who sent a force of
confront him head-on (ca. 1580).
Kuchum is particularly noted[by
whom?] for the vigorous resistance he offered to the Russian invaders.
2 War with Russia
4 External links
Kuchum was the son of prince Mortaza from the Shayban dynasty
(Şäyban). In 1554, he contested the throne of the Siberia Khanate
against the incumbents brothers Yadegar (Yädegär) and Bekbulat, who
were both vassals of Russia. In 1563, Yadegar was defeated and Kuchum
assumed the throne. In 1573,
Kuchum conducted a raid on Perm. It was
this and other minor raids which prompted the Tsar of
Cossack invasion of Siberia.
War with Russia
The fall of
Qashliq to Yermak, and the flight of Kuchum. A miniature
from the Kungur Chronicle
Main article: Conquest of the Khanate of Sibir
In 1582, the
Siberia Khanate was attacked by the
Yermak, who defeated Kuchum's forces and captured the capital Qashliq.
Kuchum retreated into the steppes, and over the next few years
regrouped his forces. He suddenly attacked
Yermak on August 6, 1584 in
the dead of night, and killed
Yermak and most of his army; regaining
control of the now ruined Qashliq.
Kuchum attempted to unite the rival
factions within the khanate nobility but met with resistance. After an
unsuccessful attempt on his life by
Qarachi Sayet khan (Säyet),
Kuchum was forced to move his horde to the steppe south of the Irtysh
river. There he attempted to establish a new khanate, engaging in war
against Russian governors.
Kuchum raided the Tatars around Tobolsk who were paying yasak
to the Russians. In 1591 Koltsov caught
Kuchum on the Ishym River and
captured two of his wives and his son Abdul-Khair who was later given
estates in Russia. In 1594 the fort at Tara was built in part to
Kuchum who was in the area. In 1595 Kuchum's followers were
raided on the upper Irtysh. In 1597
Kuchum asked for negotiations and
the Tsar and Abdul-Khair wrote from
Russia offering estates in Russia
in return for surrender. Before September 1598
Andrey Voyeykov caught
a large group of his followers at a place called Ub Lake and later
Kuchum on the Ob River.
Kuchum fled, but the Russians killed
two of his sons and captured five other sons, eight wives and eight
daughters. A Muslim cleric was sent to negotiate.
describing himself as deaf and blind and without subsistence and said
that he had not submitted before and would not submit now. This was
his last contact with the Russians. He is believed to have died c.
1605 in Bukhara. In 1620 his son Ishim-khan married a
Kho Orluk who was then leading his people from Dzugharia
to the Volga.
Kuchum is portrayed in numerous Tatar and Russian songs and legends.
His descendants remained in Muscovy, eventually assuming the title of
In 1591, Kuchum's son, Abul Khayir was the first of his dynasty to
convert to Christianity. His conversion was followed by the conversion
of his entire family who eventually assimilated into the Russian
nobility. For instance, although Abul Khayir's son was known as Vasily
Abulgairovich, his grandson's name, Roman Vasilyevich, could no longer
be distinguished from a native Russian name.
In 1686, the tsar decreed that the dynasties of the ruler of Imeretia
in the Caucasus along with the Tatar princes of Siberia and Kasimov
were to be into the Genealogical Book of the Russian nobility.
In 1661 a man who was said to be a descendent of
Kuchum fought the
Russians in Bashkiria. In 1739, during the Bashkir War, Karasakal was
said by some to be a Kuchumid.
Khan of Sibir
^ Michael Khodarkovsky, Russia's Steppe Frontier, Indiana University
Press, 2002, ISBN 0-253-21770-9, M1 Google Print, p. 265.
^ Alton S Donnelly, 'The Russian Conquest of Bashkiria', 1968, pages
23 and 127