Kara Del

Kara Del
c. 1389–1513
Location of Kara Del
Capital Hami
Languages Mongolian, Old Uyghur language
Government Monarchy
Khan Gunashiri
Historical era Post-classical
   Gunashiri breaks away from Northern Yuan dynasty c. 1389
  Kara Del accepts Ming supremacy 1404
  Conquered by Esen of the Northern Yuan dynasty based in Mongolia proper 1430s
  Coup staged by pro-Mongol faction 1463
  Ming restores Gunashiri dynasty 1467
   Mansur Khan from the Chagatai Khanate overthrew the Gunashiri dynasty and the region's conversion to Islam 1513
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Chagatai Khanate
Northern Yuan dynasty
Today part of  China
Part of a series on the
History of Xinjiang

Kara Del or Qara Del was a Mongol kingdom that existed in Hami in present-day Xinjiang. It was founded by the Yuan prince Gunashiri, a descendant of Chagatai Khan, in the late 14th century (c.1389), and ruled by the Chagatayids thereafter until 1463. It was destroyed as results of the wars between Ming China and Oirat Mongols and dynastic succession struggles in 1513. Kara Del means "Black chest" in the Mongolian language.


After the demise of the Northern Yuan emperor Tögüs Temür, Kublai Khan's (r. 1260-1294) descendant, the throne of Mongolia passed into the hands of Jorightu Khan Yesüder, an Arib-Bokid prince, in 1388. With the anarchy after the Mongol Emperor's death, Chagatai Khan's descendant, Gunashiri, who followed the Yuan court's retreat into Mongolia, attempted to break away from the new Khan's rule. By 1390, Gunashiri, himself Buddhist, successfully established himself in Hami where the Uighurs lived.[1]

Buddhism survived in Uyghurstan (Turfan and Qocho). during the Ming dynasty.[2]

The Kara Del accepted the Ming supremacy to save its existence in 1404, and came under Ming control as Hami Prefecture.[3] The Kara Del ruler Enke-temur was granted the title Zhongshunwang (meaning the obedient prince) by the Ming court.[4] However, they were threatened by Mongolian Emperors, particularly during the reign of Yesüder, from the north. The Oirats from Western Mongolia pressured into the kingdom from 15th century on. Their leader and Yuan taishi, Esen, (future Emperor of the Mongols) forced the Kara Del khan to submit in 1430s. The kingdom was one of two Chagatyid realms conquered by Esen, other one being Moghulistan (c. 1432). He extensively supported the rivalry between successor of Gunashiri and intervened in their dynastic struggles. The Ming Dynasty was trying to place their puppet on the throne to secure their claim at the time.

In 1463 the khan was overthrown by a pro-Mongol faction and a serious succession crisis started. From 1467 Ming Emperors reinstalled members of Gunashiri's house but the failure was evident. Hami was conquered by Mansur, the khan from another branch of the Chagatayids in Central Asia, putting an end to the dynasty in 1513. Mansur forcefully converted all people living in Kara Del to Islam.[5]

It was reported that between Khitay and Khotan the Sarigh Uyghur tribes who were "impious" resided, and they were targeted for ghazat (holy war) by Mansur Khan following 1516.[6][7]

Kara Del is a playable nation in Europa Universalis IV.

List of rulers of Kara Del

According to Chinese Wikipedia:

Rivalry between Nǔ Wēn Dá Shī Lǐ (努溫答失里) (1460-1472) and Bǎ Tǎ Mù Er (把塔木儿) (1466-1472)

See also


  1. Ed. Reuven Amitai-Preiss, Reuven Amitai, David Morgan-The Mongol empire and its legacy, p.294
  2. Saintly Brokers: Uyghur Muslims, Trade, and the Making of Qing Central Asia, 1696--1814. ProQuest. 2008. pp. 75–. ISBN 978-1-109-10126-3.
  3. C.P.Atwood-Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, p. 564
  4. Kim 2008, p. 68.
  5. 哈密回王简史-回王家族的初始 - 哈密政府网
  6. Tōyō Bunko (Japan) (1986). Memoirs of the Research Department. p. 3.
  7. Tōyō Bunko (Japan); Tōyō Bunko (Japan). (1983). Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko: (the Oriental Library). Tôyô Bunko. p. 3.
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