Vasilyev D., Mazaev N. Court Ceremony of the Kazakh Khans in the Eyes of a European: The Court of Abulkhair in the Diary of John Castle

Dmitry Vasilyev
Moscow City University
Moscow, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0001-6616-0646
E-mail: dvvasiliev@mail.ru 

Nikita Mazaev
Moscow City University
Moscow, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0003-0615-8987
E-mail: mazaev-nikita14@yandex.ru

 

Download  |  Go to Issue #4. 2021

 

ABSTRACT. In 1736, English traveler and artist John Castle visited the domain of Abulkhair, the Khan of the Junior Zhuz. In his diary, he described the entire way from Orenburg to the Khan’s lands and back. This text is not only a source on the ethnography of the Kazakhs, but also a detailed description of ‘Oriental’ diplomatic rituals through the eyes of a Western person. Castle had to interact with the members of the Khan’s family and his close associates, as well as with ordinary Kazakhs. Obviously, this required not only knowledge of local customs, but also that of diplomatic etiquette, as well as perseverance and advanced situational thinking. Another, no less important, aspect of diplomatic relations was the food served at official receptions. The traveler managed to convey not only its descriptions, but also, more importantly, how and in what quantity it was prepared, the sequence of dishes, who took part in banquets, what role the Khan played in them, and also what place and role was assigned to the foreign envoy. Castle’s accuracy and eye for details gives an opportunity to look behind the scenes of the official side of the diplomatic ritual and understand the Khan’s perception of his allegiance and attitude toward the Russian Empire and the Empress through the manner of his speech, listening and behavior. Thus, the diary of the English artist and traveler John Castle allows us to look at the Russian-Kazakh diplomacy of the 1730s through the eyes of a foreigner, as well as to consider its essence and character. 

 

KEYWORDS: John Castle, travel diary, Kazakh steppe, Abulkhair, Russian Empire

 

DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2021-4(14)-08-18
УДК 327(091)

 

REFERENCES

  • Castle J. Dnevnik puteshestviia v godu 1736-m iz Orenburga k Abulkhairu, khanu kirgiz-kaisatskoi ordy [Diary of the Travel in the Year 1736 from Orenburg to Abulkhair, Khan of the Kirghiz-Kaisak Horde]. Almaty: Zhibek zholy, 1998. (In Russian)
  • Koval'skaia S. I. Zhivopis' kak istochnik po izucheniiu povsednevnosti kazakhskogo naroda XVIII-XIX vekov [Painting as a Source for Studying the Everyday Life of the Kazakh People of the 18–19th Centuries]. Chastnoe i obshchestvennoe v povsednevnoi zhizni naseleniia Rossii: istoriia i sovremennost' (regional'nyi aspekt): Sbornik materialov mezhdunarodnoi nauchnoi konferentsii [The Private and the Public in the Everyday Life of the Population of Russia: History and Modernity (Regional Aspect). Collection of Materials of the International Academic Conference]. Ed. by V. A. Veremenko. St. Petersburg: Kul'turno-prosvetitel'skoe tovarishchestvo, 2018, pp. 511–516. (In Russian)
  • Musabalina G. T., Abdykulova G. Rol' Orenburga v razvitii torgovykh otnoshenii s kazakhskoi step'iu i so Srednei Aziei v XVIII v. [The Role of Orenburg in the Development of Trade Relations with the Kazakh Steppe and with Central Asia in the 18th Century]. Desiatye Bol'shakovskie chteniia. Orenburgskii krai kak istoriko-kul'turnyi fenomen: Sbornik statei mezhdunarodnoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii [Tenth Bolshakov Readings. Orenburg Territory as a Historical and Cultural Phenomenon: Collection of Articles of the International Academic and Practical Conference]. Ed. by S. V. Liubichankovskii. Orenburg: Orenburgskii gosudarstvennyi pedagogicheskii universitet, 2020, pp. 39–42. (In Russian)
  • Oktiabr'skaia I. V., Suraganova Z. K. Gostepriimstvo v kul'ture kazakhov v kontekste prestizhnogo potrebleniia. Traditsii i sovremennost' [Hospitality in Kazakh Culture in the Context of Prestigious Consumption. Tradition and Modernity]. Gumanitarnye nauki v Sibiri, 2012, no. 2, pp. 107–117. (In Russian)
  • Pochekaev R. Yu. Zapadnye sovremenniki o gosudarstve i prave post-ordynskikh khanstv XVI-XVIII vv.: otrazhenie realii ili prodvizhenie vozzrenii? [Western Contemporaries about the State and Law of the Post-Horde Khanates of the 16–18th Centuries: A Reflection of Reality or the Advancement of Views?]. Zolotoordynskaia tsivilizatsiia, 2017, no. 10, pp. 358–366. (In Russian)
  • Saparniiazov A. T. Chto pisali evropeiskie uchastniki Orenburgskoi ekspeditsii o karakalpakakh XVIII v.? [What did the European Participants of the Orenburg Expedition Write about the Karakalpaks of the 18th Century?]. Arkhivarius, 2021, vol. 7, no. 3(57), pp. 27–30. (In Russian)
  • Smirnov Yu. N. Angliiskii risoval'shchik i sotrudnik orenburgskoi ekspeditsii Dzhon Kestl' v Samare 1730-kh godov [English Draftsman and Employee of the Orenburg Expedition John Castle in Samara in the 1730s]. Samarskii krai v zhizni i tvorchestve vydaiushchikhsia lichnostei: Sbornik statei i materialov III Mezhdunarodnoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii [Samara Territory in the Life and Work of Outstanding Personalities: Collection of Articles and Materials of the Third International Academic and Practical Conference]. Samara: Azbuka, 2003, pp. 18–26. (In Russian)
  • Smirnov Yu. N. Samara vosemnadtsatogo veka v dnevnike angliiskogo sotrudnika Orenburgskoi ekspeditsii [Samara of the 18th Century in the Diary of an English Employee of the Orenburg Expedition]. Quaestio Rossica, 2020, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 823–834. DOI 10.15826/qr.2020.3.497. (In Russian)