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Wusun --- information about this historic people can be found in Chinese historical annals.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 Anthropology and archeology
3 History
4 Language


Originally, the Wusun people lived near the Yue-zhi people, probably in the region of the eastern Tien Shan Mts. Later they moved to the Ili valley and the Issyk Kol basin.

Anthropology and archeology

According to Chinese archeologists: excavated skeletal remains of presumed Wusun people are short-headed Europoid of the Central Asian, Transoxanian type. The Wusun were described as having "green eyes and red beards", i.e., of Caucasoid appearance.


At the beginning of what is known about the history of the Wusun, they lived near the Yue-zhi people. The Yue-zhi were defeated by the rising Xiongnu empire and fled westward. En route they overrun the Wusun. The future Wusun king, Kun-Mo (< MC mak = Kun Beg?), lost his father and was left in the wild, then miraculously was saved from hunger by sucking from a she-wolf. The Xiongnu Shan-yu (ruler) was impressed and adopted the child. When the child grew up the Shan-yu gave him command of his tribe (reconstituted?) and ordered the Wusun to attack the Yue-zhi, who had taken refuge in the Ili Valley, said to be originally peopled by the Se (< MC s@k = Saka) people. The Yue- zhi was crushed completely and fled further to Ferghana, and finally settled in Bactria, and became known as the Tocharoi. The Wusun took over the Ili Valley and then expanded to occupy a large area. They were said to number 630,000 and became a respected force in Central Asia.

When the Han empire began the counter-offensive against the Xiongnu, the Wusun was won over to her side through political marriages, and the Wusun became a bitter enemy of the Xiongnu. After Han retreat from Central Asia, no much was recorded about the Wusun. They were said to be pressed by the Jou-Juan (Avar) and migrated to the Cong-ling Mts. (the Pamirs). After this event the Wusun disappeared from history, and later we found the western Turks in the former habitat of the Wusun.


There were Se (Saka) and Yue-zhi (Tocharian ?) peoples among the Wusun, so maybe they spoke Iranian or Tocharian? The Wusun shared a similar ancestor myth with the Kok Turks, so they may well be a Turkic people. There was a Wusun king called Fu-li, and Chinese scholar Han Rulin suggested a likeness to Turkic "bori = wolf".