Originally from the headwaters of the Yenisei
River, which flows north to the Arctic Ocean from southern Siberia due west of
Mongolia’s Lake Hovsgol region, Kyrgyz were a pastoral people of Turkic origin
who also engaged in hunting and fishing. They were particularly well known for
their metallurgy. But as a small tribe, they were always subject to larger
confederations from the Xiongnu period onwards. When they revolted against the
constant depredations of the uyghurs in 840, they rapidly expanded southwards
through the western part of today’s Mongolia to the Tien Shan mountains of
Xinjiang and eastern Turkestan, which they dominated for 200 years.
Although they’re successfully overthrown the
Uyghurs, they exercised only nominal control over their former empire,
especially in the east. What power and influence they held was eventually
crushed by the expanding Khitan, who were pushing west from eastern Mongolia.
Today, many of their descendants live in Tuva, an autonomous Russian republic
across Mongolia’s northwestern border. Others, driven by the Mongol Empire, migrated
southwards where they now form the majority of Kytgyzstan’s population.
Resource: Carl Robinson "Mongolia Nomad Empire of Eternal Blue Sky"