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  • 1 Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan
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Abstract

This paper argues that until 1680s, the Oirat political culture in the upper Irtysh area was based on the leadership of Khoshut clan rather than Jungars, as it is believed nowadays. Ablai Taiji of the Khoshut nobility, the founder of the Buddhist monastery Ablai-kit, inherited and pursued a policy of cooperation with Muscovy in an attempt to profit from its trade with China. Over the course of 1670s, under pressure from his brother, Ablai lost his domains and was defeated by his enemies. To construct this narrative, this paper engages in critical analysis of diverse archival sources and existing historiography.