Central Asian people for kids - Central Asian women, slaves, families

Central Asian People

Scythian women
Scythian women, on a gold plaque (PLATAR collection)

From prehistory right through the Middle Ages, most Central Asian people's most important attachments were to their family and their clan or tribe. Men, women, boys and girls wore clothes that identified which clan and which family they belonged to. They learned the stories of their clan, and they sang the songs of their clan.

Because families were so important in Central Asia, women held more power than in West Asian or Chinese states, and more than in ancient Greece or Rome. One in five Scythian women was buried with armor and weapons, and it may be that the Greek stories of Amazons come from Scythian women fighting as soldiers in Central Asian battles. Some Central Asian people had one woman marrying several men at the same time.

Like everywhere else in Asia and Europe at this time, some Central Asian people were slaves. Often people became slaves when they were captured in a war, or because their parents were poor and sold them into slavery. Most Central Asian slaves lived like other poor people in their area, herding cattle, spinning, making felt, and carrying water.

Also like everywhere else, most Central Asian kids didn't go to school. Kids needed to learn how to ride horses, and how to fight, and how to make cloth, more than they needed to read or write.

To find out more about Central Asian people, check out these books from Amazon or from your local library:

Tales told in Tents Empire of the Mongolians

Tales Told in Tents: Stories from Central Asia by Sally Pomme Clayton (2000). For kids.
Empire Of The Mongolians, by Michael Burgan (2005). Young adult.

Central Asian History
Central Asia Home

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