With a population of 1,250,458, the Kazak ethnic group is distributed mainly in the Xinjiang Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, Mori and Barkol Kazak autonomous counties. Some are also located in the Gansu and Qinghai provinces.
The Kazak language belongs to the Turkic branch of the Altaic language family. Most Kazak people live in mountain areas, valleys and basins. In spring, summer and autumn, they live in collapsible round yurts and in winter build flat-roofed earthen huts in the pastures.
Kazaks used to wear garments make of animal skins, and now cotton and coarse cotton cloth are very common. Men usually dress in black and brown. Women love to wear dress with embroidered sleeves and sleeveless jacket with beautiful patterns outside.
The Kazaks, men and women alike, are good horse riders. There are many activities related horse. Young men like wrestling and a game in which horsemen compete for a sheep. There are horsemanship displays on the grasslands during festivals. The young people like to play a “girl-running-after-boy” game. The boys and girls ride their horses to an appointed place; the boys can “flirt with” the girls on the way.
Kazaks are warm-hearted, sincere and hospitable. Their staple food consists of meat, mile, tea and wheat flour. Meat includes meat eaten with their fingers, fumigated horse intestine and roasted sheep. Horse milk wine is absolutely necessary drinking in parties and feasts. The Kazak people believe in Islam, so they have the same taboo as other Moslems.