Though multilayered identity has been an inherent part of Mongol social and cultural history, the particular patterns it assumes in the present are to a significant degree a product of historical changes of the period from 1600 to 1800. The Qing, particularly, both nurtured the establishment of criteria of Mongol affiliation and forced the political dismemberment of territories inhabited by a majority of those now considered Mongols. Resistance to this process among some Mongol groups was continuous, contributing to the momentum behind the reclamation of partial political sovereignty by Mongols in the last years and after the fall of the Qing empire. People now entertain a notion of “Mongol”as a distinguishable cultural identity, but it is not limited to, congruent with, or intimately associated with the only state that at present uses the word Mongolia in its name.
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