The Karakalpaks, known since the 16th cent., when they lived along the lower and middle courses of the Syr Darya River, were partly subjugated by the Kazakhs; they are more closely related to the Kazakhs than the Uzbeks. In the 18th cent. they migrated to their present homeland and in the 19th cent. came under the rule of the khanate of Khiva. The khanate passed under Russian control at the end of the 19th cent. and under Bolshevik control by 1920. The Karakalpak Autonomous Region was formed in 1925 within the Kazakh Autonomous Republic. It became an autonomous republic itself in 1932 and was transferred to the Uzbek SSR (now Uzbekistan) in 1936. In Dec., 1990, the republic's supreme soviet adopted a declaration of state sovereignty. After it was incorporated into Uzbekistan in 1992–93, a referendum on independence was promised after 20 years but never held.
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