Khutulun Biography

Khutulun, the daughter of Kaidu Khan and a descendant of Genghis Khan, was born into a powerful and influential family during the height of the Mongol empire. Growing up with 14 brothers, she received training in warfare and became known as one of the fiercest warriors in her father’s army. Not only was she skilled in battle, but her father also trusted her counsel in political matters. Despite her strength and prowess, Khutulun remained unmarried as no man could defeat her in wrestling, a condition she set for her potential suitors.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Aigiarne, Aiyurug, Khotol Tsagaan, Ay Yaruqhutulun
  • Died At Age: 46
  • Born Country: Mongolia
  • Family: father: Kaidu
  • Noblewomen
  • Died on: 1306

Background

Khutulun was born in 1260 as the great-great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan, during the height of the Mongol Empire. Her father, Kaidu Khan, ruled over central Asia, Mongolia, Siberia, and a small part of India. Despite the Mongols being known as warring people, Khutulun grew up in a society where girls were as brave and open-minded as the males. She showed immense interest in learning the art of war and made herself physically stronger than her peers. Khutulun gained a reputation for beating male wrestlers at a young age, becoming one of the most desirable women in the empire.

Adulthood

By the time Khutulun turned 20, she had become a beautiful young woman and a fierce warrior. Her cousin, Kublai Khan, had established the Yuan Dynasty in China and desired a more political and decent society. However, Kaidu Khan wanted to preserve the traditional Mongol way of life. This led to a period of brutal battles between the two factions. Khutulun’s bravery and warring skills contributed to her father’s victories on the battleground.

Marriage(s)

As one of the most desirable princesses in the Mongol empire, Khutulun received numerous marriage proposals but refused to marry for a long time. Rumors about her having incestuous relationships with her father circulated due to her refusal. Eventually, she agreed to marry but set a condition that she would only marry a man who could beat her in wrestling. Many men tried, but none succeeded. The losers had to pay her a fine of 100 horses, and within a few years, she owned a horde of 10,000 horses. Despite remaining unmarried into her late 30s, Khutulun eventually married twice, choosing her grooms according to her own preferences.

As the Successor

Khutulun was the favorite child of her father and he wanted her to succeed him on the throne. However, her brothers strongly opposed this idea. After her father’s death, she guarded his tomb for a few months with the support of her brother Orus. Khutulun did not desire the throne for herself but had ideas about who should be the successor. She successfully kept her relative Duwa and her brother Chapar away from the throne. Khutulun passed away under unknown circumstances in 1306 at the age of 46.

Legacy

For centuries after her death, Khutulun remained mostly anonymous in history. However, in the 17th century, writers, poets, and folk singers kept her memory alive. She gained further recognition through her portrayal in Netflix’s series “Marco Polo,” where she was played by Claudia Kim.

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