KHIVA, se'vii. A vassal State of Russia, in Central Asia, situated approximately between latitudes 40° and 44° N., and longitudes 58° and 92° E. (Map: Asia, Central, H 1). It is bounded by the Aral Sea on the north, Russian Turkestan and Bokhara on the cast, and the Russian Trans easpian possessions on the south and west. Its area is estimated at over 22.000 square miles. With the exception of the portion adjoining the Amu Darya. which flows along the eastern border, the country is occupied by sandy des ert interspersed with a number of small oases. The territory depends for its water entirely on the Amu Darya, from which a number of canals extend into the interior and are used for irriga tion. The climate. although unpleasant, is healthful. The heat in the summer is very great and the winters are short but severe. The rainfall is scanty, and during the autumn great quantities of sand are blown by the wind from the surrounding desert. In the portions of the country accessible to irrigation rice, wheat, and other cereals. cotton, and southern fruits are
cultivated to some extent. Domestic animals in clude horses, camels, and sheep: wild animals, the jackal, the wolf, and the fox. Agriculture and the raising of live stock are the chief occupa tions of the natives, who are partly nomadic.
Khiva is governed by a khan whose rule is hereditary and restrained in its absolutism by Russia. The foreign relations of the khanate have been under the practical control of Russia since 1873. The population of Khiva is variously estimated at from 800,000 to less than 100,000.
The inhabitants belong to the Mongolian and Aryan races, and are composed mainly of Uzbeks, Karakalpaks, Turkomans, and Kirghizes. The Uzbeks are the ruling race, and are engaged chiefly in agriculture. The Sarts or Tajiks, sup posed by some to be the original settlers of the country, inhabit the cities, where they engage in trade and handicraft. The chief towns are Khiva, (q.v.), the capital; New Urgentch, Kiptcliak, and Kungrad.