• Wikipedia says: The name Mongols (Mongolian: Монгол Mongol) specifies one or several ethnic groups. A narrow definition includes the Mongols proper (self-designation Monggol), which can be roughly divided into eastern and western Mongols. In a wider sense, the Mongol peoples includes people who speak a Mongolic language but use other self-designations, such as the Kalmyks of eastern Europe. The name Monggol has its origin in the Tungusic languages and originally means "the invincible ones". At first it was applied to a small and still insignificant tribe in the area of the Onon River. In the 13th century it grew into an umbrella term for a large group of tribes united under the rule of Genghis Khan. =========== As to their origins: this site might help When speaking about the Mongols proper, we refer to the people that originated in the region around Lake Bajkal, somewhat north of present-day Mongolia. Since prehistoric times, the Bajkal area has been a center of cultural exchange and development, due to its complex and fertile ecosystems, and its resultant significance as a source of fish and game, and also to its situation at the borderline between the Siberian regions in the North and the Turkic steppe cultures in South. =========== Wikipedia also has an article on pre-Genghis Khan Mongols: which goes back 200 000 years to try and trace the populations of the area. =============

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