Bulgars (also Bolgars) a people of Central Asia, probably originally Pamirian, whose branches became slavicized and perhaps Turkic over time. The Turkic etymology most often given for their name is "Bulgha" meaning mixed, though it might also be from Varkun.

Bolgars moved west from the lower-middle Volga river AD to control the second Avar dynasty of Onoguria (in Ukraine) by the mid-7th century. The group then split into two.

Western Bulgars led by Asparukh founded Bulgaria in 681 when they invaded the area, united and assimilated with its earlier Slavic and Thracian inhabitants.

Eastern Bulgars (sometimes Bolgari) remained a powerful force in the Volga region, eventually merging with local Tatar peoples. The Chuvash and Balkar languages are thought to be descendants of old Bulgar language.

Entries in the List of Bulgarian monarchs trace Bulgar history in more detail.

Tribes thought to have been Bolgaric in origin include:

  • Utighur
  • Kutrighur (Kotrags)
  • The Kuber Varkuni
  • Asparukh's Horde
  • Altasek's Horde
  • The Unok-vndur federation