Hoelun was the mother of Mongol Khan Genghis Khan and the grandmother of Ogedei Khan, first emperor of Yuan Dynasty. She was the wife of Yesükhei, the chief of the Kiyad clan. After Yesükhei's death, his clan abandoned Hoelun and her sons including Genghis Khan (Temujin by birth). Therefore Genghis Khan was raised in the harsh environment of the Mongolian steppes. According to Mongolian legend, Hoelun taught Genghis and his brothers the basics of unity and support for one another, even though Temujin killed his brother in a disagreement over hunting spoils. She and her children managed to survive by her gathering food, hunting and fishing.
Hoelun was born to the Olkunut tribe. She later married a member of the Merkit tribe, but was abducted by Yesugei on her way back to the Merkit camp. Yesugei made Hoelun his chief wife. This was an honor, since only the chief wife could give birth to his heirs. Together with his wife Börte, Hoelun was counted as one of the most trusted advisors of Genghis Khan.