Tuvan


Tuvan

people
also called  Tuvinian, or Tannu-tuvan, Soyot, or Uryankhai,  

      any member of an ethnolinguistic group inhabiting the autonomous republic of Tuva in south-central Russia; the group also constitutes a small minority in the northwestern part of Mongolia. The Tuvans are a Turkic-speaking people with Mongol influences. They live among the headwaters of the Yenisey River, in an area that has characteristics of both Siberian taiga and Central Asian steppe. Pastoralism and hunting are their traditional occupations, but there is also some sedentary agriculture. The growing of millet and fishing have customarily been a subsidiary part of the economy. Oats, barley, wheat, and vegetables are also grown. The Tuvan traditional dwellings include the felt tents (called gers, or yurts) of the steppe peoples and the conical bark tents of Siberia.

      Since the 17th century the Tuvans have come under increasing Russian cultural influence. Their traditional social organization is based on a system of clans, and their traditional religion combines shamanism and features of Tibetan Buddhism. They practice a unique musical form called throat singing, in which a singer produces two or three tones simultaneously. In the late 20th century the Tuvans numbered more than 200,000 in Tuva and about 25,000 in Mongolia. There were also several hundred in other areas of Siberia and in China.

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Universalium. 2010.

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