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Regions of Russia: Tuva


Region center of Tuva is Kyzyl

The republic of Tuva is one of the least known and most curious corners of Russia. The Tuvans are nomadic pastoralists by nature Buddhist and shamanist by religion, Mongolian by cultural heritage, and Turkic by language.

Locals say that Tuva is located in the very center of Asia. The geometrical center of the Asian continent defined by scientists lies in Kyzyl - capital of Tuva - and is marked by the stone monument.

Tuva is an area of great variety, with almost every type of landscape: luxuriant meadows, boundless steppe, medicinal springs, beautiful lakes, rushing mountain rivers fed in spring by melting snows, dusty semi-deserts and snowy chains of mountains. The high peaks and alpine lakes of the Sayan Mountains in south-west of Tuva give rise to the tributaries that merge to become the mighty Yenisei, one of Siberia's major rivers flowing over 2000 miles to the Arctic Ocean.

This magic land is famous for its unique nature reserves, traditional festivals and customs (wrestling, throat-singing, etc.) and a mixture of Buddhist and shamanist beliefs of its people.
Tuvan music and singing has become well known around the world for its unique tunes and sounds. It is indeed the Tuvan pastoralists' keen perception of natural landscapes that has most shaped their music. The Tuvans preserve what are arguably some of the world's oldest forms of music making. The best-known genre of Tuvan music is throat-singing - a spine -tingling, deep-down, tuneful chanting.

Traditionla costume of the Tuvans consists of a robe (or jacket) called hurim and Tuvan hats worn by both men and women. These traditional hats are beautifully made. Cotton lined with pointy tip, is topped with a satin knot and is trimmed with satin piping (which is also on the four velvet flaps which surround the hat).

The traditional dwelling of the Tuvans in the west and the south is a felt yurt of the Mongolian type. Tuvans also cover their yurts with deerskins.

The traditional food of the Tuvans is dairy products, meat dishes and araka, an alcoholic drink made from sour milk.

The main Tuvan festivals are Shaaga, the Buddhist New Year, which corresponds to the lunar new year, and Naadym, in July, which is an occasion for long-distance horse-racing, traditional Tuvan wrestling and throat-singing. Tuvan festivals is q unique spectacle full of singing, dancing and folk traditions.


Tuva Buddhism is the religion of Buddhism that depends on Tibet Lamaism and accepts Dalai Lama-Dalai Lama14.

Shamanism is not accepted as the official religion of Tuva but this religious belief is still preserved and maintained among the Tuvans. Shamanism goes back to animism, a belief in the presence of spirits or spiritual qualities in objects of the natural world. People contact spirits for guidance through a medium or shaman, mainly female in Tuva.


KyzylCentre of Asia Monument, Kyzyl, Tuva

  Kyzyl is the capital of the Republic of Tuva. Kyzyl is located in the place of confluence of the rivers By-Khem (Big Yenisey) and Ka-Khem (Small Yenisey), which form famous Yenisey (Ulug-Khem). It was founded by tsars government in 1914 as a sign of main point in floating. Nowadays Kyzyl is a small cosy town, buried in verdure, the main sights are the monument Centre of Asia, National Museum of Tuva, Shamans Clinic.


In the Shamans Clinic real shamans tell you about their traditions, rites and their capabilities. Those who wish to have a look to the future, to pass the purification ritual or to learn about the state of health can make an appointment with shamans.


Ritual kamlaniya - are made mainly with the purpose of doctoring people, less often on the grounds of failures, in case of loss of cattle, fortune-telling, etc. Shamans are very concrete people, and will not make kamlaniya abstractly, without a specific purpose and once disturb spirits for no reason. After the dinner there will be a performance of traditional Tuva throat singing - "khoomei".


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