(redirected from Tuvans)
Also found in: Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(self-designation, Tyva in the singular and Tyvalar in the plural; obsolete designations include Soyons, Soyots, Uri-ankhaitsy, and Tannu-Tuvans), a nation (natsiia; nation in the historical sense) and the basic population of the Tuva ASSR. The Tuvinians of the Tuva ASSR number 139,400 (1970, census), and another 20,000 live in the Mongolian People’s Republic. The language of the Tuvinians is Tuvinian. Religious believers are either Lamaists or shamanists. The Tuvinians are members of the Mongoloid race.

Until the advent of socialism, the Tuvinians, a nomadic people of steppe and mountain-steppe areas, were chiefly engaged in the raising of livestock and primitive land cultivation. They raised sheep, goats, cattle, and horses; in the western and southwestern mountain regions camels and yaks were also raised. The felt yurt was the basic dwelling. The northeastern Tuvinians, or Todzhinians, inhabited the taiga and raised reindeer and hunted; other important means of livelihood were gathering and fishing, especially among poor families. The Todzhinians lived in chums.

The steppe-dwelling Tuvinians, who represent more than 95 percent of all Tuvinians, are descended from ancient Turkic-speaking Central Asian tribes and Mongolian-speaking groups assimilated by them. The taiga-dwelling Todzhinian Tuvinians developed through the assimilation of Samoyed and Ket groups by the Turkic-speaking population.

After the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia and the victory of the national revolution in Tuva in 1921, major transformations took place in the economy, culture, and way of life of the Tuvinians. With the help of the USSR, industrial enterprises were constructed, transportation was developed, and the first state farms and kolkhozes were established. An important step forward in the development of a national culture came in 1930 with the creation of a national writing system based on Latin script; in 1941 a Russian-based alphabet was introduced. After Tuva became part of the USSR in 1944, radical changes took place in the economy, culture, and way of life, primarily as a result of collectivization and the Tuvinians’ adoption of a settled mode of existence. Socialist agriculture, industry, transportation, and culture are developing, and the formation of a Tuvinian socialist nation has been completed. (See also.)


Narody Sibiri. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
Vainshtein, S. I. Tuvintsy-todzhintsy. Moscow, 1961.
Vainshtein, S. I. Istoricheskaia etnografiia tuvintsev: Problemy kochevogo khoziaistva. Moscow, 1972.
Vainshtein, S. I. Istoriia narodnogo iskusstva Tuvy. Moscow, 1974.
Potapov, L. P. Ocherki narodnogo byta Tuvintsev. Moscow, 1969.
Serdobov, N. A. Istoriia formirovaniia tuvinskoi natsii. Kyzyl, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The latter point reveals a very interesting aspect of our data: namely, not only ethnic Tuvans, but also Russians and other nationalities of Tyva resort to professional counter cursing.
(3) In addition to 'shamanism', Buddhism and the Russian Orthodox Church (referring to ethnic Tuvans and Russians respectively) were established as 'traditional' religions in post-Soviet Tyva.
The area is called Kanas, and it holds a gorgeous national park full of flowing emerald rivers, and snow capped peaks, and while it is part of China, its inhabitants are Mongolian nomads (Tuvans to be exact), unfortunately assigned a nationality by an arbitrary line on a map.
Tuvans, a Turkis people, make up 77.0% of the republic's population.
It could be caused difficulties of inspection of children during exit medical inspections of the children's population in remote mountain areas of republic where the message is possible by an air transport, and children from in deserted-steppe areas republic, where Tuvans have a nomadic way of life (cattle breeding).
Translator Katharina Rout traveled days on horseback to the remote land beyond the Tuvans' Great Mountain to meet with the author and research the book's subjects directly.
In the marvelous gallery of characters he presents to us, he proves to be a master portraitist whose favorite device is to allow men and women, Tuvans and Chinese, to reveal themselves in conversations and dreams.
Tuvans are linguistically a Turkic people (Castren 1857, Katanov 1903, Menges 1955), residing in what is considered to be the ancient Siberian homeland of the Turks, the Altai mountain region extending across South Siberia and Western Mongolia.
There are currently about 200,000 Tuvans still in Mongolia, with another 35,000 scatted throughout surrounding countries, besides the local population of Kanas.
While a precise "point of origin" for the use of overtones as a prominent element in a vocal music genre proves elusive, the best known roots are in Mongolian and Tuvan chanting.