Life in the Altai Republic

“Altai’s Strawberry Fields Forever” Article in the Moscow Times. Written by: V. Ryzhkov

You really must read the above article if you ever wondered what life is like for native peoples in Siberia. It wonderfully describes everyday life for many Altai people (follow this link to a fabulous site of photos of the people of Altai) who live in the country side. It is comparative to life for other ethnic peoples who live in small villages in the Siberian “outback”. Follow the links below, and read on for a smorgasbord of Siberian native culture.

This song is entitled “My People”, and is a fabulous example of Altaic “Throat Singing”. The group is called “Altai Kai”, which means Altai throat singing. (Also referred to as “Overtone Singing”.) For Tuvan throat singing, follow this link. For Buryat throat singing, click here.

The Altai people are actually a confederation of a number of small Turkish people groups who settled in the Altai mountains centuries ago. I use the term “settle” loosely, as the Altayans are traditionally nomadic. In 1207 they along with several other peoples, including the Buryats, were conquered by Genghis Khan’s army, and became part of the great Mongol empire. They are known for throat singing, and continue to inhabit the mysteriously enchanting Altai Mountains.

In 2008 a small group of people from the Altai republic came to Bozeman, and Yulia and I got to meet them and take them to Palisade Falls in Hyalite Canyon. We hope to visit their homeland one day.

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