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Russian Orthodox, Shamanism
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The Tubalar are an ethnic group native to the Altai Republic in Russia.

According to the 2010 census, there were 1,965 Tubalars in Russia.

The villages with the highest population of Tubalars are Artybash, Iogach, Novotroitsk, Tuloi, Tondoshka, Kebezen, Ust-Pyzha, Biyka, Yailu, Chuyka, Torochak, Paspaul, Salganda, Karakoksha, Tunzha, Krasnoselskoye, Uskuch, Uimen, and Karasuk.


The Tubalars emerged from the mixing of Turkic tribes with Ket, Samoyed, and other native Siberian groups. This was a process that began as early as the period when the Yenisei Kyrgyz dominated the region. The Mongols then ruled over the region and people from the 13th to 18th centuries. The Dzungars than briefly controlled the area until the Tubalars (along with other Altaians) submitted to the Russians.[2] The Tubalars consider themselves to be distinct from the other Turkic peoples in the Altai region.[3]


The Tubalars were originally hunters and animals living in the taiga were vital to the local subsistence economy.[2]

The traditional dwellings of the Tubalars included polygonal yurts made out of bark or log and topped with a conic bark roof. Other types of dwellings also included conic yurts made out of bark or perches.[2]

Traditional Tubalar dress included short breeches, linen shirts, and single-breasted robes.[2]

A clan structure is still strongly prevalent among the modern Tubalars.[3]

The sacred tree of Tubalars is the cedar, a symbol of the power, beauty and courage of taiga. The Holiday of Cedar is a celebration of this tree.


Most Tubalars are Orthodox Christian but there is a significant minority that still practice shamanism. Burkhanism can also be found practiced by some Altaians in general.[2]

See also[edit]

  • Altay language (Tuba dialect is often considered a dialect of the Altay language, although whether these dialects are dialects of the "standard" Altay language or separate languages is controversial)


  1. ^ Russian Census 2010: Population by ethnicity (in Russian)
  2. ^ a b c d e Encyclopedia of the world's minorities. Skutsch, Carl., Ryle, Martin (J. Martin). New York: Routledge. 2005. pp. 82–83. ISBN 1-57958-392-X.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b Akiner, Shirin (1986). Islamic peoples of the Soviet Union : with an appendix on the non-Muslim Turkic peoples of the Soviet Union : an historical and statistical handbook (2nd ed.). London: KPI. p. 436. ISBN 0-7103-0188-X.

External links[edit]