Learn more about Tuvans
|Total population||over 220,000 ?|
|Regions with significant populations||Russia (200,000), Mongolia (20,000), China|
|Religion|| Tibetan Buddhism ("Lamaism"), Shamanism <tr>
<th style="background-color:#fee8ab;">Related ethnic groups</th> <td style="background-color:#fff6d9;">other Turkic peoples</td>
Tuvans (or Tuvinians) are a group of Turkic people who make up about two thirds of the population of Tuva. They are also known as Uriankhai (Uryankhai, Uryanhai, Urianhai, 烏梁海 Wūliánghǎi), the name given by Mongols.
The Tuvan language belongs to the Northern or Siberian branch of the Turkic language family. Four dialects are recognized: Central, Western, Southeastern and Northeastern (Todzhinian). The written language is based on the Cyrillic alphabet.
Tuvans are cattle-breeding nomads, tendint to their herds of goats, sheep, camels, reindeer and yaks for the past thousands of years. They have traditionally lived in yurts, circular tents, that they relocate seasonally as the move to newer pastures.
A noticeable proportion of Tuvans lives in Mongolia, the largest group being Tsengel Tuvans (Altai Tuvans), around 1,500, that live in Tsengel. Tuvans in China, who live mostly in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region are included under the Mongol nationality.<ref>Mongush, M. V. "Tuvans of Mongolia and China." International Journal of Central Asian Studies, 1 (1996), 225-243. Talat Tekin, ed. Seoul: Inst. of Asian Culture & Development.</ref>
 Relationship to indigenous people of the Americas
According to Ilya Zakharov of Moscow's Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, genetic evidence suggests that the modern Tuvan people are the closest genetic relatives to the native peoples of North and South America. This hypothesis is further supported by many religious, cultural, and linguistic similarities between the two population groups. <ref>"Central Asian Origins of the Ancestor of First Americans", by I. Zakharov (Russian)</ref>
 See also
 External links