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Total population over 220,000 ?
Regions with significant populations Russia (200,000), Mongolia (20,000), China
Language Russian, Tuvan
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.

There are two major groups of Tuvans in Tuva: Western Tuvans and Tuvans-Todzhins (Тувинцы-тоджинцы). The latter ones live in Todzhinsky District, Tuva Republic and constitute about 5% of all Tuvans.

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.

The traditional religion of Tuvans is animism (shamanism), which is still widely practiced alongside Tibetan Buddhism<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> .

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>

A people similar to Tuvans live in Okinsky District of Buryatia (self-naming: Soyots (сойоты), sometimes referred to as Okinsky Tuvans).


[edit] 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>

[edit] See also

[edit] References


[edit] External links

hr:Tuvanci pl:Tuwińcy ru:Тувинцы sr:Тувинци sh:Tuvanci zh:图瓦人

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