Many thanks for the photos to Sean Quirk from ALASH Ensemble.
Tuva is located in the centre of Asia and the south of Siberia. Over the centuries, Tuva has been part of the Chinese and Mongolian empires, and shares many cultural ties with Mongolia. Since 1944 it was part of the Soviet Union and now of the Russian Federation. Within Russia it borders the Altai Republic, the Republic of Khakassia, Krasnoyarski Krai, Irkutsk Oblast and the Republic of Buryatia, and shares an international border with Mongolia to the south.
In the 2010 census, Tuva had approx. 308,000 inhabitants. The majority of them belong to the Turkic Tuvans. They are one of the largest minorities in Siberia, and besides the Sakha/Yakut people, are the only autonomous region of Siberia where the indigenous people outnumber Russians. Smaller minorities in Tuva are Khakass, Ukrainians, Komi and Tatars. The Tuvan people are known for their overtone or “throat singing“.
The official languages are Tuvan, which belong to the Turkic languages and Russian. Most Tuvans profess Tibetan Buddhism, but there are still numerous followers of indigenous shamanism and also there are Orthodox Christians.
The capital Kyzyl, founded in 1914 has appr. 110,000 inhabitants. Kyzyl means red in the Tuvan language. Kyzyl is located at the confluence of the Greater and Lesser Yenisei rivers..
Tuva is located in the foothills of the Mongolian highlands. It is divided into an eastern mountainous and a western flat territory. The climate is extremely continental with little rainfall.