Chuisky Tract – Altai’s Path of Ancestors

part of Old Chuisky Tract

Every visitor to Altai Republic travels this storied road, a piece of the region’s cultural heritage. Largely a 2-lane highway, Chuisky Tract stretches 963 km (598 miles) from Novosibirsk to Russia’s border with Mongolia, snaking across Altai Krai and Altai Republic and on into Mongolia. In 2019 the Russian edition of “National Geographic Traveler” included…

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Altai’s Indigenous peoples – what’s in a name?

Chaga-Bayram Altaian winter new year ceremony (Photo by M. Erlenbaeva)

Russia officially recognizes 47 small-numbered peoples of the North, Siberia, and Far East. Roughly 23% of the almost 147 million people living in Russia (as of 2021) are not ethnically Russian.  The government classifies Indigenous peoples living in the country in three ways: “Small-numbered peoples” (less than 50,000 individuals), “Indigenous peoples” living in the North,…

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Happy 150th birthday to Grigory Choros-Gurkin!

For every Picasso and Rembrandt, there are many more lesser-known artists; this is the case with Grigoriy Choros-Gurkin (1870-1937). He is one of Altai’s greatest artists and most important cultural figures.  The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Choros-Gurkin’s birth and an ideal time to draw attention to the man and his work. Regarded…

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