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Map of the Russia. Tuva in red.
Tuva republic map.png
Coat of Arms of Tuva
Flag of Tuva

Tuva is part of Russia. Another way to spell it is Tyva. It is in south Siberia. During the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Tuva was part of the province of Mongolia. From 1921 to 1944, Tuva was a separate country called Tannu-Tuva. In 1944, it joined Russia.


Before they joined Russian, Tuvans were nomadic people. They traveled on horses. Therefore, horses were very important in Tuvan culture. Tuvan art often shows horses. And many Tuvan songs are about horses. Tuvans lived in yurts (round, felt covered houses that are easy to take apart and carry). Even today, a few Tuvans are nomads. Ethinically they are Mongols. However, during the Soviet period, they were washed their brain as they are different from Mongols.

Tuvans are famous for their throat singing. Throat singing is a very old art. And it is very special because a throat singer can sing two or more notes at the same time. Throat singers imitate the sounds of nature. They can sound like a bird or like the howling wind. One style of throat singing has a rhythm like a horse trotting. For many centuries only men were allowed to be throat singers. But now women are throat singers too. Singing more than one note at the same time is sometimes called overtone singing.

Tannu-Tuva was also famous for its colorful and unusual postage stamps. Some were triangles. Many showed interesting pictures of life in Tuva.


Tuvans speak their own language, which is called Tuvan. It is a Turkic language. And it is related to Turkish. Before Tuva joined Russia, the Tuvan language used the Roman alphabet, which is the same alphabet that English uses. Since Tuva joined Russia, they use the Cyrillic alphabet, which is the same alphabet that Russian uses. Because Tuva is part of Russia, Tuvans also learn to speak Russian.

Geography and Climate

Kyzyl is the capital city of Tuva. The name means red in Tuvan. Tuvans say that Kyzyl is the exact center of Asia. And there is a monument to the Center of Asia in the capital. But others think that Kyzyl is not the exact center of Asia. Nevertheless, Tuva is in Central Asia. And Tuvan culture is similar to the culture of their neighbors in other Central Asian countries.

Tuva is in a mountain basin between the Sayan Mountains and the Tannu-Ola Mountains. In the east, Tuva has forests. In the west, the land is drier.

The average temperature in January is −32 °C (−25.6 °F). The average temperature in July is +18 °C (64.4 °F).


Many Tuvans have two religions. One is Shamanism. The other is Tibetan Buddhism. Many Tuvan people believe in both.


  • Wikipedia article on Tuva
  • Nomads of Eurasia, the National History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., 1989
  • Where Rivers and Mountains Sing: Sound, Music, and Nomadism in Tuva and Beyond by Ted Levin, Indiana University Press, January 11, 2006
  • The Postal History and Stamps of Tuva by S. M. Blekhman. English edition published by Scientific Consulting Services International, 1997

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