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Sibirga Natives

Siberian Natives are divided into three big language groups, which are Ugry, Samodijtsy and Turks. Separately stand tribal Natives of the Far East. There are also Nations, which languages are absolutely isolated.

Sibirga (Sibirs or Sypyrs) is a self-name name. In different times different Nations called the Sibirga different names. Siberia has been named Siberia after the Sibirga Native Nation. (Ref: G.Kostachakov, Shor historian and professor of Shor language in the University in Novokuzntesk).

The Sibirga were defined as a Nation on the banks of river Enisei.The Sibirga call this river Ene-sai, what can be translated as a mother’s bosom. Historically it occurred that the Sibirga acquired a warrior culture early. Ancestors of the Yakuts moved from the Sibirga territory to the place of contemporary Saha. Kyrgyz people did not like the Sibirga as neighbors and moved to Issyk Kul. Afterwards for about two thousands years the Sibirga lived as nomads traveling around Siberia; the Sibirga came through Minusinskaya hollow, Altai, Kazakistan and Irtysh river. At the time the Russians showed up the Sibirga lived in a bank of the river Chulym. At first the Sibirga supported Russian Kozzacs (who can be defined as a sort of army department at that times) in their war against Chingizit (Chingizhan descendant) Kuchum Han. Because the enemy of their enemy was their ally. After the defeat of Kuchum Siberia happened to have the moving of Nations. The Sibirga moved to the bank of river Tom. Soon Russian Kozzacs turned hostile. With the foundation of Tomsk city it turned to be a center for Siberian slavery. The Sibirga did not agree with that; and burned the city twice in a union with a relative Nation the Teleuts. After that Russians set the Sibirga free. The Sibirga were assigned to the lands and were given full self-government. The situation remained like that till the arrival of communists. Apart from that in a period from the 3rd till the 6th century (again in a union with related to us Teleuts) the Sibirga formed the Great Turkic Kaganat and about 300 years the Sibirga fought with the expansion of Chinese to Siberia. Finally the Chinese stated a peace with the Sibirga and forgot their intentions about Siberia. Besides this the Sibirga are mentioned in Byzantinian chronicles, again as the cruelest Nation, which cannot be paid off neither with slaves, nor with gold. In 1932 Stalin and his fellows simply prohibited the Sibirga from being a Nation and went through with physical destroying them. Several settlements officially existed in the documents, which were official before the communist revolution; after the revolution the settlements officially simply disappeared. This does not seem surprising. Why would communists report genocide they made? The 1930es brought an awful decay to the Natives because at that time shamans were physically killed being the first people in the death lists. And Shamans were natural holders of the mind opposite to totalitarian regime, and also they were holders of deep traditions and culture of their Nations.

The Sibirga had shifts during the development of their ethnicity; there were mixes with Ugry, Samodijtsy and Turks. This entire heritage now shows itself in handprints, which are almost identical with Selkups. The language has many Ugry words (Hunnu heritage). The base for the language is formed by pro-Turkic language, which is older than the inscriptions of the third century made in Turkic runes on stones. After the break of Kaganat the written language was lost. Because of the fact that Kaganat was not a state, but a war union, the Sibirga are named possibly the most ‘out of state’ Nation in Siberia. For the Ethnography specialists the Sibirga were and historically remained the least researched Siberian Nation. Actually for the very majority of Russians Siberian Natives don’t exist at all. This myth was carefully supported as in times before soviets, so in soviet times. Taking into the consideration a total information control in soviet society, this was an easy task; that is why Russians who were born and grew up in Western Siberia even being the first generation consider themselves Siberia natives, however anecdote-like it may sound. The so-called Siberian art is as a rule made by Russians. Russian as well as jewish artists frequently while being abroad use the term Siberian art for their own art style.

Nations of the arctic zone are closer to Inuit, especially Chukchis. There are Nations of fishermen cultures: Khants, Mansi. Actually such approaches are not quite correct; it is better to have some sort of classification about household activities. There are Nations who practice as fishing, so hunting, and also have domestic animals. There are Nations who specialize in some activities; it depends on the place of living. The only thing is typical for all Siberian Natives: a complete absence of agriculture. By this the Sibirga are very much different from Niijiis (Natives in Turtle Island/N.America). Nganasans is a nomadic Nation, ‘People of the white dogs’; the main occupation is in the sphere of reindeers. Shors is a Nation whose main occupation is hunting. For Sibirga the main occupation has always been war and all the social structure including language and system of relationship are built according to the principles of warrior organization. Sibirga and Shors are close in language, but completely different Nations. Shors themselves are Samodijtsy who acquired Turkic language.cradle, the very point of which can be symbolically considered to be

The Kulaj culture, which existed in Siberia about 2500 years ago, and served as a cradle almost for all the Siberian Nations. Tunes of the songs, which were sung to Siberian Natives in that cradle still sound in their legends and wisdoms by which historians recreate the essence of images and understandings of the Kulaj culture, which traditionally orally transmitted not in written words. Similarly the European culture came out from the Greek Parthenon. It means that Europeans have always been trying to change the world for themselves, and the fight with the Beast was on the first position what also includes the defeat of the Beast as a solemnity of the human mind. Kulaj culture is absolutely opposite. In that culture a human lives according to the laws of nature having Beasts as cooperating creatures, and the cathedral for the human is Nature. That’s in brief.

About ceremonies. According to Native Siberian understanding all the four parts of the world have their colors: the South is white or yellow; the North is black or blue-black; the East is blue-green; and the West is red. One of the ceremonies takes place during the floating of ice. However the ceremony during the floating of ice is not closed; this is a tribal ceremony, which is typical for all the Western Siberia Nations. According to Native beliefs, the bear, who has the status of the strongest shaman being a creature, who lives in a full agreement with the laws of Nature sleeping in winter and waking up in spring – the bear is trying to break the ice, and it is not successful in that. This is why it calls up for a wagtail, and it breaks the ice with its tail. There happen sacrifices during the ice floating. Besides all the ceremony participants who gather on a riverbank send to the North along with the ice all of their misfortunes and all of their diseases that stored during the winter time. Also during the ceremony everybody is asking everyone to forgive for the offenses and grieves. All of this along with the ice floats away to the black North. Besides a plaster cast of pike-mammoth is sent to the North; according to the Siberian beliefs old pikes don’t die, but turn into horned monsters, which are dangerous for the humans, and actually are mammoths. However this is a double-side creature because mammoth is one of the most powerful Shamanic beasts-helpers. - Shaman Akkanat

About Today's Teleuts

Teleuts - The Hidden People in Siberia

by Melody Nixon from Kaitai, New Zealand (Aotearoa)

--article from first posted Dec. 28. 2002  last edited: Sep. 23. 2005.

Novokuznetsk, Siberia, Central Russia.

In central Russia, four hundred kilometers south east of Novosibirsk, lies a mellow and haunted city; typically Siberian in it’s undiscovered nature. On the banks of the Tom river, and in the foreground of the Altai Mountains, Novokuznetsk is the city born of Irmak’s 17th century dream, the place which held Dostoeyovsky captive in his days of gaol, later witnessed his marriage, and now plays host to Russia’s greatest metallurgy factory. A city of 600,000, Novokuznetsk is a mere township by gargantuan Siberian standards. To a New Zealander from a small rural community such as myself, it is a towering megalopolis, the same size as my country’s capital. In fact, I found my perceptions of space were stretched with violent suddenness, upon my arrival in Russia. Not only were the distances incomprehensible, but also the scale of the soviet architecture and engineering seemed to have been endreamed by creatures of another planet – very large, cumbersome creatures. Slowly adapting to Siberian ways however, I discovered the secret of life in Siberia lies not in a person’s hardiness, but in how well s/he is prepared. " Endurance of the Siberian winter is not determined by a mans strength, but by the size of his coat." (Siberian proverb.) And the same applies to the distance and scale of this country. The Siberians concept of space is simply different – a drive of a few hundred kilometers is a mere potter down the road – a few thousand is a good healthy Sunday drive - anything more entitles one to a bottle of vodka or two, for company. Siberians are hardy yes, but above all adaptable. However, arriving in Novokuznetsk, I was presented with a question – What if the people here are crafty and adaptable, but simply have no money for a coat? How large does few hundred kilometers become, without a car? For despite its typically post-soviet appearance and history, Novokuznetsk is unique. Inside its apartment blocks and surrounding its suburbs live one of Russia’s smallest nationalities, the Teleuts. According to local statistics 300 Teleuts live in the city and 3,000 in the entire Kuzbass (also known as Kemerovo) region: together with the Shortzs, the smallest ethnic group in Russia, they are the only minority races in this area, surrounding the Tom river. This fact alone makes them unique and intriguing. They have a language, an outlook and a system of beliefs different to any other in the world. When one considers the understanding we all could gain (from a humanitarian and anthropological perspective) from the preserved ideology and traditions of such a culture, one realizes the attention such people deserve – or in the least the support to live fulfilling lives and develop their own ways of learning and sharing. Russia has around forty minority races held within its vast girth and thirty one of these indigenous groups live in the territories of Siberia and the Altai. Although most of the populations differ in their origin, language and culture, they are united by their common lifestyles; hunting, fishing, reindeer-breeding and herding, traditional occupations which are linked to their nomadic, or previously nomadic ways of living; low population densities; and a contemporary situation of poverty and suppression.

Several of these aboriginal groups are on the brink of extinction, due to the high mortality and forced assimilation resulting from a lack of governmental attention. Their population sizes, such as the 3,300 of the Teleuts, have kept them mostly in the dark, oppressed and without means to find a strong voice. The past attempts of the Russian government to deal with this voice, when it has arisen, have been sporadic and at times destructive and the assimilation projects put in place when prompted by foreign organizations and governments have been ill thought out and inconsistent. Many Russians are now aware of the sad situation of ethnic children, taken from their native villages to city institutions to be taught in a white Russian system, left marooned afterward: unable to return to their village as the traditional ways of living and hunting and even the language of their families are alien to them, yet unable also to adapt to city life. The discrimination and resulting ostracism is acceptable and accepted, for the average population of non-ethnics. The Teleut population in the Kuzbass region is a vivid example of the daily struggle in which many of these minority groups live. Of the three main groups which define native Siberian peoples, the Uralic, Altaic and Paleo-Siberian, the Teleuts belong to the second, the Altaic, or Altai-Kizhi (Kizhi meaning ‘people’ in Altaic.) This group is divided again into Northern and Southern Altaic, and the Teleuts, referred to as White Kalmyks historically, are members of the Southern Altaic. Included in this category are the Maimalars (of the valley of the river Maima), the Telengits, (of the valley of the river Chu), the Telesses or Telosses, and the Ulan Kizhis, all of whom belong to the Asiatic and south-Siberian type of the Mongoloid race. The Northern Altaic on the other had, are less Mongoloid. They exhibit some European traits and anthropologically they belong to the Uralic race. At times some scholars have associated the Southern Altai Teleuts with a group called the Bachat Teleuts, and the Kuzbass Teleut are often referred to under this name, or as Bachatsky Teleuts. But the Bachat Teleuts consider themselves a separate ethnos – shown by the fact they do not use an Altai language as a standard form of communication. These Bachat Teleuts are sometimes associated with the Siberian Tatars, who do not all belong to a unified ethnic group. As applies to many of the Siberian native peoples, Teleut is not a self designated name. Traditionally names were taken depending on the peoples locality – Tom Kizhi (translated literally as ‘Tom residents of the village Teleuts’,) Tomdor (as the Teleuts of the village of Sredny Teleut call themselves,) Telengit and Payatar - are examples of those employed by Teleuts. The effect of Russian officialdom in the 17th century is also evident in the contemporary usage of the name Tadar, ‘The Tartar’, a term used by officials from the 17th to 19th century, politically covering all ‘Turkic’ peoples in Russia, but anthropologically incorrect. Today it is adopted by many Southern Altaic and Siberian native peoples to refer to themselves whilst conversing with Russian people. However, interestingly, when Teleuts converse with each other in their mother tongue they use the name Telenet. Having spent time researching these people, but finding little practical information, I was thrilled when during my stay in Novokuznetsk I was introduced to Vladimir Ilyich, the President of the Public Association for Teleut People, and a strong activist for aboriginal rights. As the democratically selected leader of the peoples only communal organisation, he took his position with seriousness and determination and having recently returned from a human rights conference in Geneva, he had a grave comprehension of the difficulty of the situation of his people. To share this with me, he took me to the village of Teleut, on the outskirts of Novokuznetsk city, in an industrial area bordered with enormous factories. Although shaky trees surrounded the village

smoke was billowing into the air beyond, and the Sunday morning was sooty, grimed. A few groups were standing, drinking beer and vodka, but despite its population of 100 the village seemed empty as we approached on the muddy road. A kilometer or so ago the real road had stopped, and this was more like a rough track, not sealed and without metal, which ran between lines of lopsided cottages. The materials on these cottages were rough, the walls, gates and fences in disrepair, rotting – in one spot only was a new house being built, uneven logs being thatched together with cement and leather straps; new prosperity as the owner had a job in the city. I asked Vladimir about the other inhabitants, as we began walking along the track around the small community. I wondered what they did – in a village of twenty-seven families, which received no funding or attention from national or regional governments – how did they survive? With great difficulty, he said, life is a daily, instable struggle. Many Teleut people are inactive, unemployed, and alcoholism is rampant. The village’s state of isolation intensifies this stasis, and with no public transport at all running from the community, the possibility of finding work is even slimmer. Some of the inhabitants carry produce into the city to sell in the farmer markets, or work in neighbouring factories. The children go to school in the city, walking the three kilometers every day – a tiresome effort in summer, usually impossible in winter. In fact for the six or more months of harsh Siberian winter this village would be dormant, cut off with a poor road and no transport, if it wasn’t for the fact there is no shop and no inflow of products of any sort, only what the inhabitants themselves bring in. Cold water is taken from Kalotsi, shared public pipelines, in the street, and heated over wood fires. There is no sewerage system and the area is already very poor ecologically, the result of pollution from the nearby factories. Vladmir Ilyich and the Public Association of Teleut People cited their total population as 3,300 recognised Teleuts living in Siberia in 2002. The only official census carried out in recent years was the 1989 Soviet Census, which enumerated 2,594 residents of Teleut origin in Russia. According to research made by the anthropologist D.A.Funk (from his paper ‘On The Problem of Defining an Independent Ethos of the Bachatsky Teleuts’) during the same year, around 1,900 of those Teleuts were living in the countryside at that time. This shows a strong trend over the last decade of urban to rural migration, combined with possible population expansion, although this may be due to intermarriage, assimilation and a less strict definition of what it means to be ‘Teleut’. In the village, Vladimir was joined by his uncle, a soft older man, who was also active in the fight for aboriginal rights. He told me about the many journalists and occasional local council representatives who had come, made photos and promises, and left. There was interest – people tried to spread awareness, but as he explained bitterly, nothing had ever happened after these visits. Vladimir and his uncle, and the inhabitants of the village seemed to me a mild people, Hidden Teleuts Page 4 unimposing. As their Mongoloid features might suggest – a wide noseband, wide, long orthognant face, heavy dark features and narrow inclined forehead – traits which, according to craniological analysis made by G.F.Debets and V.P.Alexeev [____., 1948; ____ _._., 1960; 1963] show close links to Shortzs people of the region – the Teleuts claim that they arrived from the south, during a mass migration of Mongol and Turkic tribes. However the exact period of their arrival is difficult to define. After the collapse of the Siberian Empire in the 16th century all native tribes became members of the Russian Federation, followed by a penetration of Russian troops into Siberia and several fortresses being founded in the Tom

river region. At this time, in the first half of the 17th century, Teleut tribes were found to already be living in the Upper-tom Kuznetsk area of what is now the Kuzbass region. However there is still very much debate from scientists and historians as to the origins of the Teleuts, and indeed all Siberian native peoples. There has been some confusion as native Altaic peoples speak languages which are closely related to Turkic. However it is now believed this is not due to their origins and they were settled in Siberia long before the waves of Mongol and Turkic tribes. It has been proposed that the first people lived in Siberia during the Upper Paleolithic period, as early as 45,000-40,000 BC. Archaeological evidence indicates that the settlement of Siberia was a long and complex process with migrations possibly originating from southern Russia and eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Mongolia. There is also evidence that cultural ties were established between the populations of western Siberia and eastern Europe as early as the Neolithic period, and archeological findings of later periods show bonds between the populations of Siberia and the ancient civilizations to the West and South. Events in the history of the southern part of Siberia, such as the movements of the Huns, the formation of the Turkic kaganate, and the campaigns of Genghis Khan, also affected the regions ethnographic map. The debate around these facts is ongoing and currently a team of Russian and American scientists are studying the DNA of indigenous Siberian peoples in an attempt to decipher these first complex movements. Therefore it is believed the currently spoken Turkic languages are derived from the mixed waves of Turkic speaking nomads who, beginning 2000 years ago, have populated the Altai area and integrated with the native inhabitants. Back in the village of Teleut, I asked Vladmir and his uncle if the Teleuts situation had become worse in recent years. Both Vladimir and his uncle agreed – things had seemed better under the Soviet regime. There had been a school in the village for example, and a trained Teleut teacher. The government effectively enforced active laws; laws that stated minority races must have a means to keep their language alive, and a means to education in their own culture. In the University of Novokuznetsk a department of ethnic minorities was established in the faculty of Theology, to educate minority teachers. And now? And now the school was collapsing and although it was still stated in Russian law that minority races must have a means to keep their language alive and such a faculty of minority races must exist, it had not received attention or interest for many years. The University was not prompted by the government to train specialists and any funding received was directed to what the university administration deemed as more acute areas of deprivation. A deeper problem had resulted – as there were no longer trained language specialists or teachers there was now no real awareness from native students. The younger generations no longer found inspiration in their Hidden Teleuts Page 5 own culture – the activities of modern Siberian society took the place of the telling of traditional stories and the practice of their own religion. Very few young people now spoke their native language. When I asked Vladimir if the current government had made any attempts to ease the problem, his mouth set in a grim line and he stared roughly ahead. They have made laws he said, a whole contingent of them. But not one has been acted upon. By law, children of ethnic minorities must have unlimited access to universities and institutions of learning, without having to pass entrance examinations. Yet rarely a Teleut child has the opportunity to study in Novokuznetsk, and if so it is through her/his own funding and initiative they gain entrance to the university. Russian law also states that land which historically belongs to an ethnic minority must be returned to that minority, and a traditional style of life be guaranteed. Grants and pensions must be paid to all minorities. Yet the Teleuts receive no governmental money whatsoever, and several times the local council has made threats of taking their land or moving their village elsewhere. Vladimir told me these laws had been devised solely to appease foreign organizations and human rights groups, and if they served any purpose it was that of showing the unawareness and disinterest of Russian governmental bodies, on all levels. As we drove back along the muddy track Teleut village receded, faded, and then disappeared completely. Ahead of us the urban planning of Novokuznetsk rose, taking command of the entire gray scene, of my thoughts. I closed my eyes and firm images of faces, of smiling eyes, of creases and folds of warm skin, filled my vision. I was uncertain of their realness. Further into the city, as the rows of socialist realism closed in, I felt I had only these stark faces and sharp memories to assure me of this peoples existence, of their survival.

Theirs is a situation mirrored by hundreds of thousands of aboriginal communities around the world, but this fact only makes their position seem more desperate, crueller. A nation that historically belongs to this area, a village that has existed in one spot - framed by nature, framed by peasant plots, and today framed by factories – for over five hundred years, now does not have the basic necessities to live. Because of government inaction the Teleuts, and countless other ethnic minorities throughout Siberia, are in decline. Slowly their languages are dying, their young are migrating and their traditions and religious beliefs are weakening. Relative to the large area of the region they occupy, native Siberian populations represent one of the least studied groups in the world. The only extensive or conclusive anthropological studies undertaken with regards to the Teleuts and southern Siberian native peoples were those made by A.I.Yarkho in 1924-1927. Although conducted 75 years ago, his studies form today’s base of knowledge on the subject. As my brief visit showed me, a factor of urgency surrounds such investigations, because of the threat of lost ethnic identity is so real. For the Teleuts, it’s a case of having the adaptability, craftiness and knowledge needed to endure and prosper in Siberia, yet having so many factors against them, and so little help from those who can give it, that all such strength is swept away by a harsh reality. They simply don’t have enough money for a coat, and the three-kilometer walk to school every day is a very long way.

Resources and Parallel Works: V.M.Kimeev and V.V.Eroshov, ‘The Aboriginal Peoples of Kuzbass.’ Drawing attention to two essays; "Ethnopolitical Processes" with a section on Teleuts; and "Metamorphoses of Ethnic and Self-identification (with the Teleuts as a case study)" by E.P.Batyanova. Review of Material’naia kul’tura bachatskikh teleutov [Material Culture of the Bachat Teleuts] and Dukhovnaia kul’tura teleutov [Teleut Spiritual Culture], Dmitrii Katsiuba, Central Asiatic Journal 43/1 (1999): 9-10. Harrasowitz: Wiesbaden. Artic Studies Centre Michael Hammer and Tatiana Karafet – study of Siberian DNA. Contact: Michael Hammer, Ph.D., Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolution, Dept. EEB, Biosciences West, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 BSPU : Historical encyclopaedia: HYPERLINK "" D.A.Funk : Studies of Teleut population: HYPERLINK "" further information contact: The Institute of Archaelogy and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Science Lavrent’eva Ave 17 Novosibirsk 630090 Russia.


Siberian Tatars

by Nikolaj Tamilov

They called my attention in 1964 when I came to village Tigil'deevo (Tomsk district) as a part of my student internship. Immediately crashed the thoughts about Siberian Tatars as of some kind of Povolzhje Tatars (Kazan Tatars). Another cultural world was met, which was closer to hunting-fishing activities, rather than to agricultural-cattle Breeding activities. I was impressed by stories of earth-houses, and hunting ski, legends and myths and some non-Muslim norms of behavior (in spite the fact that they are Muslims).


In many villages I met people who came from Povolzhje. Some of them came to Siberia in the first quarter of XX century. They remembered by the way, that local Tartars firstly treated them "worse, much worse than Russians did". One old man told me: "We came to them and thought that they are like us because they are Tatars, but they turned to be a completely different nation".

Who are they, Siberian Tatars? How do they call themselves? Which language do they speak? How do they look like? Where do they live? And how numerous are they?

We need to say that some part of Povolzhje-Ural Tatars in Siberia also started calling themselves Sibirtatarlar, i.e. Siberian Tatars. They do so because they live here for a long time along with Siberian Tatars in the same villages and cities, became close with them and pretty much mixed, i.e. became a part of the Native Siberian Tatars. Others call themselves Siberian simply because they live for a long time in Siberia; just like Russians who call themselves Siberians.

- Baraba, Tom, Tobol-Irtysh and 'self-comers'.

Siberian Tatars consist of 3 separated ethnic groups: Tom, Baraba and Tobol-Irtysh. Those 3 are also divided into groups. Tom: Kalmaks, Chats and Eushtints; Baraba: Baraba-Turazh (Baraba-Chan - depends on where they live), Lubej-Tunuss (Kyshta-Ust-Tark) and Terenin-Choj (Kargat-Ubin); Tobol-Irtysh: Tumen-Turinsk, Tobol, Yaskolbin, Kurdak-Sargat and Tar.

Well, as became clear this is not the final ethnic classification. We could define that Tumen-Turinsk group consisted of Tumen, Yaultor, Turin and Up-Turin Tatars; Tonol group consisted of Aremzyan-Nadtsis, Iskero-Tobol, Babasan and Ishtyak-Tokuz Tatars; Yaskolbin group consisted of Yaskolbin, Koshuk and Tabarin Tatars; Kurdak-Sargat group consisted of Kurdak and Sargat-Utuz Tatars; Tar group consisted of Ayalyn and Turalin.

Native Tatars of Western Siberia call themselves Sibirtar - Siberian inhabitants (or maybe Sybyry - descendants of Turkished here Ugor nation?) or Sibirtatarlar - Siverain Tatars.

Group self-names still exist: Tobolik, Tarlik, Tumenik, Baraba/Paraba, Tomtatarlar, Umartatarlar.

In the past they called themselves...otherborns, top-ierly-halk (i.e. old residents), unlike the people who came from Central Asia and European Russia. It is also known that huge quantity (we recorded more than 200) of tribal, kin and minor-sized names existed: Shiban (following the family name; in Tar and Kurdak-Sargat groups: Ayaly, Turaly, Kurdak, Sart, Sargach, Tav, Otuz, Ya-Irtysh, Tebendyu, Tunus, Lunuj, Lyubaj; in Yaskolba group: Yusha, Konu, Tsaplaj, Kas, Tsele, Torna; in Baraba group: Terena, Tara, Kelebe, Baraba, Longa, Lovej, Kargany, Puranak, Malik, Mumok, Artyshak, Pulnuh, Talengut, Chungur; in Tom group: Yaushtalar, Kalmaklar, Tsattyr, Tsitskan, Az-Kyshtym.

The new-came Tatars sometimes gave the name of Kurchaklar (dolls) to the native Tatars because the latter favoured 'dolls'; supposedly the images of family-helpers. As for the new-comers, they were called by the natives 'selfcomers' (they came to Siberia themselves on their foot) or Kazanu.


Siberian Tatars live mostly in central and southern parts of Western Siberia, from the Ural Mountains almost to the Yenisei River.


The settlements of Tatars are spread among Russian villages; some Russians live in Tatar settlements, forming sometimes 15-30% of inhabitants.


Apparently, in the last quarter of XIX - beginning of the XX centuries Povolzhje and Priural Tatars lived among all groups of Siberian Tatars, excepts for Yaskolbins. However, they were not numerous, but exactly at that time and in the first years of Soviets they intensively moved to Siberia. It was connected with the search for new lands, and was inspired by Stolypin's agricultural reforms and later hunger in Povolzhje in early 20-ies.


- Ugrs, Samodians, Turks and partly Mongols: The language of Siberian Tatars is an independent Turk language. It is classified to belong to Kypchak-Bulgar subgroup of Kypchak group of Altai language family. In folk spoken language is recognized the old-Turk part, what is typical for many Western Siberian Tatars. Some linguists tend to consider it on of the most ancient Turk languages, recognizing in it forms, which are not met even in old-Arkhon monuments (on the Yenisei) and older all-Altaian lexis if compared to other Turk groups. In the most general sense ethno genesis of Siberian Tatars is viewed now as a process of mixing Ugor, Samodian, Turk and partly Mongol tribes and nations. Ugor nations are Vengrs, Mansi and Hunts. The latter two live in the North of Western Siberia. But some time ago there was a bigger number of Ugor groups and nations, and they also lived in more southern regions. It is considered that they participated in formation of Baraba and Tobol-Irtysh Tatars.


Archeological search suggest that native people of Ob-Irtysh region in the first millennium and in many regions in the first centuries of the second millennium A.D. were Ugor tribes. Anthropological science witnesses that physical type of Tobol and Baraba Tatars is similar to the one of Hunts and Mansi. ... Lately scientists have doubts about the suggestion that Kypchaks were almost the only Turk component; ancient Turk language elements found in the dialects prove these doubts. [furtherdown the author describes some nations, but it is not worthy to translate because it is very specific, and general impression is that they all are overmixed]


Nikolaj Arkadjevich Tomilov the Omsk branch director of Joint Institute of History, Philology and Philosophy SO RAN and Siberian branch of Russian Institute of Culturology, the chairman of ethnography and museums chair at Omsk State University, academic AGN and ASN, member-correspondent of RAEN. Graduate from History-Philological faculty of Tomsk State University " (end of the article)

Terms Povolzhje and Priural refer to. Povolzhje is everything near the river Volga (poVOLZHje) and Priural means everything close to the Ural mountains (priURAL).


The Turtle Island Model

Below is a model of the portrayal of Turtle Island/North America from an indigenous perspective.

Name: Turtle Island is the Native name for North America derived from the Creation story of the Turtle Island continent initially being carried on the back of a turtle.

Location: Turtle Island bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, stretches from the North Pole to Abya Yala also known as South America.

Turtle Island Map:

Turtle Island Flag:

The four colors of the flag represent the four human races.

Turtle Island Insignia:

The four colors on the insignia represent the four human races in circle representing the world.

Present Population: Present population consists of Natives and nonNatives. The general name for Natives is Niiji.

Present Languages: Native and nonNative languages are spoken in Turtle Island. The Native languages are such as Inuktitut in the Arctic, Algonquin and Iroquoian languages in the East Coast and Subarctic, Lakota in the prairies, Athapascan languages in the West Coast and Southwest and Aztecan and Mayan languages in the South. The nonNative languages are from a wide range of European, Asian and African languages with French, English and Spanish as the predominant ones.

Current Government System: Consists of Native and nonNative government systems. The Native government system is based on the Clan System. The nonNative government system is based on the parliamentary system.

Prepared by  SNTC News and Views from the Native Network.  2000-2007 


Abya Yala 

Abya Yala means "Continent of Life" in the language of the Kuna peoples of Panama and Colombia. The Aymara leader Takir Mamani suggested the selection of this name (which the Kuna use to denominate the American continents in their entirety), and proposed that all Indigenous peoples in the Americas utilize it in their documents and oral declarations. "Placing foreign names on our cities, towns and continents," he argued, "is equal to subjecting our identity to the will of our invaders and to that of their heirs." The proposal of Takir Mamani has found a favorable reception in various sectors. Since its inception, providing information on Indigenous peoples in Mexico, Central, and South America as been an important part of NativeWeb's mission. This section is largely dedicated to providing original content on this part of the world. Ref:



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Shaman Akkanat


Art of Moses


Arts and Crafts

Shaman Akkanat is the keeper of traditions passed down to him through centuries by his ancestors. It's then obvious why he lives a traditional Native lifestyle connected to nature in the forest, 100 kilometers from the city Novokuznetsk proving  him truly indigenous.


Native Sayings:

"Whenever, in the course of the daily hunt, the hunter comes upon a scene that is strikingly beautiful or sublime - a black thundercloud with the rainbow's arch above the mountain, a white waterfall in the heart of a green gorge, a vast prairie tinged with the blood-red of the sunset -- he pauses for an instant in an attitude of worship." Ohiyesa, also known as Charles Alexander Eastman, was the first great Native author, publishing 11 books from 1902 until 1918.

"When we Wintu kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things. We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don't chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the white people plow up the ground, pull down the trees, kill everything. ... the White people pay no attention. ...How can the spirit of the earth like the White man? ... everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore." Wintu Woman, 19th Century

Art of Achu Kantule

Kuna Nation




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"We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees." Qwatsinas (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation

"There are many things to be shared with the Four Colors of humanity in our common destiny as one with our Mother the Earth. It is this sharing that must be considered with great care by the Elders and the medicine people who carry the Sacred Trusts, so that no harm may come to people through ignorance and misuse of these powerful forces." Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meetings of the Traditional Elders Circle, 1980







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