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    Altai Republic

Ethnic culture

Throughout the centuries the Altaics have tenaciously stuck to the Old Turkic culture and way of living.

Traditionally, the Altaics were engaged in nomadic herding. The Northern Altaics were mainly hunters - the mountainous regions, where they lived, were full of game. A big part of the Northern Altaics were gatherers. From the middle of the 19th century cedar nut picking became a very important activity, mainly for the Kumandins, Chelkans and Tubalars.

Altay is a very old center of metalworking. Since ancient times the Northern Altaics are famous for their skills in mining and melting iron and fashioning harnesses, helmets, spears, hunting gear, sabers and many other things.

Up to the beginning of the 20th century Old Turkic burial customs were retained in Altay; for example a harnessed horse was put into the tumulus together with the deceased. Many Old Turkish shamanistic customs remained, including the rite of animal offerings.

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