Attractions & Activities Republic of Khakassia Traditional throat singing "Khoomei"

TRADITIONAL THROAT SINGING  •  KHAKASSIATUVA, ALTAI REGION, BURYATIA, BASHKORTOSTAN

01: “Khoomei” throat singing is a unique kind of art which only some of the Sayan-Altai region nations possess. They are the Tuvinians, the Mongolians, the Altai people and the Bashkirs who live in the western part of Russia. The peculiarity of this singing is that a singer can emit two notes simultaneously thus making a solo of two voices.

There are many interesting legends and stories about throat singing. One of the legends says that kargyraa style was created by camel breeders. It is an imitation of a camel’s voice. When a camel cub dies a mother camel goes around it and emits sounds similar to kargyraa. In tuvinian language the word “kargyraa” means “wheeze” or sounds similar to wheeze.

02: Throat singing is a result of a specific guttural singing and a poetic outlook of the nation. The Tuvinians faithfully love their nature. Nature has always been the source of inspiration for throat singers. The beauty of the sound was estimated according to the skill of showing a real life.

03: From ancient times throat singing has been one of traditional forms of tuvinian music art and was an essential part of festivals, customs, heroic epos and fairytales.

04: The time of throat singing forming is not precisely defined. Some scientists say that throat singing traditions formed before 6-8 centuries.

05: Skilful throat singers as well as story tellers were the keepers of national music and lyrics. These people were highly respected. Such respectful attitude can be seen nowadays too. There is a hall in the Regional Tuvinian museum fully devoted to hoomei. There are a lot of khoomei singers’ portraits hanging on the walls of the hall. Many music bands such as “Hun-Hur-Tuu”, “Tuva”, “Yat-Kha” and others are famous all over the world. Their concerts in the USA, Germany, France and other countries always have great success. Different throat singing contests and festivals are held every year.

Tours in which you can hear traditional music
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