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The Sayan borderlands: Tuva’s ethnocultural landscapes in changing natural and sociocultural environments

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The paper is devoted to ethno-cultural landscapes of the Republic of Tuva. Ethnocultural landscapes (ECLs) are specific socio-environmental systems that developed as a result of the interaction of ethnic groups with their natural and social environments and are in a constant process of transformation. An attempt is made to identify the mechanisms of the formation, functioning and dynamics of ethnocultural landscapes in the specific conditions of the intracontinental cross-border mountain region, as well as to establish the main factors-catalysts of their modern changes. For the first time an attempt is made to delimit and map the ethnocultural landscapes of Tuva. For this, literary sources, statistical data and thematic maps of different times are analyzed using geoinformation methods. The results of 2014-2018 field studies are also used, during which interviews with representatives of different ethno-territorial, gender, age and social groups were taken. It is revealed that the key factors of Tuva’s ethnocultural landscape genesis are the natural isolation of its territory; the features of its landscape structure; the role of government; population migrations from other regions and the cultural diffusion provoked by them. 13 ethnocultural landscapes are identified at the regional level. Their modern transformation is determined by the shift of climatic cycles, aridisation, globalisation of sociocultural processes, changes in economic specialisation and ethnopsychological stereotypes.

About the Authors

D. A. Dirin
Tyumen State University; Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University
Russian Federation



Paul Fryer
University of Eastern Finland


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For citation:

Dirin D.A., Fryer P. The Sayan borderlands: Tuva’s ethnocultural landscapes in changing natural and sociocultural environments. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(1):29-36.

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)