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The Chuvashs

The Chuvashs are Turkic speaking people, living in the Middle Volga region (they are probably the ancient mix of turkis with cheremiss). The Shuvashs speak the Chuvash language (Bulgarian group of Turkic languages), that is a little bit changed under influence of Finnish language. They are firstly mentioned In Russian annals in 1524 during the foundation of Vasilsursk city, then in 1551 during the foundation of Sviyazhsk city. Before Russian mixed them partly with Cheremiss and Tatars. Number of Chuvashs in Russia is 1 million 773,6 thousand persons. Area of their living is territory of the Chuvash Republic and adjoining to it areas and republics. From them there is more than half, that is 50,8 %, are settled outside of the Chuvash Republic - in Tatrstan (7,3 % from total number of Chuvashs), in Bashkiria (6,4 %), Kuibyshevskaya oblast (Samara) (6,4 %), Ulyanovsk (6,3 %). The religion is Orthodox.

The Chuvash are the people of Chuvashia.

The population was 1,843,300 in the Soviet Union, according to the census of 1989; 907,000 of these lived in Chuvashia. The remainder live in Tatarstan's Aqsubay, Bua, Nurlat, Tates, Cirmesan, Cuprale rayons, Bashkortostan, Samara, Ulyanovsk, Tyumen, Kemerovo, Orenburg, Moscow oblasts of Russia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

 

They are divided into three groups: Hill Chuvashs (viryal, turi) in northern and northeastern Chuvashia; Meadow Chuvashs (anat yenci) in central and southwestern Chuvashia; and Downer Chuvashs (anatri) in southern Chuvashia and outside of Chuvashia).

They speak the Chuvash language and are Orthodox Christians, with some traditions of pre-Christianity. Knowledge of the Russian and Tatar languages is also high.


Some scholars believe a part of the Chuvash people converted to Islam in Middle Ages and merged with the Tatars.

They originate from the Volga Bolgars' Suars or Sabir tribe, mixed with local Mari tribes. In the 15th-16th centuries their lands were incorporated into the Khanate of Kazan, and then in 1550 annexed by Russia. From 1708 to 1920, the Chuvash lands were part of the Kazan governorate.

Another meaning is that Chuvash are remainders of pre-Bolgar Turkic (Hunnic) population of Volga Bulgaria, partly merged with Scythians, Bolgars and Mari.

Chuvashs are the third nation in the city of Kazan (1.2%).


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