Travel in Siberia
Friday, 31 May 2013 06:43

Shorians

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Shorians or Shors (Russian: Шорцы, also transliterated as Shortses) are a Turkic people in the Kemerovo Region in Russia. Their self designation is Шор, or Shor. They were also called Kuznetskie Tatars. Most of Shorians live in the Tom basin along the Kondoma and Mras-Su Rivers. This region is historically called Mountain Shoria. The Shorians also live in Khakassia and Altai Republic. According to 2002 census, there were 13,975 Shors in Russia. The Shors speak their own Shor language.

Formally, they have always been considered Orthodox Christians, but most of them followed shamanism and animism as a part of their culture.

The Shorians as a people formed as a result of a long process of interbreeding between the Turkic, Ugric, Samoyedic and Ket-speaking tribes. Their culture and origins are similar to those of the northern Altay people and some of the ethnic groups of the Khakas. The Shors were mainly engaged in hunting, fishing, some primitive farming, and pine nut picking. Blacksmithing and iron ore mining and melting were also important (hence, the name "Blacksmithing Tatars").

The lifestyle of the Shorians changed significantly following the October Revolution of 1917. Most of them became skillful farmers, cattle-breeders, or industrial workers.

Traditionally Shorians live in Tashtagol, Novokuznetsk and Mezhdurechensk districts little by little move to big cities and assimilate with ordinary townspeople. Nowadays only 30% of Shorians housekeepings can do hunting trade and gather taiga’s products.

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