The city  of Gorno Altaisk is your jumping off point for Uimon Valley in the Altai mountains.  Here your team will visit the descendants of popovtsy and bezpopovtsy Orthodox Christian Old Believers who fled Russia to escape persecution under the Tsars.  Despite repression during the Soviet era, these religious refugees today preserve both religious traditions (an active church, spiritual poetry and songs) and  cultural traditions such as folk beliefs about holy springs, special trees,  and house and forest spirits, along with traditional maternity, funeral and wedding ceremonies. Expect to record lots of songs,  collect lots of stories, and drink in the spectacular Altai scenery.

The expedition also includes a stop at the Nicholas Roerich Museum documenting the 1926 visit of the painter, theosophist, and archaeologist.  Strongly influenced by Buddhism,  Roerich came here to paint and to search for the Buddhism’s mythical city of Shambhala, said to be somewhere in the mountains north of Tibet.

Applications are now closed. Please view our other upcoming trips!

About This Expedition

  • Dates:

    July 15, 2019 to July 27, 2019

  • Location:

    Villages Verkhnyi Uimon, Tikhonkoe, Multa and Ust-Koksa, Ust-Koksinsky District, Altai Republic, Russia

Meet The Team

  • head shot of woman, trees in background

    Dr. Alevtina Tsvetkova

    Professor of Russian Philology, specializing in Folklore, at Pavlodar State University in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan

    Dr. Tsvetkova has been making folklore expeditions to Siberia and the Altai Mountains (on both sides of the Russia/Kazakhstan border) since 1983. Her special interests include family folklore, family life-cycle rituals, and the contemporary role of folk legend and belief.

Applications are now closed.
Please view our other upcoming trips!