Goals and objectives of the Laboratory

The Laboratory of Ethnology and Linguoculturology was established in April 2021 as a structural unit of Tuvan State University in order to organize research activities in the field of studies of contemporary Tuvan ethnic culture.

In 2021–2023, the laboratory is implementing a project entitled “Thesaurus of Ethnic Culture in the 21st century: Problems of Study and Preservation (The Case of Tuvan Culture)” with the support of a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (No. 21-18-00246, description of the project on the RSF website).

The project provides information on the application of the methodological thesaurus approach to the research into ethnic cultures. The study focuses on the case of the ethnic culture of the Tuvans. It is planned to develop the approach in the emic direction while being applied. In accordance with this goal, the subject of the study will be the thesaurus of ethnic culture. Its construction will be carried out using the thesaurus approach proposed by the Russian scholars Valery A. Lukov and Vladimir A. Lukov. The thesaurus of culture is defined as a systematized body of knowledge in culture that allows its subjects to orient themselves in a certain way in the environment and to understand themselves, their surroundings and the world.

Within the framework of the project, the thesaurus of the ethnic culture of the Tuvans in its current state is analyzed and constructed with a combination of elements of traditionalism, intra-cultural variations, influences of different cultures, and neo-traditionalism. The thesaurus is being constructed by determining a cultural worldview (the core of the thesaurus), highlighting and analyzing its elements — linguistic and cultural concepts (concepts of the thesaurus) that express the components of understanding oneself and the world around us. In the analysis of concepts, it is important how subjects of culture interpret them and how insider researchers understand them (i.e. the field of reflection of the subject of cognition is also noted). Dictionary interpretations and studies of ethnic traditional culture are also taken into account.

Grounds for the research: 1) the current state of Tuvan culture has been studied much less than its conditions at previous stages: in the first half of the 20th century, in the Soviet times and at the end of the 20th century; 2) studies of Tuvan ethnic culture are an important part of research fields in world science: Oriental and Asian studies, studies of Central Asia or North Asia (depending on the terminology of world scientific associations), studies of nomadism, as well as research into Buddhist cultures of the world; 3) the emic direction in cultural studies implies the involvement of researchers in the studied culture, knowledge of its language (this is provided by the whole research team).

The empirical data of the research is being collected both in specially mounted expeditions around the Republic of Tuva and in the form of a planned fixation of the norms of everyday life and events, ritual actions of the Tuvan people who are close kith and kin (relatives, fellow countrymen) of the insider researchers. While working with materials of ethnic culture, the team members of the project use already available data from various social and humanities disciplines (sociology, psychology, ethnology, culturology, linguistics, etc.). Methods of collecting, analyzing and processing empirical research data, generalization based on triangulation and comparative analysis, different variants of the survey method (interviewing, etc.), observation (including overt one), etc. are used. We will also apply methods of historical and logical reconstruction in order to analyze the current state of ethno-cultural traditions taking into account their forms that have disappeared or transformed and modified.

Materials and results of the project can be used to determine the programs for further research into different ethnic cultures; they can be applied for educational purposes in plotting lecture courses on cultural studies, philosophy of culture, ethnology, anthropology, ethnic psychology, and linguoculturology.

Staff of the Laboratory

Staff of the Laboratory of Ethnology and Linguoculturology

The following researchers work in the laboratory: Nadezhda D. Suvandii, Ulyana P. Bicheldey, Shenne Yu. Kuzhuget, Shenne B. Mainy, and Ailaana V. Mongush.

Lamazhaa, Chimiza K.

Lamazhaa, Chimiza Kuder-oolovna is the Scientific Consultant, Project Manager (2021-2022), Doctor of Philosophy, Honored Science Worker of the Republic of Tuva.

She is an expert in the field of methodology of social cognition, social philosophy, philosophy of culture and culturology. Since 1999, she has been engaged in research into Tuvan culture and contemporary socio-cultural situation in Tuva.

Ch. K. Lamazhaa is the author of more than 200 research publications, including monographs (“Tuva between the Past and the Future” (1st ed. in 2008, 2nd ed. in 2011); “Clannishness in the Politics of Russian Regions. Tuvan Rulers” (2009); “Archaization of Society. The Tuvan Phenomenon” (2013); “Tuvan Studies: New Horizons” (2013), “The National Character of Tuvans” (2018)).

Since 2015, she has been a member of the Association of Science Editors and Publishers of Russia (ASEP). Since 2019 — a member of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE), member of the Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS).

Ch. K. Lamazhaa is a member of the Dissertation Council D.002.015.02 at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences as an expert in social philosophy (09.00.11); member of the Dissertation Council D.521.004.07 at Moscow University for the Humanities as a specialist in culturology (24.00.11).

Since 2009, she has been the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of the international academic journal “The New Research of Tuva” (nit.tuva.asia) — an interdisciplinary publication in the field of social sciences and the humanities. It focuses on the study of the society and culture of the population of Tuva. Since 2020, the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia has been the second co-publisher of the journal. It is indexed in Scopus (SJR-2020, Q1 in history, Q2 in cultural studies, Q3 in anthropology), ECSI Web of Science Core Collection, RSCI and other databases. It is included in the List of the Higher Attestation Commission (according to international lists).

RSCI AuthorID: 604076

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1813-3605

Scopus ID: 57202546919

Web of Science ResearcherID: AAR-1336-2020

Suvandii, Nadezhda D.

Suvandii, Nadezhda Daryevna, Project Manager (2023), Candidate of Philology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory; Associate Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Philology, Tuvan State University.

She is an expert in the field of Tuvan language studies. She defended her thesis on the topic “Tuvan Anthroponymy” at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2005.

She has more than 100 research publications, including monographs “Tuvan Anthroponymy” (2011), “Tyva dylda ivi azhyl-agyi leksikazy” [“Vocabulary of Reindeer Husbandry in the Tuvan Language”] (2014), “Microtoponymy of Sumon Tsengel of the Bayan-Ölgii aimag in Mongolia” (2019).

RSCI AuthorID: 444778

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3817-2436

Scopus ID: 57202405620

Bicheldey, Ulyana P.

Bicheldey, Ulyana Pavlovna, Doctor of Religious Studies (PhD), Senior Researcher of the Laboratory (2021).

She is a specialist in the field of religious studies, protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The scholar conducts research into Tengrianism and Buddhism, processes of influence of these religious and philosophical teachings on the spiritual culture of the Turkic-Mongolian peoples, including the Tuvans and Mongols.

She is the author of about 50 publications, including multi-authored monographs “The Tengrian Cult of Sacred Mountains and Northern Mahayana Buddhism in Tuva” (Kyzyl, 2012), “A Concise Russian-Tuvan Dictionary: About 14,000 Words” (co-authored ; Kyzyl, 1994); “Explanatory Dictionary of the Tuvan Language: With Translation of Definitions of Words and Fixed Collocations” (co-authored; Novosibirsk, 2003); “Tengrianism, Buddhism and Ecological Cults in Central Asia and Trans-Sayania” (co-authored; Kyzyl, 2009); “The History of Buddhism in the USSR and the Russian Federation in 1985–1999” (co-authored; Elista, 2011).

RSCI AuthorID: 967235

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5588-9167

Scopus ID: 57209714066

Mainy, Shenne B.

Mainy, Shenne Borisovna, Candidate of Culturology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory; Associate Professor, Department of Technology and Entrepreneurship, Kyzyl Pedagogical Institute, Tuvan State University.

She pursues research in the field of traditional festive culture and ethno-choreography of the Tuvans. In 2014, she defended her dissertation for the degree of Candidate of Culturology on the topic “Folk Games in the Traditional Festive Culture of the Tuvans: A Historical and Cultural Analysis” (Kemerovo State University of Culture and Arts).

She is the author of more than 50 publications, including a monograph (“Folk Games in the Traditional Festive Culture of the Tuvans: A Historical and Cultural Analysis”, 2018).

RSCI AuthorID: 736212

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9106-2148

Scopus ID: 57201773998

Kuzhuget, Shenne Yu

Kuzhuget, Shenne Yurievna, Candidate of Philology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory; Head, Department of Pedagogy and Methods of Preschool and Primary Education, Tuvan State University.

She does research in the field of the Tuvan language and culture. In 2015, she defended her Candidate’s dissertation “Lexical and Semantic Field of Natural Time in the Prose by K.-E. Kudaji” at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

Shenne Yu. Kuzhuget is the author of more than 30 scholarly works.

AuthorID RSCI: 666750

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3507-3053

Scopus ID: 57205260013

Sanchai Choigan Kherel-oolovna

Sanchai Choigan Kherel-oolovna, Candidate of Culturology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory (since 2022); Lecturer of the Department of Philosophy of Tuva State University. Honored Artist of the Republic of Tuva.

She pursues research in the field of traditional culture and the reflection of traditions in professional art. In 2021, she defended her dissertation for the degree of Candidate of Culturology on the topic “Semantics of traditional dance culture of Tuvans” (Siberian Federal University).

She is the author of more than 9 scientific publications.

RSCI AuthorID: 1017335

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6929-9050

Scopus ID: 57210370522

Mongush, Ailaana V

Mongush, Ailaana Vitalievna, Junior Researcher of the Laboratory.

She carries out research in the field of confessional relations and ethno-religious processes. Today, she is studying for a master’s degree at Altai State University.

Since 2018, Ailaana V. Mongush has been the Chairman of the Council of Young Researchers and Specialists of the Tuvan Institute for the Humanities and Applied Social and Economic Studies under the Government of the Republic of Tuva.

She is the author of 7 publications.

AuthorID RSCI: 967785

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3164-1463


The Laboratory of Ethnology and Linguoculturology at TuvSU has established contacts with a number of organizations. This has resulted in signing agreements on research collaboration of Tuvan State University with:

  • the Center for Traditional Tuvan Culture and Crafts (in 2021);
  • the Academy of Khoomei (in 2021);
  • the Institute for the Development of the National School of the Republic of Tuva (in 2021).


Postal address of the laboratory: Office 107, Letter B, 9 Mongusha Sata St., 667000 Kyzyl, Russian Federation. E-mail: ethnolab@tuva.asia