Baikal World - buryats of Baikal lake and Baikal region
Origin & Development
Legends & Fairy tales • 
Earth's Crust Thickness • 
Underwater Relief • 
Landscapes • 
History & Formation • 
Seismic Activity • 
History of Lake Baikal
History of Explorations • 
Inhabitants & Settlers • 
First maps of Baikal • 
Archaeological Sites • 
Lake Baikal Climate
Introduction • 
Fogs • 
Winds & Waves • 
Ice Conditions • 
Fauna & Vegetation
Mammals • 
Baikal seal - Nerpa • 
Ichthyofauna • 
Invertebrates • 
Vegetation • 
Water of Lake Baikal
Colour • 
Transparency • 
Temperature • 
Pressure • 
Depth • 
Currents • 
Budget • 
Chemical Composition • 
Pollution • 
Recreational Areas
Circumbaikal Railway • 
Peschanaya Bays • 
Olkhon Island • 
Chivirkuysky Gulf • 
Wooden Irkutsk • 
Trans-Siberian Railway • 
People of Lake Baikal
People of Siberia • 
Buryat nation in Baikal • 
Russians in Baikal • 
Explanation of the local terms and geographical names at lake Baikal
Buryat nation at lake Baikal

Inhabitants of lake Baikal - Buryats © S. Volkov
From the VI-th to XI-th centuries the Baikal shores, the lower reaches of the Selenga River, Tunkinski valley region and the valleys of the Barguzin, Angara and Lena Rivers were inhabited by representatives of the Turkic tribe called Kurikans. In the early XIII-th century on the territory of Pribaikalye and Zabaikalye (western and eastern parts of Baikal lake) settled Mongol tribes. As a result, the Buryat nation had formed by the end of the XVII th century.

Buryats mostly engaged in hunting, fishing and gathering. The basis of their economy was intensive cattle-breeding. In some areas Buryats grew millet, buckwheat and barley. From Kurikans they inherited the high art of blacksmith work. They were also good at processing iron and made from it weapons and utensils. Many Buryat people were highly
- skilled jewellers. Hometrade also developed. Women made felt, with which they covered yurts, and dressed skin to make clothes and footwear. Men usually prepared wooden frames of yurts, made carriages and weapons, wove ropes and sewed harnesses.

As a religion, Shamanism (it is a religion based on the beliefs in spirits) prevailed among the Buryats. Gifted people, who were able to see connections in Nature and remember the regularity of phenomena, stood out against the background. Such people were trusted they and led the general population. These "shamans" (witch-doctors) appeared with the disintegration of the community. The shaman attributes included a ritual costume, a drum, a crook, and images of spirits (ongohns).  Pendants and bells on the Shaman costume were considered a receptacle of spirits and were supposed to call them down or to scare them away. The drum symbolized the Universe. While the shaman was passing into a trance the drum played the part of the Supreme Beast. It also called spirits down and removed enemies. Shamans were the first doctors who, tried to heal the body through healing its soul. They were also actors, prophets and propagandists.
Copyright © Baikal World. All rights reserved.