The Transition Period Rituals of Tuvan Turks: Birth, Marriage and Death
Ferah TÜRKER-Vildan KOÇOĞLU GÜNDOĞDU
Abstract: There are three important stages as the transition periods in human life: birth, marriage and death. Societies attach great importance to these periods and every society implements a variety of practices within ther belief systems. During these periods of transition, these practices are realized to celebrate, protect and announce people the periods. Transition rituals have an important function to preserve the continuity of culture and tradition. This becomes more important especially for small groups like Tuvan Turks who live in the Republic of Tuva, a federal state of Russia. As Tuvans were the majority of the population living in Tuvan Republic and they had an independent state, they kept more of their identity and also protected their language and culture better than other Turkic tribes in Siberia. So those rituals preserved their place within their tradition despite the fact that several changes naturally occurred in time and some of the practices were forgotten. In this article, the transition rituals of Tuvan are examined under three headings: "birth", "marriage" and "death" . Practices in each period are handled and changes taking place in time are evaluated considering their cultural substructure .
Keywords: Tuvan, transition, birth, wedding, death