English translation of Altai ethnographic material

by Altai Mir University
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This project is to translate & publish manuscripts by indigenous Siberian Altai elders about Altai's intangible culture & sacred knowledge. The spiritual culture of the Altai people is rapidly being lost & with it the cultural identity of the youth. Altai culture is little documented & almost no cultural heritage preservation organizations work there. Publication & translation of these manuscripts will help preserve this world heritage material & raise awareness for the threatened Altai culture


The challenge is to preserve traditional spiritual knowledge of elders of Altai indigenous community via publication for the purposes of cultural integrity, sacred knowledge transmission to future generations, & preserving linguistic diversity. Rapid loss of cultural identity plus lack of cultural preservation activities in the little-known Altai region means that traditional ecological knowledge & spiritual philosophy may be lost forever as the last generation of knowledge keepers passes away.


This project aims to preserve sacred and linguistic knowledge by collaborating with indigenous knowledge carriers and linguists to edit, publish, and translate a 700-page manuscript written by Altai elder N. Shodoev into the Russian, Altai, and English languages. Publications will be made available to local museums, schools and libraries, as well as international cultural heritage organizations and likewise submitted to international academic ethnographic archives.

Long-Term Impact

This publishing project will create a legacy for elder N. Shodoev personally, but will also assist educators and translators in Altai with the urgent task of cultural survival (population approx. 60,000). Publications produced in translation will make archival materials available to the wider academic community and cultural preservation organizations interested particularly in traditional ecological knowledge and sustainable values in the context of climate change adaptation.


Editor/translator Joanna Dobson's blog about Atlai

Organization Information

Altai Mir University

Location: Shoreline, WA - USA
Website: http://www.AltaiMir.org
Project Leader:
Carol Hiltner
Shoreline, WA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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