Project Year



Central Asia


Altai Republic, Russia

Project Description

Money accompanies the modern human through all stages of life, from birth to death. The proposed project aims to study the daily practices of money residents of Kosh-Agach region of the Altai Republic, with special emphasis on the economy for weddings and funerals-funeral rites, since this is the only issue related to money, which willingly and openly say, both men and women. During the research project "Yesterday's nomads and modern money" (2009-2010), one of my interlocutors, the head of village administration, told me a phrase that I cannot forget. When I asked what amount of money the villagers usually spend on weddings, he said: "The wedding arrangements need to learn from Altaians, and the funeral - the Kazakhs." The overall meaning of his phrase is that the Kazakhs, during weddings, irrationally spend a lot of money while the Altaians spend less. But on the other hand, from the Kazakhs one should learn how to organize the funeral and mourning for the dead.

The research idea is that the daily cash practices can serve as a symbol, marking the boundary between rich and poor, but also ethnic and cultural markers between living in the neighborhood of the two peoples. Their ways of making money, their methods of conservation, storage and use, the Altaians and the Kazakhs are different. The main objective of the project is to investigate and compare the everyday practice of cash in Altaians and Kazakhs in the Kosh-Agach region.


Svetlana Tyukhteneva

About the Researcher(s)

Svetlana Tyukhteneva graduated with an MA in history from Altai State University, Department of Archaeology and Ethnology, Faculty of History, Russia in 1989. She received her PhD in Ethnography, Ethnology and Anthropology, Center for Asia and Oceania Studies, Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology of RAS, Moscow, Russia in 1996. She is currently at the same Institute, continuing to explore the culture of Altai. She is the author of two books (one co-authored), has written more than 50 publications in journals and collections of articles, and is an expert of the Network for Ethnic Monitoring and early warning of conflicts in the Republic of Altai.


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766