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Chuvashes

CHUVASHES, or Tchuvashes, a tribe found in eastern Russia. They form about one-fourth of the population of the government of Kazan, and live in scattered communities throughout the governments of Simbirsk, Samara, Saratov, Orenburg and Perm. They have been identified with the Burtasses of the Arab geographers, and many authorities think they are the descendants of the ancient Bolgars. In general they physically resemble the Finns, being round-headed, flat-featured and light-eyed, but they have been affected by long association with the Tatar element. In dress they are thoroughly Russianized, and they are nominally Christians, though they cling to many of the Old Shamanistic practices. They number some half a million. Their language belongs to the Tatar or Turkish group, but has been strongly influenced by the Finno-Ugrian idioms spoken round it.

See Schott, De Lingua Tschuwaschorum (Berlin, 1841).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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