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Ethnography: Documenting epic tales

Epic tales are still a living genre in Inner Asia. They provide key insights into nomadic life and culture, religious belief systems, myth, poetics, and human pre-history. Part of my fieldwork has focused on documenting epic tales from the lips of the storytellers themselves, while they are still practicing their art. Epic storytelling is now an endangered genre in many parts of Inner Asia, including Tuva, and is not being effectively passed on to younger generations.

Shoydak-Ool, a traditional Tuvan story teller, begins a tale.

This research is funded by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation.

TUVA—Epic storyteller Shoydak-ool Khovalyg performs