Chuvash Republic is a subject of the Russian Federation. The capital is Cheboksary.The Chuvash are Turkic-speaking people who have lived in the Middle Volga region of the Russian Federation for centuries. They are considered to be descendants of the ancient Bulgars, who maintained a state in the Middle Volga River valley from the 10th to 13th centuries.
In ancient times, the ancestors of the Chuvash used a runic written language. Elements in Chuvash embroidery and tribal signs that graphically correspond to the runes testify to this fact.
Nowadays traditional Chuvash clothes are worn mainly by women in the country. Such clothing (a woman's shirt in particular) can be subdivided in accordance with ethnographic groups-turi, anat enchi, and anatri.
Although the clothing is basically the same from group to group, there are a number of local peculiarities in cut, ornamentation, composition, manufacturing methods, color combination, and ways of wearing.
The ornamentation of the traditional costume also varies depending on sex, age, and season. Each piece of clothing has its own tracery of a distinct composition form and color combination. Chuvash national clothing is closely connected with the agricultural tenor of life. The primary article of the traditional Chuvash costume is a shirt called a kepe, which is shaped like a tunic and belted with a girdle. A dress is worn with an apron or a pinafore called a chershchitti or a sappun, which is remarkable for its bright colors and abundance of ornament (embroidery and laces). Women also wear a head band (surpan), a forehead decoration (masmak), a head dress (khushpu), a cap decorated with coins and beads, or a turban. Until recently, the Chuvash wore stitched shoes. Now they usually wear high leather boots or shoes.
Chuvash folklore includes epic tales, everyday songs, fairy tales, and legends. The highest achievement of Chuvash poetry is the epic poem Narspi by Konstantin Ivanov, which is considered a masterpiece of world literature. Chuvashia is often called "Land of A Hundred Thousand Songs." The Chuvash folk song is one-voiced and there are several different genres: everyday songs (lullabies, lyrical, comic), ritual songs, labor songs, and historical songs. Chuvash music is pentatonic (played on a five-note scale) and played on various folk musical instruments: shakhlich (a pipe), shapar (bagpipes made from a bull's stomach), sarnai (bagpipes made of goatskin), kesle (a psaltery), and parappan (a drum).
Chuvash folk art is rich and various. Its main branches are embroidery, tracery weaving, sewing with beads and silver, wood-carving, ceramics, and wickerwork. The old Chuvash folk art has its own particular features, its specific national form. Its main characteristic distinction was unusual development of the geometric ornament and the absence of topical motifs. In such branches of folk art as woodcarving, ceramics, and wick-erwork there are no marked distinctions between the different Chuvash ethnographic groups, although there are striking differences in embroidery.
One of the most highly regarded holidays of the Chuvash calendar is akatui (aka means "plough," and tui means "holiday" or "wedding"), a spring festival dedicated to agricultureMany representatives of the Chuvash people have become world famous.
Among them: K. Ivanov P. Husari, I. Antipov-Karataev, A. Nikolaev, N. Pavlova and others.