The Republic of Tatarstan, or simply Tatarstan, is a republic of Russia located in Eastern Europe. It is a part of the Volga Federal District; and its capital and largest city is Kazan, one of the most important cultural centres of Russia.Three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Russia are located in Tatarstan.

The history of human settlements on this territory dates back to the 8th century BC. Later on the same territory there was a medieval state of the Volga Bulgars (the 9th-13th centuries). It was a relatively developed state engaged in trade with Inner Eurasia, Middle East and Baltic regions.

The culture of Tatarstan is molded from the culture of Volga Tatar people, Russian, and European culture.

The bright original art and culture of the Tatars inherits the traditions of the states of the Volga Bulgaria, the Golden Horde and the Kazan Khanate. The influence of Islam, adopted in 922, was also significant.

The runic writing that existed among the people was replaced by Arabic, which gave impetus to the development of science, philosophy and literature.

Brilliant samples of historical and cultural interaction between Russia and the Kazan Khanate are the famous "Kazan cap" and "Monomakh's cap" - the crowns of Russian kings.

By the 19th century, with the rise of manufacture, decorative art had flourished. Classical samples of gold and tambour embroidery with rich ornament, jewelry with graceful filigree, colorful female headgears - kalfaks, decorative towels with fine patterns were produced. This was a period of creation of the Tatar national costume, uniform national dwelling style, ritual and household articles.

Tatar costume is a system of folk and artistic creativity, which includes  manufacturing   of fabrics, complex and richly ornamented hats,  production of various types of dresses and vests


Sabantuy (tat. Sabantuy, 'saban tue' - the festival of the plow) is an ancient rite of Turkic peoples. Traditionally, it was held before the sowing work, and now it is a fun celebration at the end of those, at which national songs and dances, comic contests and sports are held.

The whole variety of Tatar musical folklore can be divided into songwriting and instrumental music. It is the song that clearly reflected the emotional life of the people - their sorrows and joys, holidays and customs, life and historical development. In the old songs and folklore dances of the girls with their plasticity and grace, shy movements, there is no hint of scope, expanse or revelry. Monotonous movements in small steps in almost the same place in the Tatar folk dance, as well as lingering sad songs, eloquently speak of the modest reclusive life of Muslim girls.
The most common instruments of Tatar musical folklore were: accordion-talianka, kurai (a flute-type instrument), kubyz (violin), surnay (oriental musical instrument). 

The fate of many prominent cultural figures is associated with Tatarstan: singer F.Chaliapin, writers L.Tolstoy, S.Aksakov and M.Gorky, V.Aksenov, poets E.Boratynsky, G.Derzhavin, M.Tsvetaeva and N.Zabolotsky, artists I.Shishkin and N.Feshin. The classic of Tatar poetry Gabdulla Tukai, the poet and hero M.Jalil, composers F.Yarullin, S.Saydashev, N.Zhiganov, S.Gubaidulina, ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and many others made up the glory of Tatar culture.

Tatar women's costume

Tatar women's jewelry

Tatar ichigs

Kazan towel of the XIX century. Remark