The Soyot people were once part of a cluster of peoples that eventually split into three groups. Several thousand years ago, the ancestors of Soyot occupied the territory of the Eastern Sayan. Around the1st century BCE, the Soyots were pushed out by the Turkic tribes migrating from Central Asia. One of their chief occupations was reindeer production, but they were forced into other work under the Soviet Union. Now they are trying to revive that part of their culture since becoming a recognized people group after the fall of communism. Today they live mainly in the Oka region in the Okinsky District in the Buryatia, Russia. Although most practice Tibetan Buddhism, they are trying to go back to their Shamanistic roots in an effort to revive their dying culture. Their language is close to extinction. They currently number about 3,700 people.
Photo: Soyot man in traditional clothing
Russian – Sojot represents 29 individuals from South Siberian ethnic groups who were sampled in 2007 by the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
Source publication: Developing STR databases on structured populations: The native South Siberian population versus the Russian populations. FSI: Genetics 3 (2009) e111-e116.