Museum of Altai Life

Altai Republic

Contact information

Altai Republic, Chemalsky district, Chemal village, Stroiteley str., Building 7

Phone: +7 (983) 327-59-19

Operating hours

10:00 – 20:00 daily

Ticket price

Guided tour and tasting of traditional Altai dishes – 500 rubles/person, groups of 3 or more people;

Felting workshop – 500 rubles/person, groups of 3 or more people;

Jew’s harp workshop – 1000 rubles/person; Traditional Altai dinner – 1000 rubles/person.

Founder, owner, and director of the museum

Alexandra Stafeeva



About museum

The idea belongs to me – Alexandra Stafeeva. I majored in museum studies (Altai State Institute of Culture, major: museum studies, preservation of cultural and historical heritage). The museum was opened in July 2021.

The main program consists of a guided tour and a tasting of some traditional Altai dishes.

The excursion takes place in a traditional dwelling of the Northern Altaians chadyr (a conical yurt covered in larch bark). The visitors learn all about the life, customs and traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Altai Mountains. Here you can see the kitchen utensils used to prepare dairy, grains and meat that are offered to visitors during the tasting. The visitors learn about art and culture while looking at the interior decor objects, traditional costumes and other art works. We tell about traditional and seasonal rituals, worldview and lifestyle of nomadic Altaians, traditional crafts and traditional Altai culture in modern society.

After the tour, we invite visitors to enter the Altai ayil – the traditional dwelling common all over the Altai Mountains, usually hexagonal (ours also has six faces).

In the ayil we hold a tasting of Altai national dishes, including the following dishes and beverages:

– chegen – fermented cow milk drink;

– kurut – milk smoked cheese;

– byshtak – unsalted lactic cheese;

– aarchi – a dairy product, a curd-like lees, a byproduct of the araka distillation;

– arakay (arachka) – fermented milk moonshine;

– talkan – a dish made from roasted and ground barley;

– chok-chok (tok-chok) – dessert made of talkan, rendered butter and hackberry;

– kocho – hot meat and barley dish;

– kan – lamb black pudding;

– dyogom – braided lamb umble;

– boorsok – round-shaped pastries, fried in fat;

– tertpek – flatbreads;

– tustu tea – herbal tea with salt, cream and talkan.

The menu also includes such side dishes as fresh veggies, boiled potatoes, herbs, and sour cream. There are also some desserts that most visitors are familiar with, but that are also a part of local traditional cuisine: cowberry and honey, hackbery jam, wild rhubarb jam, dairy and meat dishes — all the ingredients come from our homestead, vegetables and greens from our vegetable garden, honey from the bee garden, wild herbs and berries are handpicked.

In ayil, in addition to tasting tables, there is a handicraft product exhibition fair of local artisans and craftsmen. The visitors can buy unique souvenirs made of felt, ceramics, stone, wood or metal.

The Museum of Altati Life also hosts workshops on felting – a traditional craft of Altai women – on which you can learn about the crafts of the Altai Mountains, the meaning and role of felt in nomadic life, and felting techniques applications in modern life. After the workshop, attendants can take home the result of their work as a souvenir.

Besides, we conduct workshops on playing Komys (Jew’s harp). During the workshop, you can learn about the intangible culture of the Altaians, their national musical instruments, origin legends, and basic performing techniques. The participants can take their instruments home after the workshop.

The museum also hosts art events: performances of kaichi (throat singer) and other traditional musical instruments, presentations and exhibitions by masters of arts and crafts, meetings with interesting people, original ethnic photoshoots, theatrical performances and traditional ritual demonstrations, thematic lectures, etc.

During the summer of 2021, we held several traveling events, showcasing the traditional culture of the indigenous people of the Altai Republic to the guests of the region.