English: Coat of arms of Chuvashia. Español: E...

English: Coat of arms of Chuvashia. Español: Escudo de Chuvasia. Русский: Герб Чувашии. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autonomous Republic in the Russian Federation, lying almost entirely south of the Volga, west of Kazan.

The Chuvash were once nomadic. Their language is related to Turkish but fits into none of the established Turkic groups. Their legends make the Chuvash the descendants of the Bulgars, who dominated the middle Volga region until the Mongol/Tatar conquests in the mid-13th century, so their tongue may well be a modified survival of the old Bulgar language.

The Chuvash came under Russian rule when the Khanate of Kazan was conquered in 1552.

Their region was given autonomous status in the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in 1920, became the Chuvash Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1925, and the Chuvash Republic in 1991.

Two-thirds of the population are Chuvash and most of the rest is Russian. About a half of the Chuvash speakers live outside the Republic.

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