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Friends of Tuva (FoT) was conceived by accident in 1981 to commemorate Tuva's 60th anniversary as a distinctive splotch on the world globe. Because FoT is a brainchild of Ralph Leighton, it is impossible that it could even resemble an organization.  Rather, it has been a clearinghouse of information about Tuva and its "patron saint," Richard Feynman, who collected Tuvan stamps as a boy — and as an adult wondered,

"Whatever happened
Tannu Tuva?

FoT is unfunded and so has no affiliation with any government or religious institution. As there are no dues, meetings, or even a membership list, those who would like to consider themselves as Friends of Tuva should simply spread the word about this magical country, and celebrate Richard Feynman's spirit of adventure.

Remember to follow our news feed for updates!


November 28, 2013:  Today the Olympic torch relay passed through Kyzyl.   Lots of great photos at the official site,

July, 2013:  It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that Kongar-ol Ondar passed away on July 25 in Kyzyl.  It is in some ways an end of an era.  An obituary has been written by Jonathan Kaminsky of Reuters.

For those of you who have asked about helping out ONDAR -- both continuing the Tuvan culture and Ondar's family, contributions to the KO Legacy Fund can be made at


May, 2013:  Redefine Magazine has published "Tuva’s Meridian of Musicality, Spirituality, and Cross-Cultural Place: A Primer On Tuvan Throat Singing", an extensive and thoughtful overview of music and it's place in Tuvan culture.  Check it out!

May, 2013:  The Feynman Tapes, Volumes 0, 1, and 2 -- as well as Safecracker Suite, and Tuva Talk are all available again!    These original recordings of Feynman telling some of his classic tales have been unavailable for some time now but can be heard once again.  Also available is the 1996 album Echoes of Tuva by Kongar-ol ondarSee for the details.



For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
for Nature cannot be fooled.
                                               --- Richard P. Feynman


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This page last updated Thursday November 28, 2013.