Uimon

Altai consider, the word «uimen» is brought by Russians and its source most likely has Old Slavonic dialect. The Altaian name of valley is Kyuksu, not Uimon. Many interpretations of the word «Uimon» create a complete mess. One version says, Uimon steppe was called by name Kalmyk Uimon who had been lived before, and the names of three sons Sahsoboy, Tenterek, Sheverek gave names to neighboring tracts. Another version of translation is «cow's neck», others - «cow's intestine», the third - «ten of my wisdom».

Top Uimon is the first founded village in Uimon steppe. It is located on the right bank of the Katun River at an altitude of 960 m above sea. Top-Uimon was founded in 1786 by the Old Believers who fled to the Altai seeking Belovodye country «land of true faith and piety of the ancient» after the split of Russian Orthodox Church. The founder of Top-Uimon became an Old Believer Gabriel Bochkarev, who secretly living in the mouth of Argut River with three sons and uncle having furnishing, mill, arable land according to archive data.

He was subsequently revealed, then he appealed a petition of adoption his family in Russian citizenship. Government «covered Bochkarev with gracious manifesto and sent him a harrow and plow», after he moved to Uimon Steppe by request of authorities. Later Buhtarminckie Old believers joined him. By 1826 the village Top Uimon had a total over 15 prosperous huts.

In 1895, the geographer Veniamin Petrovich Semenov-Tyan-Shan wrote: «Old Believers population is descendants of bricklayers. They live very well; height of fields makes often lack of ripening, but maral breeding, hunting and herding give them full support. Herds of horses in the mountains without a shepherd in simmer and in winter season, tearing the grass of the snow in winter».

Living far away from populated areas, residents got to know what happened outside mountain later. In July of 1895, they did not know about the death of the Emperor Alexander III (who had died in the autumn of 1894). The population is also involved in beekeeping, artificial irrigating around the fields. Many Orthodox immigrants kept to arrive to Uimon Valley.

Census of 1897 helps to look into the life of the Top-Uimon that can help with the destruction of many tales of the past. Here are the data of this study: 90 farms (62 home, 96 cottages). The population - 284 men, women 305. The number of literate 30 men and 8 women.

Top-Uimon Village was religious center of Old believers since its foundation until the end of the XIX century, then it subsequently lost its status.

In August 1926, N. Roerich one of the most prominent cultural figure of XX century visited Top-Uimon with the Central Asian expedition. House of Atamanov became Upper Uimon became a base from which the members of the expedition went to the mountains and the surrounding villages. The house is museum of Roerich at the present time.

Attraction of Top-Uimon are houses built of fir and Listvyaga on the precepts of antiquity observing lunar cycles in XIX-early XX centuries. Some of them have kept the painting folk umelitsy Agashevny.

In p. Top-Uimon - two museums: the National Museum of the Republic of Altai of Anohin A.V., and Top-Uimon school region museum.

Also, one of tourist interests is located on the western outskirts of the village, a cemetery, which consists of 50 mounds. The burial ground belongs to Hun-Sarmatian culture formed to the end of the III. BC. On the Altai Mountains. Monuments of earlier periods of history are on the eastern edge of the village. Excavation articles have been made in the Top-Uimon can be seen in the museum-reserve.

The indigenous people have participially kept the old way of life. Good-natured grandmother and stern-bearded old men, as from pictures about the primordial Russia, passing by, look closely, expect to hear «hello». It is accepted to welcome to each other even to strangers, after greeted him to have a conversation. However, the village are deserted, the Old Believers live closed, their ancient clans gradually fading, dying out. Believers host all the guests, respect the family and ancestors to the seventh generation. They can tell a lot of interesting, but do not expect revelations from each counter.