That We Should Build-Oktay
Founded in 1990, the name of the children's folklore-ethnographic ensemble 'Oktay' comes from the Greek word "Octoechos", meaning "Eight Voices" - just like the liturgical book of the Orthodox Church which comprises texts and musical notation in the "Kriuki" format. From the very beginning the ensemble has conducted ethnographic work on the musical culture of the "Staro Vera" (Old Believers) living in remote areas high up in the mountain headwaters of the great Siberian Yenisei river - in the Maly (small) valley which is to be found in the republic of Tyva, part of the Russian Federation. Driven there many years ago by the authorities, these people kept their faith, their way of life and independence from the various officials, mainstream customs and culture - being, in fact, the only carriers of these living ancient traditions. The Old Believers of Tuva are custodians of some unique illuminated manuscripts dating back to the eighteenth century, as well as verbal and musical culture, music traditions and a way of life that should be considered as the heritage of both Russian and Tuvan culture. These involve not least the "Stikhi" - in Russian meaning "The Verses" - spiritual poems.