Remarkable are the Russian Old-believers: In the middle of the 18th century, the Russian tsarinas Anna Ioanovna and Katherine the Great sent about 20,000 of their families to exile in Siberia and in the Far East. In the remote valleys of Buryatia, the Old-believers have steadfastly maintained both their religious independence and their purity of blood.Visit their villages Bolshoy Kunaley, Saratovka, and Muhor-Tala; you will see the traditional log houses—brightly painted and decorated with ornamental patterns—with their rare icons and their original furniture and domestic utensils. The local inhabitants still wear the old Russian type of clothing: shirts, skirts, aprons, sarafans with gay ribbons, and kichkas—the traditional women’s dress. Enjoy the Russian choral singing, which dates back to the 17th century.