The Ymai ethno-cultural complex is located on the outskirts of the city of Sayanogorsk, between the motorway leading to the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant and the high bank of the Yenisei River. Its location is historically justified, because here, at the junction of mountains and steppes, river and field roads, the traditions of the Russian, Khakas and Cossack people intercrossed as close as never.
The complex is named after the sacred mountain Ymai, located on the opposite bank of the Yenisei. The mountain goddess Ymai is a powerful and kind patroness of people, childhood and motherhood, sacred to all the people of Khakassia. She was the one that shamans addressed so that women could become pregnant and give birth to a healthy child. The locals believe that Mount Ymai grants wishes if you respectfully address. In addition, on the territory of the Ymai complex there is a marble obelisk with an epitaph runic inscription from the times of the Kyrgyz Khaganate. The original of the stele has been kept in the Minusinsk Museum of Local Lore since 1880, and the runic inscription was translated by the orientalist V.V. Radlov in 1898.
The place where the Yenisei enters the plains from the Sayan Mountains is a place for two frontiers at once - the medieval Umai Tura and the Sayan Stockade from the times of Peter I. One of the buildings of the Ymai complex resembles the watchtower of the Sayan Stockade, and the hut located nearby revives the atmosphere of Cossack life of the 18-19 centuries. By the way, the old name of Sayanogorsk was Oznachennoe (Signified) which came from the border post and the decree of Peter I: "The signified place is the border of the Russian State." Further south than the Sayan Mountains in the 18th century there was the land over which the Chinese Empire exercised the sphere of influence, while the Sayan Mountains were considered a neutral territory.
The tourists and guests of the complex can learn many interesting traditions of the Khakas people, get acquainted with the Cossack culture and the history of the construction of border outposts, take part in workshops in making bast shoes and purchase memorable souvenirs.
Quite recently the platform izi.TRAVEL has presented a mobile tour of the Sayanogorsk ethno-cultural complex “Ymai”! With the help of a guide, you can independently embark on a journey through the history of Slavic and Turkic cultures.