The Buryats or Buriyads (Buryat: Buryaad, Buryaad), numbering approximately 500,000, are the largest indigenous (aboriginal) group in Siberia, mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia. They are the major northern subgroup of the Mongols. Buryats share many customs with other Mongols, including nomadic herding, and erecting yurts for shelter. Today, the majority of Buryats live in and around Ulan-Ude, the capital of the republic, although many live more traditionally in the countryside. They speak in a dialect of Mongol language called Buryat. The Buryat people are descended from various SIberian and Mongolic peoples that inhabited the Lake Baikal Region. Then in the 13th century the Mongolians came up and enslaved the various Buryat tribes around Lake Baikal. The name "Buriyad" is mentioned as one of the forest people for the first time in The Secret History of the Mongols (possibly 1240).
Contributions by Bdkusyk, Enerelt, and Siberianeskimo.