Postcard from the Road: A Mystical Shaman Ceremony in the Remote Siberian Wilderness

Postcard from the Road: A Mystical Shaman Ceremony in the Remote Siberian Wilderness

Tour Manager Tatiana Pokalova sent us a photo postcard from the road while she was traveling on MIR’s Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Tuva & Lake Baikal small group tour.

While in Kyzyl, a small Siberian village in remote Tuva, Tatiana took one of our favorite photos from her trip: a photo of a shaman ceremony.

The photo was taken about halfway through the trip, when the group met with a shaman for a demonstration of an authentic ceremony. Tuvan shamanism is based on an animistic spiritual belief that used to be an integral part of Tuvan life and, to some extent, still is. Shamans intercede for people with the spirit world, the unseen world that pervades the Tuvan’s environment.

Shamanism was deliberately suppressed by the Soviets, and Tuvans who discovered they had shamanic abilities were forced to hide them from anyone except close relatives. Since 1991, shamanism in Tuva has experienced a resurgence.

As Tatiana explained about the moving experience:
“Shamans communicate with spirits by different sacred means. They can see a person’s past, speak about the present, and can even attempt to foresee a person’s future. Witnessing the power and energy of their traditional rituals is an overwhelming experience.”

Find out more about the cultural traditions of Tuva:

Tuva: Explore Siberia’s Remote and Undiscovered Treasure

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Visit the home of a nomadic family in the remote Tuvan countryside, observing the art of making Tuvan cheese, and experiencing the rural hospitality and lifestyle of today’s Tuvan nomads
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Want to experience a shaman ceremony?

Travel on MIR’s small group tour:

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva
From Olkhon Island to the Valley of the Czars
Next departure: July 26-August 7, 2020

On this small group tour, explore South Siberia, a remote and atmospheric land where mounted Scythians thundered across the steppe long ago. Meet the Buryats of UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal and the Tuvan and Khakass people, whose Mongolian neighbors imbued them with Buddhism, shamanism, and khoomei, or throat-singing.

Chat with one of our destination specialists by email or by phone at 1-800-424-7289 to start planning your travels today.

Here are some other photos Tatiana shared with us from her travels on this small group tour — Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva:
Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Before experiencing a shaman ceremony in Kyzyl, travelers visit Shaman Rock and see a shaman ceremony on a cliff overlooking Lake Baikal
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Visiting the home of a semi-nomadic family in Samagaltai
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

A young Tuvan watches over the herd
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

In Kyzyl, travelers visited a local bead-maker who demonstrated the art of jewelry-making
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

The Tuvan Cowboy monument
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

A traditional Tuvan musical performance
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Kyzyl’s monument marking the geographical midpoint of Asia
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

A folk performance of Khakassian music in Abakan, Russia
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Completed in 1952, Moscow’s Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building was once the tallest building in Europe
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Inside the GUM Department Store in Red Square, Moscow
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Stately St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo:Tatiana Pokalova

Moscow’s gleaming Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva. Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

Lenin’s Mausoleum, built in 1924 to house the embalmed remains of the famous leader
Photo: Tatiana Pokalova

 

All photos: Tatiana Pokalova

PUBLISHED: August 19, 2019

Related Posts

Share your thoughts

2 thoughts on “Postcard from the Road: A Mystical Shaman Ceremony in the Remote Siberian Wilderness