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:
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.
All photos: Tatiana Pokalova
PUBLISHED: August 19, 2019