Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Shamans of Mongolia (video)

Hamid Sardar-Afkhami (photo-journalist), "The Duhalar" (;; Amber Dorrian and Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
(KenanMohican) Ayarlarda yüksek kaliteli görüntü mevcuttur

Last Oroqen shaman (R. Noll)
Much of our American Xmas lore comes not from Israel and Christianity but from Scandinavian shamans, like the Swedish Sami, and European Pagans. "Santa Claus" was originally a magic mushroom harvester who distributed his bounty from a large sack on a reindeer sleigh. He went through the forest in search of smoking pipe stove chimneys to deliver each family's share. The family gladly received their red-and-white "gifts" and quickly set them out to dry inside stockings hanging over the burning fireplace. If a mushroom were to remain moist, it could go bad, which means it would turn into a lump of coal-like blackness as it putrefies. The fly agaric psychedelic mushroom (amanita muscaria). The psyche in psyche-delic refers to the mind, personality, spirit, "soul," or self.

The Reindeer People
Mongolia: Russia-China (
The Duhalar (Dukhalar, Dukalar) reindeer people live in Hovsgol -- "the Land of the Blue Lake," a territory of about 25,000 square miles (65,000 sq. km) in northwestern Mongolia bordering the tiny Russian Republic of Tuva.
They are the guardians of this hidden realm, patrolling a maze of evergreen forests and snow-capped mountains on the backs of their stocky reindeer. They gain a meager existence by hunting for furs and antlers, which they sell in a nearby Mongol town.

The Duhalar depend on a healthy domestic reindeer population not just for their milk and as a means of transport but also for their spirituality -- to move through a forest haunted by the spirits [Buddhist  ghosts-pretas,] of their ancestors who counsel the living through the shaman’s songs. If the reindeer vanish, the songlines of the ancestors will also cease to exist.

There are hundreds of ghost shrines, called “asars,” in the Hovsgol taiga. The entire forest is a burial ground [haunted by monsters or yakkhas, killers or maras, hellions or narakas]. This explains why the Duhalar are so opposed to government plans to disfigure their landscape with mines. “I will become immortal in this forest after I die,” Tsuyan, the old shaman matriarch explained. 

Orta Asy Turkeleri Duhalar (Kanal 7, Ana Haber videolari,

Shaman drummer (
What is Dark Heaven?” I asked her. “It is the dark space on the other side,” Tsuyan says, “full of colors, sounds, and voices from where the ancestors appear and reveal their message to the living.” 
On odd days of the waxing moon, Tsuyan would transform herself into a deer and fly off [flying reindeer was transformed from shaman lore to Christmas legend] to a place called the Dark Heavens, a twilight world full of light, sounds, and voices from where the ancestors reveal their hidden messages in the guise of various birds and beasts. 
“We exist in relation to three things,” she would say, “our forest, our ancestor spirits, and our reindeer. If we lose this connection, our spirits ‘ongots’ will abandon us and the demons will take hold of our destiny.”

Shamans: Neo-Native Americans, pre-crossing
The Duhalar choose one reindeer and mark it as a “totem deer” that serves as a mount for the invisible guardian spirits of the tribe. In addition, every individual person is ceremonially linked to an individual deer that is believed to protect them throughout their lives and follow them into the other worlds.

I was very much keen to express this “spiritual” relationship between [humans] and deer in my photographs. More

No comments: