Galleries - Ghosts of Siberia
According to the native Siberian people the shaman is the mediator between the our world and the world of spirits. Only he can help by the anciant rituals and due to these abilities he has exceptional position in his native society. Shaman is a healer, a forteller of the future and a pastor all together.
Although any sign of shamanism was strictly punished during long lasting communist era and shamans themselves were cruelly repressed, soon after destroyig USSR, with comming of the religious freedom, the shamanistic traditions were revivified. The thousend-years-old ideas about spirits and ghost of nature have been deeply carved in people's minds.
Nowadays there are hundreds of shamans in Siberia and it is even possible to say that beeing a shaman is becomming a fashion, that's cool to be a shaman. Partly because of the revival of folk traditions and partly because it is a good possibility how to earn some decent money. Although shamanism used to be exclusively personal and individual thing and the shaman used to work in concealment, and kept his secrets, shamanism today is often institutionalized and fully professionalized. Shamanistic centers and clinics with strong hierarchy headquarters and with fixed charges have been created. And the shamans pay the taxes to the government like private entrepreneurs.
Photographed in Republic of Tuva, 2002-2021.