Friday, 28 September 2007

Sweet-talking son of a shaman man

In the photo gallery of ethno-online.ru I found this young man. The photo is part of a reportage about Nganasan shamans from the 1970's to the 1990's, it seems. Nganasans are one of the indigenous peoples of Siberia, living on the Taymyr Peninsula in the Arctic Ocean (not that far from the Nenets guys Viktor and Nikolai).



The notes around the photo say:

"This is the son of Tubyaku - Leonid, in Nganasan language Labtymyaku. Of his own accord, he dressed in his father's shaman clothes in order to rise up to the higher gods, and thus invoked his [father's] anger, because he had no connections to the shaman spirits.
Five years after his father's death, Leonid would start trying to practise shamanism for himself and his family."

Around another photo in the gallery it is written about how Leonid's father Tubyaku died. "Like a true Nganasan man he did not know how to handle fire, because the hearth is women's work. He just burned up when his daughters went away [illegible] a holiday."


P.S. The gallery is buggy. It's most easily navigated if you just manually change the number at the end of the URL on the first photo page to see the next photo - from 20 to 21, 22, 23 etc.

1 comment:

ainur said...

Ever since reading the novel "Valkoinen shamaani" in Punalippu, I've been crazy about shamans... I can't remember the name of the author anymore. I think the novel was about the Nenets. Maybe you remember more?