Altai shamans

It’s hard to say when there was shamanism in the Altai. Many centuries ago. But already in the 20s of the twentieth century, after the revolution and the separation of Orthodox Church from the state, which led to the crisis in the Altai spiritual mission, to shamanism came back many baptized Altaians, everywhere there were the ritual with sacrifices of domestic animals. Slaughter of cattle in sacrifice to the spirits is of such a size that it began to concern local authorities EUROSAI Autonomous region. End the practice of shamans of the cult marked the ensuing collectivization. While shamanic ritual places still was conducted in a narrow circle of believers without the tambourine and sacrifices. Is it possible to say that shamanism is not now in Altai? No, most likely, shamanism simply changed the life form.

Scientific ethnographic study of shamanism were held in tsarist Russia, then in the Soviet Union from the 30s. And now in modern Russia from time to time come out with new research this regional religion of the Altai shamanism. To illustrate the ritual of the Altai shamans meaningless compilation of modern works, eyewitness exclamations, here’s what you need.

To send sacrifices in Altaians and other Siberian non-Russians, there is a special class of shamans, which they call kammi. Kumami are not only men,but women; the belief of the Altaians, the Kama is born with an irresistible desire Kamlat, i.e. Kuesnacht. The title is not hereditary, and the son of Kama was not always a shaman, and not every Cam is the father of Kama, but Kama the location of the activity to a certain extent innate, and if not the son, grandson or nephew will be reflected. The urge to dance the man found that he cannot bear calmly the spectacle of ritual, and even when the distant sound of a tambourine with him begin to convulse. These convulsions are amplified over time and become so intolerable that the flow in the Kama river for the unfortunate Martyr becomes inevitable. Then he goes as an apprentice to one of the old Kams, studying tunes and hymns, takes a tambourine and is dedicated to Kama in the title.

If this call to ritual manifested in the family, in which there is a Cam, the Altaians I think, probably, among their ancestors was some kind of Cam. All Kama consider themselves descendants of one Kama, who first on earth began Kamlat. He was much more skilled and more powerful than the current one. His name was, according to one legend, Kadelbach, otherwise Atostogos; there are still legends that give it the name of Karakan Khan-Hormos. This ancient Kam, the ancestor of the current Kamov and founder of shamanism, first person on earth who bounced to the beats of the tambourine, was far better than the current one. They do not possess even a hundredth share of the power and knowledge of his ancestor, which was able to fly with a tambourine in hands across the rivers, to call down lightning from the sky, etc. and had Nothing more to say about how he had power over death itself: it never dying, but he returned to life. About him are numerous legends. One of them tells that Khan, bored from the deceptions of ordinary shamans, commanded them all to burn. “If, he said, they will burn, – nothing to regret: so they were all liars; if they are true shamans, they will not burn “. All of the shamans gathered in one tent, laid with dry grass and kindling and lit, and the fire was extinguished, and in place of a fire found himself with wet mud; piled the brushwood and grass twice more, again lit, and again the same result. Finally the third time piled on more wood, this time the fire has burned down to the Yurt and with all the former shamans in it, except for one, which is intact with a tambourine in his hands flew out of the fire.

Altai shamans cameout with a tambourine in hand. The tambourine consists of a rim, on one side the taut skin. The ritual is mostly performed after sunset, in front of the bonfire: first drum is heated over a flame so that the skin is tight, and the buzz went the tambourine louder. Then thrown into the fire of juniper berries and splash in the air milk. Meanwhile, the shaman wears a special coat and special hat. Cloak it called Altaians maniac, all covered, and the front and rear with cables of different thicknesses and bundles of straps. The harness is sewn from colorful fabrics, are thick from toe to the thickness of the arm above the wrist, and depict a serpent, some of them with his eyes and his mouth gaping open. In addition, on the back and sides of the shaman sewn a lot of small iron bells. The shaman headdress, trimmed with cowrie shells and so-called snake heads and owl feathers.

If the shaman or the shaman have a strong voice, far away in the still of the night included a song similar to the supplication of the oppressed or depressed by his powerlessness of the soul. This artistic part of the shaman’s actions sometimes suddenly interrupted by the cries of the cuckoo, the snarl of the bear, the hissing snakes or talking in an unnatural voice and in an incomprehensible language. This means that the shaman found himself in the society of spirits. Then again, should be an explosion of rabid ritual, blows constantly hear the tambourine, the shaman shakes the body, dizzy in the air. Finally, he quickly like a top, spinning on one foot, and the wiring are drawn out in the air almost horizontally. If the Yurt, in which this view is small, then the movement of air produced by the shaman’s robe and hung on her snake-like harnesses, the fire goes out, the coals and sparks scattered in different corners.

Sometimes the shaman, at the end of such a paroxysm of rage, lunges at people, curled up fingers in the form of the clutches of predatory animal, Baring his teeth and uttering a muffled grunt, or falls to the ground and begins to gnaw lying by the fire and red hot stones. Tired, he stops; he serves up, have a smoke and calmed down, he made available and begins to tell what he saw and foresaw that in the future for each:

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