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Buddhists, Shamans, and SovietsRituals of History in Post-Soviet Buryatia$
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Justine Buck Quijada

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190916794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190916794.001.0001

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Opening the Center, Opening the Roads

Opening the Center, Opening the Roads

(p.138) 5 Opening the Center, Opening the Roads
Buddhists, Shamans, and Soviets

Justine Buck Quijada

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 describes the inauguration of the Tengeri Shaman Association’s center in downtown Ulan-Ude. Tengeri considers contemporary social problems to be the karmic debt of violence from the Soviet period and sees Buddhism as a foreign colonizing power. By reaching back to the court of Chinghis Khan, when shamanism was a state religion, the shamans at Tengeri seek to recover the true, universal religion of all humanity, restore positive relationships with ancestor spirits and in the process, seek to solve social problems faced by contemporary Buryats. Their rituals produce a shamanic chronotope within which the past (as ancestor spirits) is co-present. Shamans thereby are able to produce an ongoing and malleable relationship with the past, that enables them to reconfigure the temporal double-bind faced by indigenous populations. They are able to restore “traditional” practices while rejecting the linear timeline that evaluates these practices through their distance from the modern.

Keywords:   shamanism, Central Asia, Genghis Khan, altered states of consciousness, museum, indigeneity, ancestor worship

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