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Сегодня 28 October 2021 г.
7 October 2010

An audience with the president of Tuvan shamans

KP. Translated by Heda Jindrak

An audience with the president of Tuvan shamans When we went to Tuva on a business trip, we never even suspected that we would have an audience with the president of Tuvan shamans. For that reason, we were totally unprepared for such a meeting. Personally, I know absolutely nothing about shamanism, and even more so, I have no idea how to behave during an interview with a representative of this culture. The President for life of Tuvan shamans, Mongush Kenin-Lopsan lives in Kyzyl, in a small one-story wood cabin. He is already 85(!) years old. The little room where he receives visitors holds many shelves with books, and strange incomprehensible pictures hang on the walls. Most of the books were written by Mongush Borakhovich himself. They contain myths and shamanic lyrical poetry. They have been published several times in America and in Europe.

The president of the shamans is both respected and feared in Kyzyl. But his advice and predictions are secretly sought by simple folk as well as by businessmen. He does not meet with journalists very often; the local people say that “Grandpa” is quite a character!

The shaman met us sitting behind his desk (he has lost one leg, and a woman caretaker comes to see to his needs).  I felt right away that he was observing me and the photographer very attentively and grimly.

-          I am an old person, and I love it when people have to persuade me, - were the welcoming words of Kenin-Lopsan. – It is mandatory! And it is also necessary to speak to me very kindly and gently…I am very modest, I never refuse to see anybody who contacts me. And do you know what “Black heaven” is?

-          No, - I answered honestly.

-          According to our mythology, everything – the good, the bad, the lucky and happy – comes from the Black heaven. The Black heaven is very far away – behind the Milky Way. That is where the “breath” of the Black heaven comes from.

-          Mongush Borakhovich told us many interesting things about the history of shamanism, about all the people of many different professions from the whole world who come to see him, who are interested in this culture.

And now I’ll tell you a secret: at the end of our meeting, I asked the photographer to leave me alone with the shaman for a while, so that I could ask him a very personal question. And he told me everything what will happen in my life in the next few years, when I’ll get married, how many children… So now I know everything. If it really happens as foretold, I will definitely write about it, and I will have to send a bottle of good cognac to the shaman!

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