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Сегодня 9 December 2021 г.
19 May 2014

Tuvan Shamans from Latvian Perspective

Chimiza Lamajaa. Translation - Emina Kyzyl-ool, Luke Inglis

Tuvan Shamans from Latvian Perspective“Ṡamaṇupusē” is the title of the book released in the end of 2013 by the publishing house “Neputns” in Riga, Latvia. Uldis Tīrons, a journalist, philosopher and the editor-in-chief of the intellectual magazine Rigas Laiks  is the author of the book which he worked on with his colleague-photographer Andrejs Grants. “Ṡamaṇupusē” (“In the shamans’ direction”- dir. transl) is a summary of the author’s visits to Tuva, the place he discovered for himself more than 20 years ago.

Uldis first visited Tuva back in 1989 while working on the multimedia project “Shamans of Tuva” for Riga Video Center which was meant to result in a CD, film and a book release. Five expeditions around Tuva took place during the period from 1989 to 1991. Unfortunately, due to the breakdown of USSR, the project never came to life. During his travels around the Republic, Uldis Tirons was meeting with shamans, researching and reading various literature related to shamanism.

But the dream to write a book never left him. Uldis intended to make it as an anthropological sketch about the engagement of Western and Eastern cultures, particularly about the increased interest of the Western researchers to shamanism and actual relations between them and Tuvan shamans.

Last summer, 2013 a journalist visited the Center of Asia once again. The main purpose of the expedition was to analyze the changes in Tuva since those times, possible alterations in people’s beliefs since shamanism emerged from underground and how his personal apprehension of the phenomenon and anthropological object in general, has varied after 20 years time.

Just like two decades ago, a president of Tuvan shamans Mongush Kenin-Lopsan remains the most important adviser for Uldis on this matter. Uldis couldn’t meet with the shamans he used to know before as the majority of them passed away, but he did manage to gather new information, to meet with local and foreign shamanism scientists and compare the new data with his old notes. Uldis shares the information with the audience in his picturesque book containing magnificent photographs made by Andrejs Grants.

The presentation of the book took place in November 2013 during the 20th anniversary of the Rigas Laiks magazine.  Tuvan throat singers Ay Khan Oorzhak and Evgeniy Saryglar were invited to the event.

 Uldis mentioned that Tuvan khoomei is more spiritual, rather than human music associated with spiritual language of communication between people and the other world.

-I am happy that I’ve managed to come to Tuva, have got to know this magnificent place and fallen in love with its people, and I am very grateful to be able to publish my book.

It is my duty for huge amount of great people who kindly shared their time and benevolence. Especially, I would like to thank my friends and advisers in Tuva – Mongush Kenin Lopsan, Valentina Suzukei, Cherlig-ool Kuular, Zoya Samdan, Vasiliy Salchak, Lazo Mongush, Chechek Adygbey whose father I gratefully remember. I hope that I’ll be gifted with another chance to visit Tuva but rather as a friend than a scientist or an observer.

The book is published in Latvian language with short summary in English.  Uldis Tirons kindly agreed to prepare some materials in Russian language for the readers of our magazine and present the Latvian perspective on Tuva.

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