The land of Baikal region in Russia has always been sacred for the local indigenous peoples – buryats. And shamans who could talk to local gods were revered as a hereditary caste of the chosen. After 70 years of stagnation the religious faith of their ancestors began to revive. But even so locals refer to shamans just as to healers now.
Many of them are not even aware of their destiny until, as they say, they won’t get a clear sign from Father Sky. To preserve their culture they had to create professional unions, organize festivals, scientific conferences.
Where to buy: Angarsk city, 84 rublesIn the wake of the popularity of the new-age culture the lake Baikal is mostly presented in guidebooks as the sacred center of the shaman’s world instead of the rare nature reserve. There are many tours offering visits to “the places of power”, advisory services from an “expert”, participation in ceremonies and sacred holidays. Amulets, totems and “real shaman drums” are in demand in local souvenir shops. I went there to check what’s in this image and how much it costs.
All my heroes are pictured at their workplaces: either at the offices of local religious organizations of shamans, either at home. [Official Website]
About Alina Desyatnichenko
Alina Desyatnichenko (b. 1991) is a documentary photographer based in Krasnodar, Russia. Born in Uzbekistan, at the age of 16 moved to Russia. Studied journalism at KubSU. Has been working as a freelancer with local and federal media since 2010.