EuropeFeaturedStoryBaikal of wonders by Alina Desyatnichenko

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.

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.

Khuzhir settlement, next to Shaman rock

Where to buy: Angarsk city, 84 rubles

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]

Irkutsk city, in the office of Local religious organization of shamans (LROS) “Baikal”
Irkutsk city, in the office of Local religious organization of shamans (LROS) “Baikal”

Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 550 rubles
Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 550 rubles

Bilchir settlement, at home
Bilchir settlement, at home

Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 141 rubles
Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 141 rubles

Angarsk city, in the yurt of LROS “Forever blue sky”
Angarsk city, in the yurt of LROS “Forever blue sky”

Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 1100 rubles
Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 1100 rubles

Ust-Ordynsky settlement, in the yurt of LROS “Heavenly lights”
Ust-Ordynsky settlement, in the yurt of LROS “Heavenly lights”

Where to buy: Ust-Ordynskiy settlement, 250 rubles
Where to buy: Ust-Ordynskiy settlement, 250 rubles

Irkutsk city, at home
Irkutsk city, at home

Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 150 rubles
Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 150 rubles

Elantsy settlement, in the “working” yurt at home
Elantsy settlement, in the “working” yurt at home

Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 300 rubles
Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 300 rubles

Irkutsk city, at the kitchen in the residence
Irkutsk city, at the kitchen in the residence

Where to buy: Listvyanka town, 50 rubles
Where to buy: Listvyanka town, 50 rubles

Angarsk city, in the “working” yurt of LROS “Forever blue sky”
Angarsk city, in the “working” yurt of LROS “Forever blue sky”

Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 500 rubles
Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 500 rubles

Bayanday settlement, in his “working” house
Bayanday settlement, in his “working” house

Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 800 rubles
Where to buy: Irkutsk city, 800 rubles

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.

One comment

  • Avatar
    Andrej Duricek

    Jun 14, 2016 at 20:59

    Simply the beautiful message, thank you.

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