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Neo-Shamanism in the Context of the Contemporary Ethno-Cultural Situation in the Republic of Buryatia

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It is often said that there is a ‘revival’ of shamanism in Siberia today. The article argues, however, that in Buryatia alongside this resurgence there are new phenomena, which we would more accurately call ‘Neo-shamanic’. Amongst these phenomena are: the combining of shamanic with secular careers; the creation of an Association of shamans; the participation of shamans in popular media events; the desire of shamans to express their point of view in the academic environment; and the contemporary shamans’ elevation of shamanism to world religion status. The Association has promoted some mass rituals, which have been integrated (often problematically) into local mythic worldviews, and the combination of shamanic with academic pursuits has also turned out to be an uncomfortable one. Such new activities show that shamanism evolves historically, though it also retains a fundament based on locality and ancestors.


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