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Chinggis Khan and the New Shamans

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image of Inner Asia

Since the mid nineties, several shamanic centres have opened in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia. These centres are places visited by people consulting shamans with the hope of solving the diverse problems of their lives, and where rituals are organised. Generally, shamanic centres are linked with organisations that claim the promotion and protection of Mongolian culture. They have also become an interesting gathering place for nationalist organisations, more concerned with cultural and identity issues than with questions of individual misfortune. This paper will present examples, through recent rituals, of how new shamans use Chinggis Khan – whose cult was also forbidden – in a system of beliefs and practices where the person and the state; the people and the nation, are treated together to develop the country; echoing the great past of the Mongol Empire.


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