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Millenarian Representations of the Contemporary Buryats

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image of Inner Asia

The Buryats of Tory speak of an original homeland in Mongolia, from which they were driven northwards some centuries ago, and signs and prophesies indicate that they are destined to return there soon. The ‘promised land’ will be reached with great difficulties in three waves preceded by cataclysms, such as the flooding together of the Baikal and Khuvsugul ‘seas’ presaging the end of the world. These millenarian ideas are linked to current economic and political crises by fears of loss of Buryat lands, the association between land and sacred powers, and experiences of Russian persecution and enroachment. Stroganova argues that the millenarian myths express a striving for national regeneration in the face of current political disunity and uncertainty.


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