Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

‘I Have My Own Spaceship’

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Folk Healers in Kalmykia, Russia

image of Inner Asia

This paper is about folk healers in Kalmykia, southwest Russia, locally referred to as medlegchi, and their eclectic healing methods that combine elements of the earlier religions of Buddhism, shamanism and folk beliefs with modern theologies, ideas and concepts. Although the paper focuses upon the contemporary situation of folk healers, the author also briefly describes the development of Kalmyk folk healing in order to explain its varied and de-centralised contemporary nature. Alleging to receive their healing knowledge directly from their guardian deities (the majority of whom are Buddhist gods), all Kalmyk folk healers are eclectic in their methods, some more so than others. For example, those who are members of the community Vozrozhdenie [Revival], discussed in the paper, differ from many others by the speed with which they absorb ultra-new ideas and anxieties into their healing practices, which today include UFOs, a cosmic god and aliens, among other things.

Affiliations: 1: University of Cambridge CambridgeUK


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Badmaeva G. Yu 2002 Istoricheskie sud’by muzykal’nyh traditsiy shamanizma i buddizma u Kalmykov i narodov Tsentral’noi Azii [Historical fate of the musical traditions of shamanism and Buddhism among the Kalmyks and other peoples of Central Asia] Vestnik Instituta KIGI RAN Elista
2. Bakaeva E. 2003 Dobuddiyskie Verovaniya Kalmykov [Pre-Buddhist Beliefs Among the Kalmyks] Elista Jangar
3. Bakaeva E. 2009 Sakral’nye Kody Kul’tury Kalmykov [Sacred Codes of Kalmyk Culture] Elista IKIAT
4. Behrend H., Luig U. 1999 Spirit Possession, Modernity and Power in Africa Oxford James Currey
5. Boddy J. 2010"The work of Zar: women and spirit possession in northern Sudan" Sax W., Quack J., Weinhold J. The Problem of Ritual Efficacy 113 130 New York (NY) Oxford University Press [Crossref]
6. Bugai N. 1991 Operatsiya Ulusy [The Operation Ulusy] Elista Jangar
7. Charlier B. 2011 Faces of the Wolf, Faces of the Individual: Anthropological Study of Human, Non-Human Relationships in West Mongolia. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Cambridge
8. Elekhina Yu.I 2015 Obitel’ Miloserdiya: Iskusstvo Tibetskogo Buddizma [The Abode of Compassion. Art in Tibetan Buddhism] St Petersburg Izd-vo Gosudarstvennogo Ermitazha
9. Gazizova V. 2016"Accepting divine patronage: Kalmyk folk religious specialists and their guardian deities" Inner AsiaVol 18 2 265 287 [Crossref]
10. Gombrich R., Obeyesekere G. 1988 Buddhism Transformed: Religious change in Sri Lanka. Princeton (NJ) Princeton University Press
11. Guchinova E. 2006 The Kalmyks Lewis D.C. Bodmin MPG Books
12. Humphrey C. 1996 Shamans and Elders: Experience, knowledge, and power among the Daur Mongols Onon U. Oxford Clarendon Press
13. Humphrey C. 2002"Eurasia, ideology and political imagination in provincial Russia" Hann C.M. Postsocialism: Ideals, ideologies, and practices in Eurasia 258 276 London Routledge
14. Humphrey C. 2014"A politico-astral cosmology in contemporary Russia" Abramson A., Holbraad M. Framing Cosmologies: The anthropology of worlds 223 243 Manchester Manchester University Press
15. Lan D. 1985 Guns and Rain Los Angeles (CA) University of California Press
16. Neumann Fridman E. 2004 Sacred Geography: Shamanism among the Buddhist peoples of Russia. Budapest Akademiai Kiado
17. Ramet P.S. 1998 Nihil Obstat: Religion, politics, and social change in east-central Europe and Russia Durham (NC)/ London Duke University Press
18. Shevenova S., Guchinova E. 2005 Pamyat’ v Nasledstvo. Deportastiya Kalmykov v Shkol’nyh Sochineniyah [Memory as Heritage. The Deportation of the Kalmyks in the Essays of Pupils St Petersburg Aleteya
19. Sinclair T. 2008"Tibetan reform and the Kalmyk revival of Buddhism" Inner AsiaVol 10 2 241 259 [Crossref]
20. Stephens H. 1997"The occult in Russia today" Rosenthal B. Glatzer The Occult in Russian and Soviet Culture 357 378 Ithaca (NY)/London Cornell University Press
21. Ulanov M., Badmaev V., Matsakova N. 2016"Buddizm i pravovaya traditsiya Mongolii [Buddhism and the legal tradition in Mongolia]" Bylye GodyVol 42 4 1068 1075
22. Young G. 2012 The Russian Cosmists: The esoteric futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and his followers. Oxford Oxford University Press [Crossref]

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Inner Asia — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation