Spellbound by the Shaman or In de ban van de Sjaman,

Shamanism in Tuva and the Altai-Region is the name of an exhibition, which takes place at the Ethnographic Museum, Antwerpen, from November 22, 1997 to March 29, 1998. This exhibition is accompanied by another interesting show:
Music for the eyes, Textile from the Peoples of Central-Asia

So Antwerpen is worth a visit!

Ethnographic Museum
The Exhibition The Catalogue More Photos Museum's Adress
Shaman's Catafalque
Shaman's Catafalque
Tuvan, Russian, American and Belgian specialists collaborated on the catalogue and the exhibiton. Objects from the Museum "Aldan Madyr" in Kyzyl, from museums in Krasnojarsk, Abakan and Gorno Altaisk are exhibited, presented in display cases or as a installation.

The visitor is introduced in the continuous flow of imagination, conscience and tradition, when he is confronted with mural paintings from pre-historic times to objects, used by shamans in our times, after the end of soviet oppression.

Many scientists contributed to this exhibition and its catalogue, but I think, the most prominent of them is Mongush B. Kenin - Lopsang. He dedicated his whole life to Shamanism and beside many other merits, he is responsible that Shamanism survived the soviet oppression and that the world knows about it.
During soviet time, his clandestine work helped to preserve his people's traditions. Even under the eyes of the KGB, he managed to document shamanism and it's ceremonies. He told me, that the buben, the traditional shaman drum, was replaced by a white flag, so a ceremony wouldn't be noticed.
And it is proved, that shamans in other parts of Siberia, in Buryatia f.e., who still used the buben, were arrested and opressed because of this.

After the decrease of the GUS, Kenin - Lopsang continued with this work, worked at the Museum of Shamanism in Kyzyl and was co-founder of the Shaman-Association of Tuva. This association is very necessary, as after the fall of communism, a lot of support from many parts of the world was given to the 're - introduction of Buddhism' in this region, but only few support was offered to Shamanism, which is the oldest and most original belief here.


The Contents of the Catalogue:

prehistoric painting

Jan Van Alphen

Shamanism between mystery and post-communism
Inge Denaeghel

Fundaments of shamanism in Asia and the Americas
Peter T. Furst

Ancient Sanctuaries in Tuva and the origin of shamanism
Marianne A. Devlet

Tuva in the Scythian Period and the kurgan Arzhan
M.Kh. Mannai-ool

The mythic roots of Tuvan shamanism
Mongush B. Kenin-Lopsang

Branches of the shamanic tree in the Indus valley
José Carlos Calazans

Ludmila Salchak, Jan Van Alphen, Inge Denaeghel

Ethnographic Museum
Suikerrui 19
B-2000 Antwerp
Tel.: +32 3 220 86 00
Fax : +32 3 227 08 71
Some more photos

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