Photo credits: Northern Mongolia, 2011, Shamanic Ritual

Learning from tradition in Mongolia and beyond

| Tags: World

In Mongolia the Shamen channel the spirit of the wolf or the bear, other wildlife and abundance around them. By doing so they ground people in the traditions of the past and help them engage in the experiences of the present. What is striking to an urbanized westerner in a land of urbanizing nomads, with Toyotas and dishes hooked up to Tata Satellite services, is that integration of identity and land. In conversation an individual will associate themselves with a specific animal and clearly these people are most comfortable when nothing comes between themselves and the land other than a horse. And the land is pristine. For now and in most places. Nomadic life leaves a light imprint, nomadic culture is about the place we have in a world that can both provide and kill. Nomadic life weathers winters, but only just.

There is something significant about a man with a Toyota and Satellite TV entering the night in communion with the natural (real) world through drum, fire, song and dance. It retains a sense of the awesome mystery of the universe and our place within it. In that mind set you may consider the land and nature as a source of power and strength rather than a resource. In fact, Mongolians do.