O šamanstvu v Sibiriji

#Erasmus


Andrej je izkoristil prvo nedeljo v mesecu, ko je v slovenske muzeje vstop prost. Ponovno je obiskal Etnografski muzej in si ogledal razstavo Šamanizem ljudstev Sibirje.


Through March and April I have seen advertisements around Ljubljana for the upcoming exhibition “Shamanism of the peoples of Siberia” in the Slovene Ethnographic Museum. I have some very basic knowledge about the indigenous people of Siberia, but 2 years ago I saw the excellent movie made by Akira Kurosawa “Dersu Uzala”. The movie is about a Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev who was charting the Ussuri region near todays Vladivostok at the beginning of the 20th century. He was helped by a local Nanai hunter Dersu Uzala and they became lifelong friends until Dersu’s death in 1908. If somebody is interested in the topic, the movie is a great starting point, but books are in 99% cases better than their movie adaptations, so try to find the book in the local library or a copy on the internet.

Russians began their expansion in Siberia the 16th century. During the expansion, they conquered various Turko-Mongol states that were formed in the collapse of the Golden horde. They reached the end of North Asia in the late 17th century. As far as indigenous people’s populations today, it depends from tribe to tribe. For example, Yakuts who live in today’s Yakutsk oblast number half a million, but Nanai people number 17 000 in Russia and China combined. Siberia is huge, but almost uninhabitable because of very long and harsh winters, so it is expected that their populations are not big. What I found interesting is that there was no forced rusification, at least not until The USSR was formed and Stalin took power. The exhibition focuses on the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century, but it is clear that their way of life has not changed in the centuries after their territory was de jure conquered by the Tsar. The only real influence from Russia is the partial acceptance of Orthodox Christianity, but it was adjusted to fit the shamanistic beliefs. Same goes for the tribes near China, who were influenced by Buddhism.

The exhibition was made with the help of the Ethnographic museum of St. Petersburg, and it focuses on the life of shamans in Siberia. What they wear, their art, religious and shamanistic practices and totems. I find the Siberians to be similar to American Indians. They were hunters who lived “in harmony” with nature, and that’s why they have shamans, who are holy people of their culture. Most of their clothes are made out of animal furs and hides, some of them had similar tents like the Indians, and the atmospheric music you will hear in the exhibition could be easily confused with Indian. I was there on the first Sunday of the month, which in Slovenia means that the museums are free of charge. It was packed with people and children, who really found the exhibition amusing. Looking at the photos I took, I found that a few exhibits were collected by Arsenyev, which makes the connection with the movie even stronger. However, the exhibition does not focus only on the Ussuri region and Nanai people, but on all of Siberia, from the Urals to the Bering Strait.

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Foto: Andrej Aleksandrov

I think that the exhibition is really nice and worth your visit. It is very educational and gives small insight into the biggest region on earth and proposes further research. Its main points are Shamans and if you want to learn some other info, you will need to do some research yourself as I have for this post. And finally I’m going to give some comparisons: Siberia is 650 times larger than Slovenia, but the population is only 18 times more numerous.


Že v mesecu marcu, pa tudi v aprilu sem po Ljubljani zasledil vabila na prihajajočo razstavo »Šamanizem ljudstev Sibirije« v Slovenskem etnografskem muzeju. Sam sem imel nekaj osnovnih znanj o domorodnih plemenih Sibirije, toda pred dvema letoma sem si ogledal res odličen film režiserja Akira Kurosawa z naslovom Dersu Uzala. Ruski raziskovalec Vladimir Arsenyev, geodet, je svojo skupino raziskovalcev v začetku 20. stoletja izvajal meritve v regiji Ussuri, blizu današnjega Vladivostoka. Pri delu je raziskovalcu pomagal lovec iz ljudstva Nanai (gozdni mož), s katerim je ostal v prijateljskih odnosih do konca Dersujevega življenja, ki se je končalo v letu 1908. Če koga tematika pobliže zanima je ogled filma lahko odlična izhodiščna točka; toda če posežete po knjigi je ta v 99% boljša kot njena filmska upodobitev. Knjigo lahko poiščete v domači knjižnici ali pa pobrskate za njeno kopijo na internetu.

Rusi so začeli z osvajanjem Sibirije v 16. stoletju. V tem času so zavzeli različne turško-mongolske države, ki so nastale s padcem Zlate horde. Sever Azije so dosegli v 17. stoletju. Koliko domorodnih ljudstev se je ohranilo do današnjih dni je pravzaprav vprašanje, ki je varira od plemena do plemena. Na primer: Jakutov, ki danes živijo na območju Jakutska, je približno pol milijona, ljudstvo Nanai pa šteje 17 000 pripadnikov, ki živijo tako v Rusiji in na Kitajskem. Sibirija je velika, večinoma nenaseljena zaradi dolgih in hudih zim, tako da že iz te danosti lahko sklepamo, da avtohtone skupnosti niso številčne. Zanimivo se mi je zdelo, da ni bilo nasilne rusifikacije, vsaj ne do začetka Sovjetske zveze, ko je Stalin prevzel oblast. Razstava tako prikazuje čas konca 19. stoletja in začetka 20. stoletja, toda jasno je, da se način življenja prvotnih ljudstev po stoletjih ni spreminjal, tudi že po tem, ko je bilo njihovo območje de jure priključeno carjem. Edini vpliv Rusije se je pravzaprav pokazal s prevzetjem pravoslavne veroizpovedi, ki pa se je prilagodila šamanističnim verovanjem. Nekaj vplivov je prišlo tudi iz kitajskega budizma.

Ruski etnografski muzej iz Sankt Peterburga, iz katerega prihaja razstava, se osredotoča na oblike šamanizma avtohtonih ljudstev Sibirije in ruskega Daljnega vzhoda. Prikazuje oblačilno kulturo, umetnost, religiozne in šamanske prakse in totemska prikazovanja. Opazil sem, da so ljudstva Sibirije podobna ameriškim Indijancem. Bili so lovci, ki so živeli v harmoniji z naravo in tudi zato so imeli šamane, ki so bili sveti ljudje v njihovi kulturi. Večina njihovih oblek je bila narejena iz živalskih kož, nekatera ljudstva so imela celo podobna šotorska bivališča kot Indijanci, pa tudi glasbo, ki bogati razstavo bi zlahka zamenjali z indijansko.

Razstavo sem obiskal na prvo nedeljo v mesecu, kar v Sloveniji pomeni da je vstop v muzeje prost. Na razstavi je mrgolelo obiskovalcev z otroki, katerim se je razstava zdela zelo zabavna. Ko sem pregledoval fotografije, ki sem jih posnel v sklopu ogleda, sem našel nekaj razstavljenih muzealij, ki jih je zbral sam Arsenyev, tako da lahko predstavljeno še močneje povežemo s filmom. Seveda pa se razstava ne osredotoča samo na regijo Ussuri in ljudstvo Nanai, ampak obsega predstavitev celotnega območja med Uralom in Beringovo ožino.

Menim, da je razstava res prijetna in vredna obiska. Je zelo izobraževalna in ponuja nekaj manjših izsledkov največje regije na Zemlji in namene prihodnjih raziskav. Podaja vpogled v življenje šamanov in v primeru, da bi želeli izvedeti več, boste morali za podatki pobrskati sami. Za na konec bi podal nekaj primerjav: Sibirija je 650-krat večja kot Slovenija, njenega prebivalstva pa je le za 18-krat več.

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