The Mongolian Shamans’ Association
Passing on the Ancient Traditions
About Mongolian Shamanism:
Mongolian and southern Siberian shamanism originated in the time of Stone Age hunters and in the time of Bronze Age herdsmen, developing from this ancient culture into the spirituality of the Mongols today. The steppe dwelling peoples of Eurasia worship Eternal Heaven (Munkh Tenger) above and Mother Earth (Etugan) below, as well as the ancestral and nature spirits. The cosmology of Mongolian shamanism and its eight customary rituals is based on the view that besides the visible world the shaman interacts with many other worlds or universes, and that contacting the spirits is an imporant part of shamans’ work. Every day, month, and year shamans constantly do their work with poetic invocation, music, dance, and creative arts. Today northern Mongolian groups (Darkhad, Tsaatan, Hotgoit, and others), northeastern Mongols (Buryat and Hamnigan) and western Mongols (Urianhai) as well as some of the Halh Mongols still maintain the ancient shamanic traditions.
The Mongolian Shamans’ Association has a historic role in the continuation and revival of these traditions. After 70 years of repression of shamanism by Communism and intermittent persecution of shamans by Buddhist princes in the three centuries preceding Communist rule, shamans are now free to practice their craft and shamanism has been reviving dramatically since 1990. The Mongolian Shamans’ Association has the historic role of allowing networking among Mongolian shamans and is able to act on behalf of Mongolian shamans collectively in establishing contacts with the larger world shamanic community. For this reason events such as the annual Ulaan Tergel (Summer Solstice) celebration and international shamanic conferences allow opportunities for Mongolian shamans to gather and interact with shamans from other parts of the world at these events.
Shamanic Researcher Dr. S. Dulam
Sendenjaviin Dulam was born in 1950 in Buleen, in Bayanbulag sum of Bayanhongor aimag in Mongolia. He attended grade school from 1958-1968, then studied at the Mongolian National University doing research on Mongolian mythology for his bachelor’s degree. He completed his doctoral work in 1982, doing research on traditional styles of storytelling and folk poetry. This research came to include research on shamanic oral traditions. From 1990 he studied the survival of shamanic traditions, which were practiced for many years in secret and were starting to revive once more among the northern and northeastern Mongols. After meeting with may Darkhad, Tsaatan, Hotgoit, and Buryat shamans to study their traditions he produced his work “Traditions of Darkhad Shamans.” After participating in the second, third and fourth international shamanism conferences in Ulaanbaatar he is now organizing the 5th international shamanism conference to be held in August of 1999.
Dr. Dulam has presented lectures in the University of Paris, University of Strasbourg, Univeristy of Bonn, and Cambridge University. He is now a professor and department chairman at the Mongolian National University and is the head of a center for the study of Mongolian traditional nomadic culture. Dr. Dulam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org; his fax is 976 1 325435; phone number 976 1 361717(h) and his address is P.O.Box 457, Ulaanbaatar-210646, Mongolia.
Zaarin Shaman Byambadorj Dondog
Dondogiin Byambadorj was born in 1947 in Darvi sum of Hovd aimag in western Mongolia. He is descended from the ancient noble Olkhon clan, to which Hoelun, mother of Chinggis Khan belonged. He learned shamanism from his maternal uncle Vanchindorj. The spirits of his shamanic lineage started calling him in 1967, and suffered much illness until his shaman uncle empowered a jews harp and gave it to him to use for shamanizing. As he received his training from his uncle near his home, as soon as he started his studies he was able to do work to heal disease and spiritual ailments.
When he was presented as a shaman to his own clan, the chief of the water spirits appeared in the form of a yellow snake, an omen that he was to become a great shaman (zaarin).
Byambadorj zaarin works with 7 shamanic spirits passed down from his ancestors, and does shamanic work at the sacred sites “Avgai Mod” in Selenge aimag and “Eej Khad” in Tuv aimag, which are places for shamanizing in honor of the water spirits (lus). He is a very famous and honored shaman among the Mongolian people.
Byambadorj zaarin can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com
A statement by Byambadorj zaarin on Earth Changes:
At this present time the human race is out of touch with Mother Earth, Father Heaven, and the natural world. By relating to them wrongly, by defacing and polluting nature, it is a great offense to Mother Earth, Father Heaven, and the nature spirits. There is great danger of fire, snowstorms, floods, and earthquakes. For this reason the shamans of the earth need to work together to bring cleansing and healing to the earth, to do ritual together to restore balance. Because this cleansing and healing has not been done the present state of the earth is the root cause of many problems and illnesses. This is the great work that shamans are now required to do.
Comment by page author (Sarangerel):
The message presented above by Byambadorj zaarin is one of the chief reasons why those of us in the Mongolian Shamans’ Association want to network with shamans from around the world. This summer at the 5th International Conference on Shamanism we invite as many shamans from as many nations as possible to attend so that we can establish a World Shamanism Federation so that shamans from the entire human community can work collectively for the healing of our world and promote the revival and growth of shamanism everywhere on earth. In Mongolian tradition the shaman serves the community, ought not this responsibility to also include the entire world community as well?