Foreword by Itzhak Beery
Foreword by Dashinima Dugarov
Introduction by Virlana Tkacz
PART I THE PREPARATION
My beautiful homeland
Great Mother Earth
Great Father Sky
Listen to me, hear me well.
The Sacred Grounds
On a good day
At a good time
Mountain trees were pulled out with their roots.
Mountain trees were cut at the root.
Each leaf was made golden.
Each branch was silvered.
The Ritual Objects
The beautiful instrument that I hold
Was crafted, made by
The heavenly white smith.
I ask for
White cleansing waters strong as a storm
For this Golden Shanar.
It is a great offering.
I give breath to it and silver it
With white mother's milk
I chant and give breath to it.
Part II CALLING THE SPIRITS
The Ongon Spirits
Great ancestors of my family tree
Descend and thunder
Great, uh . . . ancestors . . . of my family tree.
Listen to me . . . hear me well.
(Volodya: What comes next?)
August 20, 2000
The Fading Light of a Golden Afternoon
August 21, 2000
The Fog Rolls In
August 22, 2000
A Cold Wind Blows
Bringing up the Dust
Blessings and happiness have descended!
Joy and happiness have descended!
May the children live beautifully forever.
The ritual is complete!
The ritual is complete!
About the Authors
Virlana Tkacz, the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, is director of the Yara Arts Group in New York. Since 1996 she has worked with Buryat artists to create theater pieces based on Buryat stories, poetry, and songs. Sayan Zhambalov is a Buryat writer, actor, and singer. He performed with the Yara Arts Group and heads Uragsha, a traditional music ensemble that has performed at the World Music Institute in New York. Wanda Phipps is a poet, translator, and founding member of the Yara Arts Group. A recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, her work has appeared in more than a hundred literary journals and anthologies.
". . . we see that shamans are ordinary people with extraordinary
perception of the world. The same can be said for the book itself.
. . . This most certainly is no ordinary book. It is unique, in
some respects more experience than narrative, a place where form
and content merge, where the story becomes the message and the
message is the reason for telling the story." * John Perkins,
author of the New York Times Bestseller Confessions of an Economic
Hit Man *
"This glimpse of Buryat culture does not aim to be comprehensive, but it will be fascinating to those interested in Eastern religions and anthropology. Of particular note are the hundreds of full-color photographs that grace the handsomely produced volume; there's also a useful glossary." * Publishers Weekly *
". . . fascinating book. . . . With coauthors Zhambalov, a Buryat actor, and Phipps, an African American poet, (Tkacz) gives a vivid and detailed look into this ritual and, more generally, into this rarely discussed culture. . . .This book provides enough information about the culture to place the ritual in context, but it is not meant to be a scholarly treatment of the Buryat culture. The 175 accompanying photographs by fashion photographer Alexander Khantaev are beautiful and convey a sense of color that is not typically associated with this region." * Library Journal *