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Tragic Spirits – Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia

Manduhai Buyandelger


When state socialism collapsed in Mongolia and the chaos of neoliberal “shock therapy” took hold, like most other herders throughout the country, the ethnic nomadic Buryats were left without means of livelihood on the edge of an impoverished state. Attributing their misfortunes to their ancestral origin spirits, who were suppressed during socialism but now returned to take revenge for forgetting, the Buryats sponsor shamanic rituals in hope of taming these spirits. What results is a gradually unfolding and constantly shifting history of their tragic past. This history is incomplete and unsettl ... More

Keywords: Ritual, Spirits, Ambiguity, Identity, Post-socialism, Neoliberal Capitalism, Shamanism, Spirit possession, Transmission of knowledge, Haunt

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780226086552
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226013091.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Manduhai Buyandelger, author