Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Khorchin Shamans 4.

After the ritual Mr. Shaman took us and Mrs. Shamaness to a small village called Yaolinmaodu some 50kms from Baolongshan to meet an old shaman. It was already late at night around 10 pm. and it was raining so heavily that our car almost got stuck in the mud. We got off the car and started our quest for the old shaman in an ocean of mud and in complete darkness. Finally we found the house. It was dark inside, just like in every other.I told Mr. Shaman that we didn't want to wake the old shaman up, lets go back to Baolongshan and come back tomorrow daytime.He said: "No problem he will wake up for a while and he will sleep back soon." We went in and saw the old shaman waking up and getting ready to recieve us. He lived with his wife and with a young girl who was probably his grand-daughter. We sat down on the kang, where he'd been sleeping and started to ask our questions. The old guy looked strange and I couldn't decide whether he was drunk or just very tired. May be both. He said that he had quitted shamanizing because he was too old, but he sang a short passage of his invocations for my request. I coudn't understand a word of it. Actually it was extremely difficult to understand him even when he was speaking. Nor did he understan much of what I was speaking with my thick Khalkha accent. We soon realized that he was very tired and coudn't tell us too much about Khorchin shamanism so we decided to give him the sweets and fruits that we'd bought for Mr. Shaman and left soon. As we stepped out from the old shaman's home Mr. Shaman announced that we were going to visit another shaman who lived nearby and took us to another house where a relatively young couple lived with their two teenager children, a boy and a girl. The husband brought in a table and placed it in the centre of the room while his wife prepared food for all of us. It all took approximately an hour till we all finished our meal and started to speak about shamanism. A shaman's drum and drumstik was hung on the wall and some images of Buddhist deities were enshrined opposite the entrance. Mr. Shaman told us that wife was a white shaman, which could be seen from the streamers of her costume (alag deel). He explained that the black or white colour of a thin line along the edges of each streamers inditace whether the shaman is black or white. White shamans as he said whorship Buddhist deities while black ones worship other spirits. The shaman's husband brought in his wife's costume:

Khorchin shaman in her costume.

Mrs. Shamaness and the shamaness we visited (the smaller one) both donned her costumes, took their drums and started performing the ritual:

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