The resurgence of Darhad shamanism
Legitimisation strategies of rural practitioners in Mongolia
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, shamanism resurged all over Siberia and Inner Asia. In Mongolia, shamans re-emerged on the northern peripheries, among the Buryats in the north-east (Buyandelgeriyn 2002, Shimamura 2004) as well as among the Darhad in north-western Mongolia. The Darhad and their shamanism were portrayed in-depth by the well- known Mongolian ethnographer Badamhatan (1965) at the height of socialism; however, there exists no comprehensive anthropological study of Darhad shamans in postsocialism. My doctoral thesis explores the characteristics of the practices of present-day Darhad shamans in a political context that allows shamans not only to perform their seances openly, but even welcomes their practices. One of the central subjects of my study thus became the relationships of Darhad shamans from the northern-most taiga borderlands with the urban centre.