Marja-Leena Rathje
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Shamans & Storytellers

Back in February, I posted about an event presented by the Vancouver Society of Storytellers. One of these storytellers was Kira Van Deusen, who "brings to professional storytelling and music a background which includes a BA in Russian Language and Literature from Cornell University and an MA in Folklore/Ethnography from Antioch University. She has done extensive research with indigenous people in Siberia and the Russian Far East."

Her fascinating website relates her explorations into Siberian folk tales and their storytellers, musicians and shamans. She writes: "Storytelling in Siberian societies is very closely linked to shamanism [and] can act as a healing". Kira van Deusen's site offers many links to explore and learn about this mysterious part of the world. I enjoyed this online exhibition from the Museum Centre Vapriikki in Tampere, Finland: Shamans - Secret Life of the Peoples of Siberia.


Marja-Leena | 26/09/2004 | 4 comments
themes: Ethnicity, Folk Legends & Myths


I must check out this website. On my Trans-Siberian trip I stayed on Lake Baikal, an area of Buryati people. In fact I brought back for Mr Zip a little green stone figure of a man very much like the ones in your picture. He is meant to live in the lake I believe. Shamanism is still very much alive there, and is as you say an accepted way of healing. I was only there a short while & came away wanting to learn more.

Hi Patsy! I remember Mr. Zip often mentioning you, and about your exciting trip!

Did you see my recent post about Siberian rock art? The photographer posted a photojournal of his trip to Siberia (see the last link in my article) - you might like to compare notes.

Have you a website and posted about your trip? I'd be very interested to hear about it and see photos!

Thanks for visiting & writing!
And have a great holiday in Crete!


I would dearly love to hear Kira's stories. I believe in the healing power of telling and have always thought that a daily massage and a daily story would be a powerful combination for health.

Her page on the rationale of Shamanic storytelling is extremely interesting (I like the phrase 'shape-shifting shaman). Again, Marja-Leena, you open a gateway to new things.

This was wonderful - I really enjoyed the online exhibition, especially that little reindeer helmet? mask? and the three figures you posted. Also the introductory quote about never witholding the truth about a sick person's fate.