GESAR AND MONGOLIAN SHAMANISMS AS PARALLEL REVIVALS OF INDIGENOUS PRACTICES AND IDENTITY IN CENTRAL AND INNER ASIA
University of Leeds Leeds, Great Britain email@example.com
The 20th century was a global period of deep and continual turmoil, especially in Inner Asia. While the western world experienced periods of peace between and after the World Wars, Inner Asia was under continual turmoil from the mid 20th century until the very end. In Mongolia, independence in 1911, the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, and shifts in communist government until the democratic shift of 1989, followed by the economic collapse of 1994 have left permanent scars on the national Psyche. In Tibet, coming under communist control in 1958, the cultural revolution from 1966 to 1976 and since being occasionally punctuated by massive and often violent protests have likewise served to permanently mark the society psyche. However, in both societies there has been a revival of indigenous practices after such periods of intense repression and cultural loss. In this paper, I will explore the parallel revivals of the Mongolian indigenous practice of Böö Mörgöl (commonly known as “Mongolian Shamanism” or “Tengerism”) primarily in Ulaanbaatar, but also in more rural areas of Mongolia, with the revival of the Gesar cultural and religious practices in Tibet, concentrating on the Yushu (yul shul), Nangchen (nang chen) and Dege (sde dge) regions of Kham (khams), and the Golok (mgo log) region of Amdo (a mdo).