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Shamanism and Folk Religion of the Mongols



In the last eight centuries the Mongols embraced several dogmatic religions: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. From among these three world-religions Buddhism in its Tibetan form proved to be the dominant system for the majority of the Mongolian-speaking peoples. In spite of suppression and persecution, their primitive system of beliefs and practices called shamanism never ceased to exist, not even under the rule of the official atheist ideology of the near past, but in its struggle with Buddhism it has been transformed. It is a part of a highly syncretistic folk religion which is reviving after the fall of the totalitarian rule.

No knowledge of Mongolian is required.

Regions Covered

Historical Central Eurasia


Department of Central Eurasian Studies