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» Unique Eye-Witness Evidence Collected Throughout 50 Years in Tuva by World-Famous Ethnographer Now Available! In German.
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Unique Eye-Witness Evidence Collected Throughout 50 Years in Tuva by World-Famous Ethnographer Now Available! In German.

One of the fullest first-hand accounts of Tuva presented by world-famous ethnographer Sev'an Vainshtein is now available to true lovers of the republic. Germany (not Russia) was the first to publish scientist's notes taken down throughout 50 years of his expeditions to Tuva in the book with the corresponding tittle 'Mysterious Tuva: Expeditions into the Heart of Asia'. The book was released at the Alouette Verlag together with the photos, throat-singing samples and a DVD-film.Famous Russian film-maker Leonid Kruglov managed to see the farthest corners of Tuva which many of the Tuvans have not ever seen. Introduction to the book was written by ethnographer and publicist Swen Alpers, Göttingen.

“Sev’yan Vainshtein stands in the tradition of the great Russian explorers such as Semjonov, Prschewalski and Kozlov. As they did, he proves to us that scientific exactness and vividness do by no means have to contradict each other. He undertakes his field research with brain and courage, with heart and soul. He knows that knowledge comes from experience, and grasping from understanding, which is why he doesn’t rush through the landscape in a superficial search for spectacularities. Vainshtein takes his time – for nearly fifty years he explores and documents the nomadic tribes and their environment. His archaeological excavations yield remarkable results; his patience and his empathy in dealing with the visited people bring to light stories, myths and fables thought to have been lost a long time ago. He dips into the essence of lamaism and shamanism, which both are experiencing now a certain revival.

The following text contains an enthralling mixture of travellog and ethnography. The language of the scientist is that of a poet. It brilliantly resounds and owns a sensuality, especially in the tranquil passages, which also the translation (into German) cannot deprive of its strength. The publishers are utilizing the means of the new media and supplement the plasticity of the word with a DVD with irretrievable, partly historical motion pictures, with examples of Tuvan throat singing, and with Tuva photos of today.

The author does not only advance into the heart of Asia but also takes a deep look into the heart of its peoples. This attitude, probably striking several of today’s readers as being of sheer obsoleteness, may result in critical remarks by ethno-statisticians. For the real understanding of a foreign people, for assembling all mosaic pieces to a vivid overall picture it is, however, indispensable. The entirety, after all, is more than merely the sum of its particles”.

Dina Oyun
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