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Shaman Lazo Mongush: People obtain their ailments themselves

Shaman Lazo Mongush: People obtain their ailments themselvesLazo Dovuyevich was a participant in the Second International theatric - educational festival "Nauruz", which took place last week in Kazan. On one of festival nights, he performed an old shamanic ritual kamlanie on the shore of Lake Kaban. The purpose of the ritual is to bring health to the people of our city, and that they would all live in harmony. And that children would be born intelligent, healthy and talented. Several days ago he visited the editorial office of newspaper "Kazanskie vedomosti".
Power is the virtue of elders
- Lazo Dovuyevich, was the invitation to the theatrical festival "Nauruz" unexpected for you?
- Yes, I was a little bit surprised, even though I have some relationship to art. Earlier I used to play with an amateur group, with an agitation team, and in the well-known state ensemble "Sayany". I worked in the capacity of both a leader and a soloist. Generally, I had to learn many professions. My older brother taught me to work with wood, my mother - to sew and cut. When I got married and had children, I sewed their shirts and diapers myself, using an old foot-pedal sewing machine. At home, I also made everything myself - the bed, furniture. A shaman has to be able to do everything.
- Who is a shaman?
- It is a natural phenomenon, a natural gift. We are children of nature. In my family, my grandfather was a shaman. In 1949, several months before I was born, my father was arrested because he kept secret from the government grains that he grew himself to feed his large family. During the Soviet regime, many shamans were arrested or shot without trial or investigation. Shamanism began to be reborn only in the early '90's.
- When did you first begin to sense this gift in yourself?
- It began in my childhood. I always helped my mother to collect herbs. She told me about their healing properties, and taught me to make medicines. Often I would get up at night, hitch the horse, let the sheep out to pasture, but all that time I would be asleep. My parents noticed this. As I would fall asleep, they used to tie a rattle to my leg, or bells, so that they would hear if I left the yurt. And there were many snakes in the area. You wake up in the morning, and there is a bunch of snakes sleeping right on you, peacefully curled up. It is interesting that the snakes never attacked the owners of the yurt.
- How does a child handle such a gift?
- A shaman should not know about his natural powers for a time, so that he would not use the power for bad purposes. I did not know what was hiding in me until I was thirty. It is very good that I recognized my calling only at a mature age. A young shaman rarely becomes strong. Power is a virtue of elders. With every year, a shaman gathers more experience. There are many young kids here, who sense those mighty powers in themselves, but they cannot understand the deep knowledge and do not know how to control their powers. In such cases, another shaman may help them.
- Did your sons inherit the shamanic gift?
- It is difficult to tell. Often the shamanic gift skips generations. Sons may not become shamans, but grandsons or great-grandsons might. My sons have various professions. Some work for companies, some make windows, one son makes wood carvings - he makes carved furniture and chests. They turn out very beautiful. I can't make such beautiful things.
Shamanic honor codex
- What is the purpose of a shaman?
- To help people. From time immemorial, people would come to a shaman to consecrate a hearth at home, to find out a prognosis for the next year, or to get advice for a long journey. They would consult a shaman before any important event. Our peole did not know what a doctor is. They used to bring all their problems to a shaman. He cured, helped at childbirth. He was like a family doctor and psychologist.
- Physicians have a commandment: "Do no harm!" Do shamans also have a honor codex?
- There is no codex, but there is a rule - to bring only good to people. There are such shamans who use their natural power against others. But they do not live long. If a shaman harms others, all the evil will return to him. And it will not affect just him, but his children and grandchildren as well. A shaman receives his gift from nature. And if he uses the gift in wrong ways, then the spirits of heaven, earth, water and trees will punish him.
- A shaman has many power objects. Certainly each of them has its own power and significance?
- A shaman should make his protective talismans with his own hands. Others must never touch shamanic protective objects! Look at this tiger fang. I carved a tigress on it. And this is a bear fang, with a female bear's paw. And this is a male member of a bear - it is very useful for women's disease.
- You have a very interesting costume: beautifully decorated, with bells that ring in various tunings…
- Ringing of bells frightens away evil spirits. The total weight of the costume is about 40 kg.(about 88 lbs.) Just the boots weigh about 1.5 kg each.
- But why are their tips raised so high?
- It is so that I would not harm the earth with sharp boot tips, and so that I would not trip.
- Did you make your drum yourself as well?
- Yes. It is made from the skin of a male goat and weighs only 300 grams. A shaman's drum is a very powerful object. The vibrations of its sound purify the organism. The drum will literally beat out all the filth and disease collected in a person. It pacifies the spirits of earth, air and water. The sound of bells also chases out evil spirits very effectively and purifies the place. There is another very powerful purifying power - fire. To cure the sick, a fire has to be lit, and food has to be sacrificed to it, ten it will give its power to the patient. It is interesting that when rituals are photographed, the fire spirits are clearly visible - the photos show figures with drums, even faces are clear. I have many such photographs.
- You have a tiger tattooed on your arm is it your protection?
- I had the tattoo made recently. I did not choose a tiger at random - it is my talisman - I was born in the Year of the Tiger.
 Do you take patients?
- Yes, every day from early morning until late at night. They undergo testing at contemporary clinics, but doctors cannot make a diagnosis. I take a look at whatever bad stuff the person has done, why the spirits sent this sickness to him.
- Where do diseases come from?
- Most people obtain their diseases themselves. They bring their suffering and pain on themselves. Many like to complain: "Oh, it hurts, it hurts!" when, in fact, they are completely healthy. They simply want others to take care of them and to be sorry for them. It is a dangerous way of attracting attention - material ideas. If you play at being sick, you will get sick for real. Serious diseases are caused by bad thoughts, when a person thinks evil of others or is envious. There are people who get very sick when their neighbors are doing well. Envious people are never happy and healthy. But when a person is open to the world and his thoughts are pure, misfortune avoids him.
- Will you share your recipe for preserving your health?
- Simple advice - exercise and visit nature as often as possible. It really brings a positive charge to emotions and energy. People are children of nature. But now people, especially those who live in large cities, have lost touch with nature. This also causes health problems. If your relationship with nature is good, sprits will help you. That is a law of nature, but people have forgotten it. We swamp the Earth with garbage destroy nature, animals, birds. Earthquakes, floods, fires, and other natural cataclysms are a punishment for people's careless treatment of their planet. The Earth reminds us with cataclysms that we are a part of nature and we cannot ignore it. Nature gives generously of its gifts to people. But often it is not enough, and people want more and more. And greed is always punished.
- Is hunting also a crime against nature?
- People have hunting in their blood. But there has to be moderation in it. Good hunters know the limits. When Tuvans go hunting, they perform a special ritual. It is mandatory to put three stones on the path, boil tea, first offer it to the spirits, the they drink the tea, and only after that they go hunting.
- Are you also a hunter?
- I have been hunting for forty-plus years. I have been hunting birds and animals from early age. I remember my first trophy - a roe-deer. I brought it home on my shoulders and was very proud.
- What animal is the most dangerous?
- Certainly a bear. The first time I saw a bear I was 27. I met it in the taiga. He was standing ten meters from me. I had a double-barrel with me, but I was so frightened that I forgot I had it. For a while the bear and me just stared at each other. Then I ran away and came to my senses only at the top of a tree. How did I get there, and even with a gun? I was not breathing, lost my voice. I barely recovered my breath again. But it was so hard to climb down again! That was the biggest fright in my life.
- Lazo Dovuyevich, how do you recharge your strength?
- Out in nature. My yurt stands on the earth, open sky up above…I often visit other countries and mega-cities on onvitation, it is so complicated to live there. I look at the sky at night, and the stars are so sparse and dull. But in Tuva the sky is covered with start, and there is so much light that you can see outside at night…I also play chess, volleyball and billiards. Sometimes I give myself a treat - I lift weights. That is also recreation for me., translated by Heda Jindrak
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