Essential reading for anyone interested in Siberian indigenous shamanism, The Last of the Shor Shamans details the history and practices of the shaman of the Shortsi people, aiming to preserve their legacy.
Authors, Alexander and Lubov Arbachakov, are both native to the Shor region of Siberia. Alexander Arbachakov was raised in a traditional village in the area and is a photographer, environmentalist, local conservationist, forestry specialist and Vice President of the Shortsi People’s Association. Lubov Arbachakov, from a remote mountain farming area, is an environmentalist, folklorist and language specialist.
Do read the book from cover to cover – from the introduction by Llyn Roberts, which details not just the background to the expedition but some of her experiences with the Shor shaman she met and the history of shamanism in the area – through to the afterword by the authors. The Last of the Shor Shamans also contains several pages of ritual poetry which have never before been recorded.
The majority of the seven shamans interviewed for this book are no longer alive and The Last of the Shor Shamans is dedicated to “the Shortsi – children, students and adults alike – as they strive to rejuvenate the traditional culture of their ancient and unique people”.
Highly recommended reading!
Original review by Wendy Stokes
Edited and expanded by June Kent, editor, Indie Shaman magazine
Alexander and Luba Arbachakov. Last of the Shor Shamans. Moon Books (31 Aug. 2008). ISBN: 978-1846941276