Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Created: 2014-10-12 18:42
Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Description: Based on oral transmission rather than written sources and texts, the institution of folk healers or medlgch is eclectic, syncretic, and open to new ideas and healing rituals. This can even be seen in the naming of medlgch. One and the same healer can be addressed differently by different patients. For example, Valentina is a Kalmyk woman known for being a medlgch. Like many others in her position, she is also known by other names, such as syakuste 'the one who is protected by Buddhist gods', emch 'doctor', otch ‘bone-setter’, and eeldech or belgch 'the one who foretells the future', because she has a guardian deity and can, among other abilities, cure illnesses, set bones, and see into the future. In contrast to the term medlgch, the terms emch, otch, syakuste, belgch, and eeldech do not, as a rule, denote separate categories, but are used more widely as adjective-nouns. So people who come to see Valentina to ask for divination may describe her as eeldech or belgch; those who revere her curing abilities may characterize her as emch; those who ask for bone-setting procedures call her otch, and those who appeal to her supernatural powers may call her syakuste. As a medlgch, 'the one who knows', Valentina happens to know and fulfil all these roles. She prefers to describe herself either as syakuste 'the one who is protected by Buddhist gods', or emch 'doctor', although she does not mind being referred to by others as medlgch. It has to be emphasized, however, that not all medlgch healers, even at the height of their careers, are equally powerful, having varying degrees of experience, skills, and expertise, which is reflected in their naming.

With regard to Buddhist doctors, being educated in proper monasteries in India, Mongolia, and Buryatia, they are specialists in Tibetan medicine and are usually attached to temples, the most famous being the Central Temple in Elista.
 

Media items

This collection contains 33 media items.

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Media items

About Bone-setting, Nimya Erdni-Goryaev

   56 views

Born in 1932 in Yashkul’, Nimya is a Torghut man of the Ik Tsookhr clan. He is a bone-setter and receives patients daily who are usually local people, although some come from as...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 25 Apr 2015


Ais Sandzhiev, About a Healer Called Bogrun

   24 views

Ais talks about his aunt Bogrun who was a healer well-known not only in the Tsagan Nur region but across Kalmykia. People outside of Kalmykia also came to see her. She was also...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 9 May 2015


Anatoliy Dzhavinov, About Gucha Khartsyzov

   6 views

Anatoliy talks about his uncle Gucha Khartsyzov who was a bone-setter. In Anatoliy’s family there were many healers and Gucha was one of them.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 21 Aug 2018


Andrei Boldyrev, An Interview

   17 views

Andrei was born in 1936. In 1941 his family was sent to Omskaya oblast', Siberia, where his mother worked in the fields. His father was away serving in the Red Army. Later he...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 10 Mar 2017


Bulgun Mankirova, Sanal Badmaev, About Folk Healers

   5 views

In this interview Bulgun and Sanal talk about folk healers, rituals and stories about spirits or ghosts.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 17 Aug 2017


Dzhidzha Araeva, Fortune-Telling With a Stick

   2 views

Dzhidzha says that her father used a three-sided stick for divination. He made cuts on each side of a stick, then peeled off every second cut. The number of remaining cuts was...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 14 May 2018


Ekaterina Boldyreva, About Folk Healers and Monks

   68 views

Ekaterina says that the Kalmyks have their traditional ways of doing massage. Traditionally, it was medlegchis (folk healers) who practiced it. According to Ekaterina, in every...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 16 Jan 2017


Elena Ledzhinova, An Interview

   39 views

Elena is a traditional healer. In this interview, she talks about her healing methods and her grandmother.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 5 Dec 2017


Galina Badnyaeva, Fortune-Telling with a Rosary, Ankle Bones, and a Stick

   21 views

In the video Galina shows her rosary that she inherited from her great grandmother. Galina uses the rosary in divination. It has 108 beads made from the sandalwood tree.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 23 May 2015


Galina Badnyaeva, Healing With a Luugin Sum and Bio-Energy

   22 views

A luugin sum (lit. dragon’s arrow, which is a small piece of a meteorite) is used to treat headaches or swelling on the breast. This healing ritual can be performed three times on...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 23 May 2015


Galina Samtonova, Klavdia Manunova, About Traditional Healing

   10 views

Klavdia cures sick children, fixes dislocations and treats head traumas. With the help of bio-energy emanating from her hands she determines the position of dislocations in the...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 21 Oct 2015


Garya Naminov, About Traditional Healers

   22 views

Garya says that his grandfather was a healer. Although Garya does not know exactly how his grandfather cured sick people, he remembers that his grandfather read prayers and...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 16 Jun 2015


Irina Lidzhieva, About Traditional Healing

   19 views

Irina cures sick children by massaging them or performing a special ritual of pouring hot lead into a cup with water. When children are sick they have the following symptoms: they...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 21 Jun 2015


Kanur Byurchiev, About Maani Bagshi

   21 views

Kanur is from the Baga-Chonos clan. His father was the famous Kalmyk monk and healer Maani bagshi (his secular name was Kheeche Baburkievich Baburkiev). At the age of six, Maani...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 21 Jun 2015


Khongor Dzhavinov, About Bone-Setter Shuurga Khartsyzov

   5 views

Khongor talks about a bone-setter named Shuurga Khartsyzov who lived in the same village as him: Gakhan Avgnr.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 21 Aug 2018


Konstantin Lagaev, Bone-setting and Massage

   31 views

Konstantion is a bone-setter and diviner (he uses a rosary and looks at people’s faces and eyes during divinations). He learnt these skills from his father and is constantly...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/SPECIALISTS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 23 May 2015


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