About this collection

Many Kalmyk families have domestic altars that are laid with religious objects, both new (that they purchased in shops or received from lamas, friends or relatives) and old (that they inherited from ancestors). Many of these old objects, which would have survived the Russian Civil War, the anti-religious campaigns of the 1930s, World War Two, the deportation of the Kalmyk people in 1943-1963, and the subsequent years of the atheist regime, have a special sentimental value for their owners.

This video collection hosts interviews with people, both lamas and laypersons, talking about various religious objects, including thangkas (Buddhist paintings on cotton or silk), statues, talismans and amulets (bu, mird), rosaries (erkn), as well as instruments used by the clergy such as bells, vajras, and others.

Recent Submissions

  • Vitaliy Mankirov, About a rosary 

    Terbish, Baasanjav (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-07-01)
  • Vera Bembeeva, the altar 

    Terbish, Baasanjav (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-01-01)
  • Badma Koldaev, Ki morn (horse wind) flags 

    Terbish, Baasanjav (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-04-01)
  • Anna Azvanova, About My Altar 

    Terbish, Baasanjav (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-07-19)
    This is Anna’s story:I did not have (images and statues of) gods before because my parents were orphans. In Siberia it was forbidden to have gods at home. After returning home from Siberia I have bought images and statues ...

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