Vera Povaeva, Stories About the Bagshin Shevnr Clan
Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge
MetadataShow full item record
Terbish, B. (2018). Vera Povaeva, Stories About the Bagshin Shevnr Clan [Video file]. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.42502
Vera talks about her clan, its history, composition, legends and people:Our clan of Bagshin Shabiner is now called Bagshin Shabiner of Elista. In the past, our ancestors lived in the territory of Plodovitoe village. Today Bagshin Shabiner of Tyunguta, who are related to our clan, live there. In the past these two clans were one. Under the Tsarist regime, peasants from the Voronezh province, the Central Chernozemelskiy district, and from Ukraine were brought to the Kalmyk land. This created a shortage of land to graze livestock. In relation to this, there is a legend about how our clan was divided. When there was a shortage of pasture land, the men of our clan set out on a search of a new land. That is how they found the land where we live today. Today our village is called Shin-Mer. In order to move to the new land, our ancestors had to get permission to do so from the Tsarist government. Why is our clan called Bagshin Shabiner? Because we were servants (in Kalmyk ‘shabiner’ means ‘servants of a Buddhist temple’). Our ancestors served in the temples, looked after the temple livestock, and read prayers. Here is how our ancestors obtained that permit. In our family we had an ancestor who was a learned monk. Sick people from different places came to see him for treatment. At that time, a Russian man who worked for the Astrakhan governor had a son who stopped walking. That official took his son to various doctors, but no one could cure him. As a last resort, that official approached our ancestor who cured the crippled boy by using Tibetan herbs. As a reward, the Astrakhan official signed a special permission for us to move to another place. In our clan we had a temple, which was housed in two tents. We were organized nomadically into 5 khotons (nomadic settlements) each of which had an arvn (lineage) The names of the 5 arvn lineages are as follows: Etyasud, Mongl, Kovud, Zod, and Avgnr Shevnr. Our ancestors also raided Russian peasant settlements in Central Russia to steal livestock. By doing this in the new land, our ancestors gradually pushed out the Russian peasants. As a result, the Russians abducted two of our monks and took them to Kazan. On the way, the monks came across a Kalmyk boy whom they told to deliver the following message to the rest of our clan: ‘Don’t get offended (for us being abducted). Don’t move anywhere from your current place’. Hence, we still live in the same land. We had a lot of good people in our clan. Although many did not have a formal education, they were wise and talented people, including Basanov Baatr Mandzhievich (Hero of the Soviet Union), Ochirov Boris Dorzhievich (Hero of Socialist Labor), Kekeev Sergey Mandzhievich (holder of three Orders of Labor Glory), Viktoria Bambaeva (poet), Kushev Zamba Erendzhenovich (song writer) and many others.
Bagshin Shevnr, history, composition, legend
Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.42502