Anna Sangadzhi-Goryaeva, autobiography

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Kovaeva, Bair 

Anna was born in 1947 in Krasnoyarsky krai, Siberia. She talks about her childhood in a livestock breeding farm and about how they celebrated the national holiday Zul. When she was 10, the Kalmyks were pardoned and allowed to return to Kalmykia. Anna’s family settled in the village of Gashunsky in Yashkul’ rayon of Kalmykia. Anna finished secondary school in the village. Later she moved to the village of Chilgir. She also talks about her parents and about rituals that the Kalmyks performed in Siberia. In 1964 Anna fell ill with anemia. Modern doctors could not cure her, but she was cured by a folk healer called Dorzhin Shagdzh who lived in the first cattle breeding farm of the sovkhoz named after Delikov in Sarpinsky rayon of Kalmykia. Anna had folk healers in her family too. Her mother, for example, cured ill children by using traditional methods. Anna’s mother’s uncle was a monk called Sandzhi Ulanov. In 1994, however, Anna fell ill again and decided to set up a Buddhist altar in her house. Anna talks about traditional healing methods and about how to cure a cold and sickness (by drinking a soup made of goose meat mixed with its byle). She also talks about the famous Odinnokoe Derevo (Lonely Tree), a ritual called amnya dolig (life substitution) and about signs and omens. For example, to see a crow or a hoopoe is a bad omen. It is also forbidden to eat a saigak antelope or a pike fish.

autobiography, Siberia, childhood, sovkhoz, socialism, Buddhism, traditional healing
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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.