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Viktoria Mukobenova, Two Amulets

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Terbish, Baasanjav 
Churyumova, Elvira 


Viktoria relays a story about two amulets called mird. She says that in the past Kalmyk households kept mird amulets. When men left for war their family members would put a mird amulet around their neck as protection. It was believed that men carrying such amulets were invincible to bullets. Viktoria’s maternal great-grandfather had mird amulets. When his son and that of his neighbor were called to war, the great-grandfather gave them a mird each. Both boys survived the war but when the Kalmyks were exiled to Siberia they were called back and sent to Shiroklag (Soviet labour camp for soldiers). There Viktoria’s grandfather got his amulet stolen, since Kalmyks practiced stealing amulets and prayer beads from each other. He was terribly upset and worried that he would not survive. Soon he died. The neighbor’s son who managed to keep his amulet survived everything and returned home safe and sound. He returned the amulet to its owner, which is today kept at Viktoria’s maternal uncle’s house.



Amulets, Siberia

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.