The proximity to the Russian environment did not allow Yukaghir shamanism to develop as much as the Yakut and Tungus shamanism did. At the turn of the XIX – XX centuries, Yukaghir shamans’ clothing was influenced by the Evenk-Yakut shaman culture. In traditional times, the shaman's costume differed from everyday clothes only a little with rich embroidery and decoration of tassels. Shamans mostly treated sick from the evil spirits. Measles, flu, syphilis were the diseases of Russian origin, therefore, the Yukaghir shaman could not cure them. However, smallpox, a disease that has claimed many lives, was the shaman’s deity and they could only beg it. Shamans also had to provide hunters with good luck.  Like many other peoples of Siberia, Yukaghir shamans were involved in the manufacturing of amulets that protect people from harm and bring good luck during hunting. Strong shamans could fight natural disasters.

            Yukaghir had a tradition which has not been observed among other peoples of Siberia. The Yukaghir dismembered bodies of the dead shamans and kept the skulls as a sacred object in the house. Almost every nomadic group of Nganasan had their own shaman. He communicated with the spirit world and asked to provide people with health, happiness and prosperity. The holiday of a “clean tent” had a big role, it was held after the end of polar night and lasted from 3 to 9 days. Sometimes, the holiday of passing through the "stone gate" was held instead of a “clean tent” one. The shaman performed a ritual for three days, and in the end, all those present passed through a specially arranged stone corridor three times. Imitating animal and bird sounds has an important place in the texture of the epic and lyrical Nganasan melodies, shamanistic rites.


Jochelson W. The Yukaghir and Yukaghirized Tungus. - Novosibirsk: Nauka, 2005. 675 p.

Gogolev A.I. History of Yakutia - Yakutsk: NEFU Publishing House, 2013. -324 p.

Peoples of the North-East of Siberia - Moscow: Moskva: Nauka, 2010. 773 p.