In a remote area of one of the mountainous regions of Russia, just north of Mongolia, commercial industrial interests will soon begin tearing up this land that grandparents and great grandparents, and great, great grandparents grew up on. Trees will be cut down, and worst of all, the sacred places – a bald patch on a mountain, and a hill – are at risk of being violated.
“Bad things happen when trees are cut down”, the people say. “A child can get sick, or all of our cattle might die. Maybe there will be a flood. Our nature is very easily offended.”
The villagers in this region practice Buryat shamanism, a set of beliefs that centers around a reverence for nature. Trees and rivers are worshiped. The main prayer rite in the spring celebrates “the earth waking up”. Upset deities can be troublesome.
“Technologically, we are becoming more modern”, one woman being interviewed said. “But we have lost the sense of living. I’m not against civilization. But my forefathers are from the trees. I am afraid for them.” – (source un-available)