Shamanism is one of the oldest kinds of religion and healing in the world. It was widespread among the North Siberian Nenets people well into the 20th century. The items in this collection belonged to a Nenets shaman, M. Hunind. They were added to the Museum’s collection after an expedition to Siberia in 1982. These are items used in religious rituals to call upon spirits: wood idols, amulets, special shamanic clothing, ancient cult objects, as well as household items reflecting the harsh everyday realities of Nenets life — enduring polar nights and scarce resources.
These figurines were used for ritual purposes, among other things to ensure successful childbirth.
A drum with bells, made from wood, metal, leather and deer sinew. Drums were used for summoning and repelling various spirits. They were a major step in shaman training — received only after seven years of apprenticeship. An apprentice became a full-fledged shaman only upon earning these metal bells, following a decade of training.