The Shamans and Spirits of Tuva - Where All Of Nature Is Considered Sacred
This video from The Foundation Of Shamanic Studiesis a preview of the full length DVD about the Shamans of Tuva. It is a video field study that looks at their traditions and healing methods that is titled "Tuva: Shamans and Spirits."
You can buy the full length DVD from the FSS site. Here's their description:
A moving documentary of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies' 1993 expedition to help the Tuvan peoples of Central Asia revive their nearly decimated shamanic traditions. Captures emotional moments of traditional shamans and core shamanic healers working together in healing ceremonies.
The FSS also has a long article on their visit to Tuva which outlines some of the basics of Tuvan Shamanism:
A significant part of Tuvan respect for nature is expressed through shamanic traditions. All of nature is considered sacred, the fabric of their world view being woven in the sacred thread of their myths. Here, features of the landscape and the creatures inhabiting it are settings and characters in great stories that describe and explain the world. Principal places and characters of this mythic and natural world are Tuva's nine sacred springs, nine sacred mountains, and nine sacred celestial objects; the Sun, Moon and seven stars of the "Great Bear" (the Big Dipper). There are dragons in the sky, sirens who inhabit the steppe, and a sacred flower that has the power to hold strangers together in marriage. Each place in nature has its special spiritual inhabitants. This spiritual aspect of nature is equally as important to Tuvans as are physical attributes. It requires attention from people who are sensitive to, and trained in, relating to this side of nature. These people are the shamans.
The shamans of pre-Soviet Tuva were healers, diviners, and conductors of ritual necessary for Tuvan life. Both men and women became shamans after they were visited with the "shaman's sickness." Often, a shaman interpreted this as invasion by the spirit of a dead shaman. This invading Being, wanted the living person to become a shaman. The onset of this illness was commonly early in life, but also occurred in people more than 40 years of age. If the person ignored the calling, continued sickness or even death occurred. The illness frequently manifested itself as fainting spells, memory loss, or convulsions. Heeding the call resulted in a complete remission of symptoms.