Shamanism is a widely accepted practice in Mongolia; it has been practiced since history was first recorded. Shamanism is a way of life for a shaman. Medicine, religion, and nature are believed all to connect with the spirits of another realm. A shaman is said to be able to communicate with the spirit world and are capable of accepting a spirit(s) into their body which provides them their powers. The spirit(s) of the shaman may call upon them for offerings, which the shaman presents.
Carolyn Drake, of the National Geographic was able to beautifully capture a novice shaman in a ritual of offering milk to her spirit(s). This piece is beautiful in its simplicity. Drake invokes a pure way of life in her photograph; the shaman connects to nature in a way that most have forgotten. The shaman’s simple offering of milk shows this connect to nature; in a gesture to her spirit(s), thanking him/her for the fruits of her natural surroundings, the prayer of the abundance of natural resources, in the show of complete devotion to the spirit. Carolyn Drake’s ability to capture the Shaman in the act of her offering ritual, enables the audience a glimpse into a life that seems mythical to most.
Dark grey clouds cover the heavens with a slight silver line at the horizon, promising a clear sky. The tops of trees peak over the horizon, gradually revealing more of themselves as a hill slopes up towards the heavens. Short grass covers the ground scattered with deep green, chestnut, yellowing hues showing the signs of the approaching winter. The beautifully captured shaman looks to the grey sky as she graces her forehead with her slim hand, protecting her eyes from her dark hair being blown onto the pale yellowed skin of her face. Her dark garments are adorned with the feathers of a bird of prey and strings of light and dark grey blowing in the wind as well as the tools of her trade. The shaman’s arm is reaching towards sky holding a dark mahogany bowl....