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Siberian shamans throw a victory ritual to support Russian football team

By The Siberian Times reporter
01 July 2018

Six holy men summon players' ancestors, begging for support in the game against Spain.

A Siberian shaman carries a ritual in the Republic of Tyva. Picture: Alexander Nikolsky

There is a of anxiety ahead of Sunday's fixture at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, already described as the ‘match of the lifetime’ by Russian team player Artyom Dzyuba. 

President Vladimir Putin promised to watch, though he didn’t confirm if he will make to the stadium in person. 

Russian betting companies mirror the pessimistic mood with most of the bets placed for Spain; meanwhile the country’s most-read tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda went to seek help for the national team in Siberia. 

The newspaper called for shamans in Irkutsk region to carry a ritual which is believed to bring support from the ‘spirits of sport’. 

‘We need all help we can summon to strengthen our team in the fight against the Red Fury’, the newpaper wrote. ‘Six priests took their best tambourines to conduct the rite in a forest near Irkutsk.’

Siberian shamans throw a victory ritual to support Russian football team

Siberian shamans throw a victory ritual to support Russian football team

Siberian shamans throw a victory ritual to support Russian football team

Siberian shamans throw a victory ritual to support Russian football team

Siberian shamans throw a victory ritual to support Russian football team
Shamans in the Republic of Tyva. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Shaman Alexaner Timurov said that the ritual involved praying and gift offering. 

‘We read the list of all players' names and asked their ancestors to support them all during the game, protect them from traumas and keep their spirits high.

'We think Spain will find it hard to stand against the Russian team if the ancestors were to join them.’

Several regions in Siberia, specially Republic of Tyva, Republic of Buryatia and the Altai mountains retain respect for shamans and belief in their extraordinary powers. 

In Tyva, the remote mountainous republic in southern Siberia, shamans have shops in the capital city Kyzyl.

Locals and tourists visit them to seek medical advice or ‘a glimpse into a future’, offered by priests who promise to have access to the world of good and evil spirits. 

The same republic holds international festivals which brings shamans from as far away as Peru, Greenland, South Korea, Mexico, Chili, Mongolia and Sweden. 

Comments (9)

i think its utterly disgraceful that Britain didnt send a Representative to support the England Team in the world cup, as I noticed the french President was there to support France. And why? Because our government is just being plain stupid. The west know nothing about what a great country Russia is. and now they know. I have always loved Russia all my life and would love to visit it, but lack the means to do so. however there are ways on the internet of learning about your country and even now, by posting a comment it makes me feel in touch so to speak. I know a lot of people feel the same, relating to the World Cup, and though I'm not a great fan of football, however, the fact that the cup was being hosted in russia was for me, a great thing, and England being my country's team ,I would support it. Everyone is quite infected by "World Cup fever" and we are looking forward to the semi-final !
Mary-Ann White, United Kingdom
11/07/2018 21:14
Very exciting and well played game today. I hope everyone in Russia is proud of the character and performance of the Russian National Team. I think that all of the people involved in helping to host the World Cup event have done a great job as well. I am looking forward to visiting in September (after the "fans" have finished cheering....:-) ).
Pamela K Tetarenko, League City, USA
08/07/2018 04:09
I agree with Benedikt. I also hope the Shamans and everyone's ancestors are helping get ready for the upcoming Russia vs Croatia football/soccer/futbol game. I would like to learn more about the International Shaman's Festival, it sounds very interesting and informative.
Pamela K Tetarenko, League City, USA
04/07/2018 22:22
Well, actually....Russia does not have a "football" team....they have a "soccer" team.
Doc, US
04/07/2018 18:43
Cheers to Russia, you will win.
Michael, USA
03/07/2018 10:04
there ARE things that can not be explained but they are there. If one believes it is ok. If not, well you have excellent pictures to show and a good story. Russia won, with or without their help, who will ever know. But then, who cares, Russia won. A few short weeks the team was - minus zero -. And now they are in the quarter-final. already that is a miracle. on top of it, I find it great that many of the - favorites- are gone. they got too complacent, photo ops and underpants assignment were more important than training and playing ball. there are plenty of young and hungry played around. they deserve our attention. and football will be interesting once more. it for sure needs it. the many new stadiums (sp?) that have been constructed or renovated for the world cup need also filling up when the local teams are competing.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
03/07/2018 01:48
Kyzyl is the capital of Tuva, please learn geography of Russia
DS, Tomsk
02/07/2018 00:39
...ET VOILA !!..............BRAVO LA RUSSIE !.................
Jocelyne, FRANCE
01/07/2018 23:45
Jocelyne, FRANCE
01/07/2018 20:46

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