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So, You Want to Be a Shaman

A Shamanic rite of passage for beginners in Siberia

It's said that Shamans are conduits between the spirit world and our own. Shamans can heal, protect from evil and advise on important decisions. They work through rituals, offerings, animal sacrifice and a trance. No one can decide to become a shaman; they must be chosen by ancestors.

Shamanism revival in Siberia
Like most other religions, Shamanism was suppressed in Soviet times. Many Buryat shamans were deported, others were killed or died in labour camps. People could only practice shamanism freely again after the Soviet Union collapsed.

An RTD crew visits the Republic of Buryatia in Siberia, where shamanism is undergoing a revival with a growing number of shamans. Exclusive access is granted to an initiation rite for a would-be shaman, as locals explain the meaning of a trance and communication with the spirits. We also learn of how the shamans' lives have changed since consecration.