Mongolian Shamanism

Shamanism was found to explain natural phenomena and disasters and protect people from it through chosen spirital individuals. Some of the distinctive features of Shamanism include:
· rituals are performed at night
· shamans have no temple
· there are no monks in shamanism
· there are no written prayer books
Shaman is someone who can call out to spirits and invite them to their own body to ask about things that are mysterious to human beings; and then send the spirits away from his/her body once his/her questions are answered. The male shaman is named Zairan, and female shaman is called Udgan.

Shaman Costume

  • The shaman’s costume consists of a hat, a deel, pendant and a drum.
  • The shaman’s hat is believed to be the head of a spirit. It is decorated with an individual facial expression and a number of feathers. /The feathers of owls, eagles and wood-grice can all be used in the making of the hat and the number of the feathers represents the number of pupils taught by the shaman or alternatively the place of origin of that particular shaman/ on the back of a shaman’s hat there are between 6 and 9 cotton pendants.
  • Shaman practice only on odd days of the month.
  • Shaman refer to their deel as armor that will protect them from bad spirits during rituals/ In ancient times the deel was made of antelope, gazelle and goat leather/
  • The drum is a form of transport for a shaman’s spirit. /The drumstick consists of a head and a stem and is used as a whip during transit/ It is also used to interpret the messages of shamanist spirits.

Also shamans have his/her own assistant who is called tushee. Not everyone and anyone can be a shaman, as they have to be chosen by high power.

If you wish to understand more about Mongolian Shamanism and see their performance on your tour in Mongolia, please feel free to contact us at
OR check out one of our Khovshol lake trips on which you can meet local shamans