Thursday, 14 February 2013

How Hwee Young | Mongolian Shamans

Photo © How Hwee Young-All Rights Reserved
Shamans are people (they can be of either gender) who are considered to have access to the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits. Shamans typically enter into trances during their ritual, and practice divination and healing.

My experience with a shaman was in Bhutan...not far from Paro, where he was holding a ritual to cleanse a child from evil spirits. The ritual took place in a very modest farmhouse...in its main room with the family and neighbors attending. The process involved the shaman to eventually "host" the spirit in his body whilst in a trance, then running out of the house to expel it. 

So I am glad to feature Mongolia Shaman Brothers; a photo essay by the talented How Wee Young. 

Mongolian shamanism is an all-encompassing system of belief that includes medicine, religion, a cult of nature, and a cult of ancestor worship. Male shamans in Mongolia are called boo (isn't that funny?), and they consider themselves to be an intermediaries between the visible world and the hidden world of spirits and gods.

In Mongolia, shamanism merged with local Buddhist traditions, and it’s often impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins.

How Hwee Young is a staff photographer with the european pressphoto agency b.v. (epa) based in Beijing, China. Her career began in 2001 where she joined Singapore's leading newspaper The Straits Times as a photojournalist. Over the last ten years, her images have been published on front covers and featured in major newspapers and magazines including the NewYork Times, British Times, the International Herald Tribune, the LA Times, the Sydney Herald, the Telegraph, Time magazine, Der Spiegel, GEO Magazine, South China Morning Post, Bangkok Post, amongst others.