This week’s photo: Shaman tree, Olkhon Island
There is probably no place more sacred in Siberia than Olkhon Island, the largest island in Lake Baikal. The Buryats, the indigenous people of Siberia, are followers of shamanism and consider Olkhon the centre of their religion and treat both the island and the lake with great reverence.
A core belief in shamanism is that creations of nature such as rivers and trees are blessed with their own souls. I chanced upon this tree on Cape Khoboi, the northernmost tip of Olkhon, one of the most sacred spots on the island. Here you can see colourful prayer ribbons tied to the branches, marking the tree’s religious significance to the Buryats.
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