In the Arms of Buddha and the Drum
Rummum ja Buddhan välissä
Mum and Dad live alone in a yurt, moving between the steppes and forests of Tuva several times a year. They have one horse and a herd of sheep, goats and cattle. The entire Kagai-ool family depends upon them for winter sustenance. Their son Alexei, a traditional stone carver, lives in Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva, and is a modern nomad between the contemporary world and the traditions of his parents. The Kagai-ools are "in the arms of Buddha and the drum". Traditions and old beliefs play a vital role in their lives. Shamanism is the belief system of Tuva. Buddhism arrived only in the 17th century. Despite communism, both belief systems have survived. The spirits of the shaman and Buddha are actively present in daily life.