Demnime Kosterkin is shamanising in his tent near Ust-Avam village. His son Dulsymyaku is assisting him. Photo (65K) by A. Lintrop 1977. Participating in father's séances gave Dulsymyaku many experiences in singing shaman songs, drumming, divination etc.

Demnime was perhaps the last Nganasan shaman who held traditional way of living in tundra. Photo (72K) by A. Lintrop 1977.

Demnime's grandchildren who often watched séances also got acquainted with shaman's activities. Photo (46K) by A. Lintrop 1977.

Demnime took one of his grandsons away from village. He wished to make a shaman from the boy, but died too soon. Photos (44 and 52K) by A. Lintrop 1977.

In villages with mixed population Nganasan children got out of the way of traditional life style, folklore, mother language and shamanism. Photos (85, 45 and 65K) by A. Lintrop 1977.

In the end of 1980's the son of Demnime Dulsymyaku made a shaman costume and drum for himself and began to appear in the role of shaman. In spite of the fact he asserted in 1989 that he is not a shaman. "Father never wanted me to become a shaman," he said. "He never taught me even though I helped him all the time. He taught Igor, but he was too young. Now I can only perform some father's songs I still remember." Photo (61K) by T. Ojamaa 1990.

Daughters of Demnime who live in village also know some father's incantations. Photo (54K) by A. Lintrop 1989.

The last great Nganasan shaman Tubyaku Kosterkin (elder brother of Demnime) died in 1989 in Ust-Avam village. During of one of his last séances he sang:

"On the rapidly ending day of shamanism and idols
no child will achieve the trance after me.
All my helping spirits I shall bundle together,
there will only be the Soviet law..."

Tubyaku Kosterkin (1921-1989). Photo (78K) by A. Lintrop 1989.

Nganasan burial places in the tundra near Ust-Avam village. Photos (38K and 57K) by A. Lintrop 1989.

More about the Nganasan shamans from Kosterkin family