This article foregrounds an unofficial, “dark” strand of shamanic revival, which lies at the interstices of local inspirational religion and the state’s law in a Siberian periphery. Focusing on consultations concerned with ritual healing and counter-cursing in the Russian Republic of Tuva/Tyva, southern Siberia, the article documents a field of metaphysical disorder which is governed by shamans as purveyors of “forensic” evidence of cursing and as arbiters of justice. The data on counter-cursing consultations evince a social perception of shamanism as a redress for kinds of violence which transcend the limits of state law. Drawing on two shamanic narratives of affliction and its professionalization as a charisma for healing and revenge respectively, the article argues that a new kind of “forensic” evidence of crime and violence emerges from the materials on counter-cursing in Kyzyl (the capital city of Tyva).
[Siberia, Tyva, shamanic genealogies, revivalism, affliction, terror, violence]