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8: Are there any video tapes about Tuva?


This article is from the Tuva FAQ, by Kerry Yackoboski kerryy@nortel.ca with numerous contributions by Bernard Greenberg, Bernard Dubriel, Alan Shrives, Kevin Williams, Albert Kuvezin, Dr Oliver Corff, Mike Vande Bunt, Ralph Leighton, Masahiko Todoriki, Alan Leighton, Ken Simon, and Sami Jansson.

8: Are there any video tapes about Tuva?

Yes, there are. Many of these are available from Friends of Tuva.

1. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

A NOVA episode about Richard Feynman. It, as well as
"Fun to Imagine" and "Last Journey of a Genius" are
about Feynman, although the set of Tuva-heads and the
set of Feynman-fans has a large intersection. FoT has a
scheme through which the first two tapes may be rented
in the USA; the third may be purchased. Last winter the
BBC aired a 2-part special on Feynman (sorry, no Tuva)
that was whittled down to one episode for broadcast in
the USA under the title "The Best Mind Since Einstein".
The longer English version is great.

2. They Who Know: Shamans of Tuva

A Belgian production in English featuring "45-snowy-I"
Ondar Daryma.

3. Tuva TV

Over 7 hours of broadcasts from Tuva TV, all in colour,
with a written guide to describe the action.

4. Tuvans Invade America

Alt.culture.tuva's own Jeff Cook had a large hand in
this informal documentary on the visit of 3
extraordinary Tuvan performers to California for the
Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 1993. (90 minutes,

5. Lost Land of Tannu Tuva

Another famous PBS show, narrated by Hal Holbrook.

6. Throat Singing In Tuva

This 30-minute documentary from the Tuvan Ministry of
Culture (in English) features masters past, present,
and future. Historical footage from the 1950s shows
Tuvans appearing in Moscow for the first time;
contemporary scenes show Kongar-ool Ondar (pre
shaved-head) and some of his students, including
Bady-Dorzhu Ondar.

7. Tuva - Shamans and Spirits

Tuva is the setting for the reemergence of ancient
spiritual traditions after their near extinction under
Soviet communist repression. From the capital of Kyzyl
to isolated nomadic yurts in remote alpine mountains,
the Tuvan people are rediscovering their indigenous
Shamanic and Buddhist rituals and healing arts. A group
from the West is invited to participate in the first
public forum and display of previously forbidden
practices. A good insight into Tuva's recovering
shamanism after years of Soviet repression as well as
an interesting Tuva travelogue.

Produced in conjunction with the 1993 visit of
Foundation for Shamanic Studies members to Tuva, the
documentary was completed in 1994 but was not available
to the general public (non-members of the Foundation
for Shamanic Studies) until 1996, which is a shame; I
would recommend this to all those interested in
spiritual life in modern Tuva.

The documentary is great. Filmed in Kyzyl, Todje,
Chadaan, and elsewhere, it is a mini-travelogue of Tuva
that showcases various landscapes of the country. I
would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to see
for themselves what Tuva looks like (albeit on TV).

The video interviews numerous practitioners and shows
them at work, explaining the significance of their
dress or actions. The video is as realistic and
life-like as can be expected without actually being
there. The shamans are open and willing to share their
histories and their feelings about their work; a man
who is both a Buddhist monk and a shaman provides a
unique insight on Tuvan attitudes towards health and

55 minutes VHS videotape, completed 1996. $30US
including tax, shipping, and handling within the USA.
Contact: Tom Anderson, PO Box 1119, Point Reyes, CA
94956, USA. Fax (510) 649-9719, or call (510) 649-1485.

8. Tuva - Two Short Videos

Ben Lange (ben.lange@pi.ne) has produced two short
videos made during his two visits to Tuva; one is a
general video of little more than 7 minutes about the
beauty of Tuva, and the other is about a winter
ceremony by a female shaman (also little over 7

These videos have been shown at the Ethnographic Museum
in Antwerp, Belgium, since October, 1997, and they are
available for purchase from Oibibio, the new-age centre
in Amsterdam. The video is no available directly from
the producer: NGN produkties O.Ph.(Flip) Nagler
Korsjespoortsteeg 16 1015 AR Amsterdam Netherlands tel:
+31 (0)20 638 2633 fax: +31 (0)20 638 9199

The video format is PAL (NTSC can be arranged for North
Americans). The price is 40 NLG (Dutch Guilders): 30
for the video and 10 postal charges. Currently, this
would be about US$20. People can obtain a tape by
sending a money order to the producer in Amsterdam,
with the amount given above and with their name and
address. The tape will be mailed after receipt of the
money order. Eurocheques are also accepted. This tape
is now available via the Tuva Trader.


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