The mythological world of Mongolian charms
This article aims to introduce to a wider audience the special and diverse world of Mongolian ritual poetry. Despite the effects of the socialist era and the intensive changes brought about by contact with global culture more recently, contemporary Mongolian society has still preserved a significant space for traditional lifestyle and worldview. The characteristics of this region were built up by the weaving together of different ethnic and religious traditions (including Zoroastrism, Tengrism, local Shamanic traditions, and different schools of Tibetan Buddhism), as well as from other historical and cultural features. All of these have contributed to the unique skein of images and meanings dwelling in the world of Mongolian ritual poetry, invocations, prayers, verbal charms - a world manifest in everyday life and practice. In this article, I shall discuss some basic types of Mongolian ritual poetry, focusing on the genres performed by non-professional lay people, dom shivshleg. My paper is based on archival and published Mongolian sources, as well as on fieldwork data collected by the author in different parts of Mongolia.