With the majority of the population identifying Buddhism as their religion, Kalmyks are reputed to be the only Buddhist nation in Europe. Although Gelugpa Buddhism (i.e. Tibetan Buddhism) was promoted as the state religion among the Oirats/Kalmyks as early as 1640 at the expense of shamanism, the two religious traditions have co-existed throughout Kalmykia’s history, constantly influencing and reshaping each other to such an extent that today many religious rituals – especially those related to clans and ancestors – consist of both Buddhist and shamanic elements. Here you can view videos, read essays and listen to stories about rituals, practices, practitioners, sacred places and many other pertaining to both religious traditions that are intertwined in Kalmykia.

Video Collections