Geocultural images of the Tuvan Buddhist world: historical context and modernity

Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy. 2019;0(3) DOI 10.25178/nit.2019.3.3


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Journal Title: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

ISSN: 2079-8482 (Online)

Publisher: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Communities. Classes. Races

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Chimiza K. Lamazhaa (Московский гуманитарный университет)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The article analyzes geocultural images of Buddhist world of the Tuvans. These images are viewed as concepts, which were formed in the Tuvan culture to describe the areas where Buddhism has spread. The strengthening of Buddhism in Tuva occurred between the second half of the 18th and the early 20th centuries. At the same time, the colony of the Chinese Empire remained closed to the outside world. The rooting of Buddhism in the Tuvan culture created its specific Tuvan version. It made the mythological world view of Tuvans richer and more complex, linking them to the Buddhist world largely on the level of general cosmological ideas. Post-Soviet period let Tuvans enlarge their spatial world view. In 1992 the legendary Buddhist hierarch Dalai Lama XIV visited Tuva, as did other Tibetan teachers, and Tuvans began to   travel abroad for Buddhist teachings. That let Buddhist Tuvans realize their belonging to the Buddhist world and form geocultural Buddhist images. Tibet became the most important of those because it is the cradle of the northern Buddhism. However, it appeared in a shifted Tibetan-Indian version (‘a Tibet in exile’) since the centre of Tibetan Buddhism has moved to the Indian city of Dharamsala. The main reason for that was Dalai Lama XIV’ life and activity. He became a personal centre of a geocultural image, representing the most famous branch of Buddhism. Thus, the Buddhist world is perceived as a nomadic center of Buddhists’ spiritual life, due to the activity of its leader, a preacher in exile. The article also considers geocultural images of Buddhist world in Russia, which are of great importance for Tuvans.