Art of the Journey

Roadside Shrine

Richard Whillas

Posted on March 03 2014

For miles and miles we drove, the landscape beautiful but flat and empty. Over the crest of a small rise, we were surprised by a splash of colour along the road side and stopped to take a look.

It was a shaman shrine made up of layers of vibrant cloth draped over a statue. Oggi tells us that they were outlawed under communism but now they can be seen throughout the countryside and that, like the doors of all gers, the statues face south. At the base there were cups of milk, hip flasks of vodka, biscuits and cigarettes - all offerings for the spirits from the nomadic people of Mongolia who pass by.

 

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