Sacred Knowledge from SiberiaBy: Joanna Russia
The Altai White Faith Book Project is about publishing sacred knowledge from Siberia in the English language.
The manuscripts used for the book are in the Russian and Altai languages and belong to Altai elder Nikolai Andreevich Shodoev. The manuscripts have been entrusted to Joanna Dobson, a translator who has been living among the Altai indigenous community for the past ten years.
The manuscripts cover themes such as Altai cosmology, White Faith (White shamanism), ritual, prayer, cycles in the life of man and nature, legend, myth and wisdom. All of these elements of the Altai culture are described as 'bilik', which in Altai means 'knowledge/wisdom'. Nikolai Shodoev goes deeply into the values of the culture which makes these materials relevant to anyone who cares about interconnectedness between the individual, community, nature and spirit.
Study of the manuscripts is planned together with Nikolai Shodoev winter 2012 and translation of the manuscripts will take place winter and spring 2013. A final manuscript with diagrams, photographs and illustrations will be produced by end May 2013 to be submitted for publishing by end of 2013.
Support this project and join the community helping to preserve the engangered Altai cultural heritage.
Pledges: £10-19 Name of the pledge giver written down and kept in a prayer bag at Nikolai Shodoev's Museum of the Altai Spiritual Culture and spoken aloud during a blessing ritual in spring 2013
£20-£49 Previous reward plus a mention in the book
£50-£99 Previous rewards plus free printed copy of Nikolai Shodoev's first book 'Spiritual Wisdom from the Altai Mountains'.
£100-£299 Previous rewards plus 'adopt a chapter'! Mention in the book is as individual sponsor of a specific book chapter. Receive additional materials from the manuscripts and images not included in the final publication. Printed copy of the final publication.
£300-£499 Rewards 1 + 2 tickets to a UK premiere of a film on Altai Sacred Land plus free DVD of the film. Printed copy of final publication
£500-£1000 Rewards 1 + 2 plus free consultation on travel in the Altai and 3 free nights staying in the ail(yurt) featured in the video.
01-05-2013 05:50 PM
I have created a page on Facebook called 'Elders in Translation' where I will be uploading photographs, quotes and comments whilst working on the translation project you helped fund.
This is the link to the page:
I hope you enjoy it and thank you once again for supporting this translation project to help preserve the traditional knowledge of Altai.
27-09-2012 01:46 PM
Thank you to all the people who have kept the project funding going over the past week. I had no idea when I created the video for the site what the response would be and I am incredibly touched every time another name I don’t know is added to the list of backers. It gives me confidence that I am on the right path in choosing to committ to this work whilst Nikolai Andreevich is still with us. WHY TRANSLATE THESE MATERIALS? When fundraising for the publication of these materials in English part of the ‘pitch’ is that this is cultural preservation work. One uses words like ‘shamanic’, ‘traditional knowledge’ appealing to groups of people who might recognise these kinds of materials as being special. I wonder, though, at times, what is this really all about? Why should these texts be translated into English? Personally, I think the answer is two-fold. One the one hand, the Altai is a source of spirituality and wisdom. The culture could otherwise be robust and sustainable if it weren’t for the toll of history - the knowledge carriers in Altai are few now. The situation reminds me of the scene in the film G.I. Jane. When the heroine is undergoing the initiation to join the SEALS the newcomers all have to hold a boat above their heads as a team. It’s tough and everytime someone gives up and let’s go of the boat the load becomes heavier for the rest to carry. It’s the same thing when a knowledge carrier dies in Altai. The load of holding the remnants of an incredible lineage becomes harder and each individual has to become stronger, dig deeper, belive more strongly in what many deny the truth of. At the same time, the west is searching, searching for a new philosophy and paradigm, a way of aligning heart and mind with the parralel worlds of spirit in day to day life. Perhaps it is the individuals in the west who will receive the messages these manuscripts carry and end up being the souls that help hold the boat up….......
19-09-2012 03:44 PM
This is a short thank you message from my ink box. This is an image that emerges from ancient tradition and was carried in the form of a tattoo by a woman of the Altai Pazyryk culture. I have entitled my interpretation of it ‘grace’.
19-09-2012 09:15 AM
Thank you so much to everyone who has backed this project over the past few days. Some of the backers are known to me whilst other names are new. I have been fascinated to learn about the work of the individual backers I have not met who have websites and Facebook pages.
As you can see, the pledge reward for £300 sold out in the first 3 days but apparently I can replace it with something else. It would have been fantastic to offer tickets to some other Altai-related event in the UK but unfortunately I just don’t think there are any. So, having wracked my brains I’ve decided to offer the previous rewards and two small original water colours by myself inspired by the imagery of the ancient Altai culture. There should be some photographs added here in the next couple of days so that you can see what I get up to with my ink box! I have some photographs on my website too under ‘Artwork’ http://altaipilgrim.wordpress.com.
Very best wishes
16-09-2012 09:43 AM
A heartfelt thank you to all friends who helped to get the ball rolling by pledging straight away. My biggest thank you hug goes to my brother Michael. 41% in 3 days is a very exciting start.
I was asking myself again this morning: “What is all this work in Altai about?” , and as the winter approaches, I was asking myself: “Why do I live in Siberia?”. The answer is that I still feel blessed to have access to the Altai culture and especially, to have friends and colleagues among the Altai people. I have found my ‘Erjine’, which is an Altai word that means ‘my source of strength and inspiration’. Why am I doing all this work to get Nikolai Shodoev’s manuscripts out to the world? The answer is ‘because I know that the energies that resonate in this culture genuinely have the power to renew, to inspire and to heal’.
So, now that friends have donated the challenger is to reach out to other people who might sense the value of these materials. I think that because Altai is so little known in the western world, it is like the sound of a triangle in an entire orchestra. Individuals that are sensitive to that note pick up the sound of the triangle. Other don’t.
Now that the video is up and running I can begin work on the manuscripts. I’ll include some information on the text in the next update.
Finally, the £300 pledge reward ‘free tickets to the UK film showing of Toby McCleod’s ‘Sacred Land’ has sold out. I would love to replace it with something else. If anyone has any ideas about what the reward could be please do email me firstname.lastname@example.org