On the Issue of Clergy among the Ancient Turks of Central Asia
[K voprosu o sushchestvovanii sluzhitelei kul’ta u drevnikh tiurkov Tsentral’noi Azii]
Type of publication: Research Article
Central Asia, ancient Turks, ministers of religion, clergy, shamanism, written sources, archaeological materials, social group
The article examines a wide range of historical data on ministers of religion among the ancient Turks of Central Asia, and is drawn on the comprehensive analysis of both written and archaeological sources. Even though there are a variety of evidences and records on spellcasters, soothsayers, diviners, healers, and sorcerers affecting the weather among the ancient Turks of the 6th-9th centuries, it is not possible to say for certain whether that information is related to different categories of the population or a particular social group that specialized in performing sacred acts. Thus, scholars have no sufficient grounds to assert that there existed a defined social group of clergy among the ancient Turks. It is quite possible that sacred acts among the nomads were commonly carried out by heads of tribes or elders who were repeatedly mentioned in written sources. This combination of power and certain sacred functions was typical of supreme rulers among the ancient Turks of Central Asia.
Funding InformationThis research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Foundation for Humanities, https://doi.org/10.13039/100009094 [grant 16-31-01029а2] Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant 16-18-10033]
Tishin, V.V., and N.N. Seregin. 2017. K voprosu o sushchestvovanii sluzhitelei kul’ta u drevnikh tiurkov Tsentral’noi Azii [On the Issue of Clergy among the Ancient Turks of Central Asia]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 3: 76-96
Full text is distributed by eLIBRARY.ru