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10 Jun, 2010 04:55

The land of untouched nature and ancient magic

RT presents the South Siberian Republic of Khakassia – where people still warship a 4500-year old fertility goddess and adore the mountains, rivers and steppes in their primitive beauty.

Khakassia is a land of paradoxes. It is unpredictable like the weather in the steppes yet absorbing and authentic like the songs of the wind. The land has never been rich enough to grow gardens, yet fertility is its main deity.

A statue of a pregnant woman stands in a local museum-turned site of worship. It dates back four and a half thousand years. Generations have come and gone but she has stood firm, hearing the people’s prayers. Women still believe that if one cannot get pregnant she should walk around the statue three times and make a small sacrifice of dairy products to have the problem miraculously solved.

Khakassia is home to countless burial mounds, most of which have long been raided, yet the republic itself still remains an almost untouched depository of ancient history and culture.

Local resident Alevtina Chaptykova knows some of the connotations of early Khakass idols.

Khakassia has so many treasures, but they are not yet part of museum collections and are therefore barely known in the outside world. Yet paradoxically, like everything there, its solitude may have actually helped to preserve the serenity of the land.

One who has never climbed a mountain knows no good, says an old Khakass proverb – and that goes for this place of beautiful mountains and plentiful goodness too.