The Ethnographic Centre “Us-Kut” is located at a five kilometers distance from Yakutsk. The name is translated from the Yakut as “the sacred mountain”. It is a private complex created by Vasiliy and Valentina Atlasovs. It is based on their enthusiasm. You can see everything in Us-Kut in just half an hour, and it will be a real ethnographic expedition.
The owners welcome the guests and organize escorted tours by themselves. In addition to the stories about the Yakut everyday life, traditions and beliefs, Valentina holds a rite of purification and blessing. It is not just a show for tourists - Atlasovs themselves adhere to the traditional Yakut lifestyle and do everything seriously. The fire in the three-mouth oven is kindled by chips, the flame is “treated” with deer fat and fur.
The participants of the ritual are fumigated with the smoke of a smoldering bundle of wool, in order to drive away the local demons, and everyone is treated with koumiss. The exotic ritual can cause awe, if not delight, of tourists. The musical accompaniment corresponds to the atmosphere - national songs in the genre of toyuk. Shaman drums and ceremonial robes adorned with iron plates and bells hang on the walls.
Every detail has its meaning and purpose: some help the shaman to rise to the upper world and talk to the deities of Aiyy, others allow you to go down to the lower world to hunt the evil spirits of abaasy. In addition, Atlasovs can treat you with the dishes of national cuisine; you can also admire the panorama of Yakutsk opening from a height of two hundred meters of the sacred mountain.
Author: Anna Dorozhkina