The lecture In the Wake of Vilmos Diószegi: Collecting Folk Belief and Religious Folklore in Northern Mongolia by David Somfai Kara was held on 4 March 2010. The podcast from the lecture can be viewed at
Mongolian and Turkic shamanism has long drawn scholarly interest. Between 1957 and 1964 the Hungarian ethnologist, Vilmos Diószegi, visited several Turkic and Mongolic peoples in Southern Siberia and Northern Mongolia. Unfortunately due to his early death he only published a few items from his materials. Now a researcher at the Institute of Ethnology (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) I am preparing his precious manuscript legacy for publication. This republication will also draw on both the unpublished diaries of his trips (1960, 1964) and on new fieldwork done in all the locations of his study, documenting contemporary post-Soviet folk belief and shamanic traditions. Here I will introduce my two fieldtrips in Northern Mongolia (Aga Buriats, Darkhats, Toha-Tsaatan, Uriankhai, Khotogoit), illuminating folk beliefs and shamanic traditions from Khöwsgöl to the Onon River, varieties of shamanic trances and spirit possessions, and contemporary changes and revitalization of shamanic traditions and folk belief.
David Somfai Kara, received his PhD (2007) in Mongolic Linguistics, ELTE University, Budapest. He is a researcher at the Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and currently a visiting scholar at Indiana University in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies.