July 01, 2019

Siberia's Primordial Colors

Siberia's Primordial Colors

Sometimes you meet a person and immediately know that you are headed in the same direction. And if that meeting takes place in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and your fellow-traveler happens to be a professional artist, surely adventures await.

I disembarked from the launch at the Lake Lama Tourist Center, where I hoped to broaden my understanding of the indigenous peoples who lived on the Putorana Plateau. The center’s owner, Oleg Krashevsky, has spent many years assembling a collection of unique items that once belonged to nomads in the region – Nganasans, Dolgans and Evenks. The collection includes ancient clothing, weapons, pipes, animal totem figurines, and extremely old Nganasan and Evenk idols.

Rumor has it that Krashevsky bought it all for practically nothing, or even that he robbed it from graves. Perhaps talk of this sort is responsible for Krashevsky’s sharp temper? In reality, he is only quick to anger with those who don’t give his center the respect it deserves. And it would be wrong to call him rude; he is a strong, well-educated person who is more than willing to share all he knows with anyone willing to listen. He generally introduces himself to guests of his center as the “White Shaman.”

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