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(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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already fairly clear, we could not wait long, we wanted
to get away. But he might have time for the lesser
shaman dress, he thought. It was fetched by his
assistant. The costly treasures were kept in a little
square wooden box, which looked new and had a cross
carved on the outside. Then he and the wooden box
were tåken to a special tent, and there he seated himself,
cross-legged, with the box before him. Together with
a lot of young Ostiaks we crowded into this tent as
well as we could and sat down on the ground.
The casket was now solemnly opened, and proved
to contain a copper crown with a cross on it, something
like an old mediæval royal crown ; but Vostrotin and
Loris-Melikov said afterwards that it was a Russian
bride’s crown. There was also a stomacher with a
cross and ornaments like a chasuble, and it was obviously
a clumsy imitation. He set the crown on his head
and put on the stomacher. Then the performance was
to begin—but suddenly the blind man paused and said
that the contribution must first be paid, a rouble for
each of us, otherwise it was impossible for him to shaman.
Three roubles were handed over ; he felt them and
rang them, to make sure that they were good. Is it
not strange that the priesthood of all nations through
out the ages, whether heathen or Christian, should
be such good judges of coin ?
Then at last he was ready ; and all at once he started
a strange, monotonous song in a tremulous voice full
of trills, while incessantly making the sign of the cross,
like a Russian priest, and bending forward ; then he
lifted his face to heaven, stretched his arms upwards
and raised his voice, as though invoking the lord of
heaven. After that he bent his head forward again
towards the ground and gave a low muttering, no
doubt tP conjure the spirits of the earth. Altogether

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