It is better to begin with a more detailed trip from one of the most remarkable places both of the lake and of its daughter – the Angara, – with the Shaman Stone lying at the source of this river. A lot of people know the legend about the miraculous appearance of the stone, with the help of which the old Baikal tried to intercept his restive and beautiful daughter, who wanted to run away to the handsome Yenisei behind his back.
Under the close guarding of her father, the Angara felt herself an involuntary recluse, prayed with all her heart to the heavenly forces about her liberation.
"Oh, the Tengerian Gods,
Please, take pity on the captive soul
Do not be strict and severe
To me, surrounded by rocks.
Do you understand that my youth is pushed
To the grave by the Baikal’s taboos ...
Oh, give me courage and strength
To ruin the wall of rocks ...”
Many people know the legend, but few of them know that the stone is famous not only and not just for this legendary past, but also for the fact that it served as a haven for cult worship rituals of the Buryat shamans. Even more interesting is that it was a sort of "sacramental" place where people who had been suspected in lying or cheating (especially infidel wives), were sent to be punished. It was believed that a person uttering a lie must be punished for his sin on this stone. Important evidence about these facts can be found in works of G.F. Miller – a German historian, who wrote about Siberia in the 18 century. On the basis of the Buryat beliefs he wrote about the so called Aiechu-tscholo – “a cliff which makes startle" in the Angara source. He noted that this and similar places "are granted in such a way that a person accused of a crime and who wanted to prove his innocence, has to come up to such a rock and grasp it with both hands, being firmly convinced that if he swears falsely, he will certainly die".
As some researchers suppose, the legend of the unnatural change of place by the shamanic stone is a testament that in the earliest times ancient people could witness some geological hazards on the shores of Lake Baikal. In particular, this applies to catastrophes in which new drains appeared from the lake and old drains were overlapped, for example, in the Kultuk or Buguldeika areas (see the material about these areas).
In 1972 near the Shamanic Stone there appeared one more monument – a memorable for Irkutsk citizens’ place. It is a stone obelisk on the bank of the Angara source, established close to the place where the famous Russian thirty-five year old playwright Alexander Vampilov died. He was half Russian and half Buryat; he drowned here, unable to cope with the cold water of the Angara. Having foreseen his own fate once he wrote in his diary: “I will never be old”.
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