Events and Newsletters -
Spring 2003 - Issue 19
Introducing "Uch Enmek" - Karakolsky Nature Park
In the summer of 2002, I had the chance to meet Danil Ivanovich Mamyev, the director and founder of the recently established Karakol Nature Park “Uch Enmek.” This park is found in the Ongudai
District of the Altai Republic in south-central Siberia. It seemed that everywhere I went, people were speaking of this wise and gentle being. I was even more impressed by him after our two-hour conversation. Danil Ivanovich is one of a group of indigenous citizens in Ongudai who are committed to protecting their native lands, sacred sites and petroglyphs from damage by the increasing number of tourists. Below is a translated version of an article written by Danil Ivanovich that speaks of the purpose and urgency of establishing the park. Susan Cutting
Since time immemorial, the indigenous Altai people have considered the Karakol valley to be a sacred valley. There are several groups of ancient burial mounds and standing stones that represent some of the great mysteries of the Altai. Petroglyphs color the foot of the cliffs above which tower sacred mountains. The residents of this valley have a different outlook from others of the region — they consider themselves to be in a very special, spiritual relationship with nature.
Sadly, many of the burial mounds have been dug up and taken away from the valley and
now lie in various museums of Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Biysk, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.
These “stolen” monuments in-clude the “stone ladies” (or “kezer tash”) and cliff drawings,
as well as the objects of day-to-day existence. When one takes into consideration that these ancient monuments, together with the native traditional culture of the indigenous population, represent an informational code about the laws of the universe, it is very important that they be returned. The staff of Uch Enmek are working hard to bring them back and restore the
valley to its original state.
Komus and Topshur
We invite volunteers of any age, specialization, or job to take part in our restoration work. Together we hope to mend the mistakes recent generations have made towards the Altai — the umbilical cord of the Earth. When people on this planet stop killing and hating one another, they will understand each other and nature much better. The Spirits of the valley do not like when people are vain, greedy and aggressive, or when people are continuously asking for things. They do not like loud gatherings or loud music.
In this valley, reign the spirits of reverent calm, of rising up and striving for a common understanding. They call for quiet and measured conversation around the fire, the quiet melodic sounds of the native instruments, komus and topshur, and songs of the blessed Kan Altai, Mother Earth, and Father Sky.
Elbek Kalkin playing the Toshur, a traditional Altai instrument
“Uch” in the Altai language means “three.” “Enmek” in Altai signifies the vulnerable, yet energetically important spot on the crown of a newborn child’s head. In this valley are signs
of the sacred trinity everywhere: the synthesis of science, philosophy and religion; Buddhism, Christianity and Islam; the father, the son and the holy spirit; height, breadth and length;
the sun the air and water; birth, life and death. Uch Enmek is a celestial portal on the planet Earth, through which Earth holds an invisible connection with the cosmos. That is why this place needs to be protected as much as possible from extraneous thoughts and actions, so as not to distort the information received here. The ancient culture and philosophy of the Altai speaks of this, and the cultures of the indigenous communities here are wholly focused on protecting
this place of planetary importance.
“The seekers will find, the listeners will hear, the see-ers will see, the defilers will disappear.”
referring to ecotourism at Uch Enmek