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Browsing by Author "Mikkola, Eelis"

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  • Mikkola, Eelis (2019)
    In Mongolia wrestling is the national sport and it is connected to Buddhism, Shamanism and the cult of Chinggis Khaan. This thesis explores these connections and answers the question: What religious elements are key to becoming a successful Mongolian wrestler? There is very little prior research done in English on Mongolian wrestling and its relation to religion, and the research question could not be answered using existing materials. Because of this I made a field trip to Mongolia where I collected new material. The aim of this study is to not only answer the question, but also to incorporate new data into the larger field of studies on Mongolian wrestling. The ethnographic material of my study was collected during the summer of 2017, when I visited Mongolia and interviewed five men who were experts in either wrestling or religion. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and translated. The translations were categorized using theory directed content analysis with the help of Atlas.ti. New data was introduced and analyzed alongside contradicting and supporting elements of prior research. The analysis paints a picture where various religious elements are deemed necessary to becoming a successful Mongolian wrestler. The most relevant are karma, hiimori (luck and fortune), the right state of mind, proper ethical conduct, protective rituals, date of birth and bloodlines. The interviews were contradicting on many occasions, and the prior research was on some points in conflict with the new material. Because of this the results have elements which were not accepted by all of my interviewees. My material provides a new point of view to the research of the relationship between Mongolian wrestling and religion, which were not covered by previous studies. Many new and interesting questions arise from the research project.