Valeriya Gazizova's talk on several cases of ‘treasure’ concealment and discoveries in the Buddhist society of postsocialist Kalmykia
I shall discuss several cases of ‘treasure’ concealment and discoveries that can be somewhat subsumed under the broader category of Tibetan gter ma in the Buddhist society of postsocialist Kalmykia. Whether scriptural revelations, discoveries of material images or concealment of powerful deceased bodies and body relics, the emergent forms of ‘treasures’ appear to be largely centred on the worship of ancestral and local protective deities and entail (re)opening of sacred spaces. The correlation between ancient burial mounds, territorial deities and Kalmyk treasure practices deserves particular attention. While being instrumental in the ongoing process of national recovery and maintaining what is often positioned as ethno-religious continuity disrupted by the Soviet state persecutions, the revealed objects, texts and deities become points of contention and even strife as they also modify the indigenous cosmology.