OLOX: A Neo-shamanic Transformative Journey Through Arctic Sounds
This performance took place at the 2019 Bioneers Conference.
The duet OLOX, which combines Zarina Kopyrina’s ancient, traditional Siberian shamanic music with modern sounds, has performed around the world, from Burning Man to the Kremlin to Iceland to the Arctic. Zarina is passionately engaged with activism and advocacy for the rights and lands of far northern Indigenous peoples.
Zarina Kopyrina, born in the Siberian tundra of the Sakha Republic (aka Yakutia) in a large family, was introduced to the magic of traditional folkloric music and local Indigenous shamanic cultural practices at a young age by her grandmother and others. After graduating from the University of Yakutsk in Economics, Zorina became very politically and culturally active and eventually began a musical career, traveling globally and becoming a widely sought-after performer, one who has created a unique combination of authentic Yakut traditional shamanic sounds deeply rooted in nature and modern musical forms.
To learn more about Zarina Kopyrina and OLOX, visit olox.life.
Read the full transcript of Zarina Kopyrina’s introduction below.
Please welcome OLOX with Zarina Kopyrina. [APPLAUSE]
Urui-aikhal Bioneers! It’s a traditional greeting from my people to you. We are Sakha people from Arctic Siberia.
There is an old saying: The tree doesn’t move without wind. It means that we’re all sitting here for the reason. We’re all part of wind of change. We are brought here from the wind of our ancestors who shoulders we stand upon. We are wind to bring a better life for future generations. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]
My name is Zarina. My soul brother’s name is Andreas. He’s going to join us very soon. Together we created Olox Project. It means the life. Olox means the life in my Sakha native language. The vision of Olox is to create a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern life.
Let me tell you about my Sakha people. I was born in a small village of 900 people in the most of remote places in the world. You can see from the map that Yakutia is in Arctic Circle, and it would be one of the six largest countries in the world if it was an independent country. It is one of the coldest inhabited places in the world, where winters can reach lows of -94 degree by Fahrenheit. It’s very cold there. [LAUGHTER] So that’s why we deeply respect the power of nature, and we do believe that everything is alive.
Let me show you some pictures of this beautiful world. The reindeers are the lords of tundra. Our Yakutian horses are central for our lives. This is a majestic beauty of our winter. You will be surprised by natural horses, natural wonders of our homeland, such as land of pillars, a beauty of Aurora Borealis.
Sakha culture takes its breath from shamanism. So the word shamanism actually came from our culture. It is one of the ancient and sacred traditions in the world. Shamans are healers of people and nature.
Winter made us a strong people. We’re also well-known and we have famous artists who work with silver and gold.
Sakha people celebrate new year during solstice. Yhyakh is a collective ceremony of cleansing body, mind, and soul. We connect to the sacred with the dance. You can see here a beautiful crane dance. Over 200,000 people are involved with the Sakha ceremony Yhyakh, and here you can see a large circle of Ohuokhai. This is circle dance.
Our ancestors’ wisdom is written everywhere. We receive our energy from the sun for the whole year. We respect the spirit of the fire. We are horse people. The sacred life is written and it’s woven into our beautiful costumes. Ours are the most severest environment on Earth comes some of the most beautiful spirits.
My people also have challenges in this era of globalization. For the last decades, the permafrost is melting at enormous speed. You can see some pictures here. This summer news about wildfires in Siberia broke my heart. So much of my homeland was destroyed. Mining by big corporations creates a lot of destructions. There are large wounds all over the face of Mother Earth. So, let’s pray all together that all sentient beings may be free from suffering, that we bring our dances and songs to the challenges of the precious Earth, that we awaken our inner shamans for the healing of this world. Makhtal! [APPLAUSE]