Books & CD's by Kira Van Deusen
Folk Tales

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Mountain Journey,  Musical storytelling inspired by the Tuvan story Woman of Steel. Original compositions with Kira on cello, Joseph "Pepe" Danza on percussion, and Jerry DesVoignes on vocals, including overtone singing. 

Shyaan am! Tuvan Folk Tales. Storyteller Kira Van Deusen brings the oral traditions of Tuva to English speaking audiences in this special book of eight Tuvan favorites.  Illustrated by Tuvan artist Alexei Sedipkov.  47 pages.

Table of Contents:
Available via


Tales of Tuva.  Includes four stories from Shyaan am! Tuvan Folk Tales, including The Camel, Boraldai, Khan with the Donkey's Ears, and Which One to Choose.  Read by Kira Van Deusen, accompanied by Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, Kongar-ool Ondar, and Anatolii Kuular.  28 minutes.

Hear The Camel in RealAudio!

    $10.00  CD

Woman of Steel: A Tuvan Epic.  Translated and retold by Kira Van Deusen.  Long before the days of Genghis Khan, women warriors were fighting battles on the Asian steppes to protect family and friends.  The warrior's spiritual path leads to an opening of the heart, allowing the bold and compassionate heroine to defeat her enemies, restore peace and prosperity to the land, find her life's partner, and bring her father back to life.  This is one of Tuva's best-loved epics.  38 page paperback with illustrations by Alexei Sedipkov.  38 pages. Softcover.


Mountain Spirits -- Khakass Stories.  Since time beyond memory mountain spirits have appeared in the mountains and steppe of Khakassia, Tuva's neighbor to the northwest. The sixteen tales in this book were told in the 19th and mid 20th centuries. They are published here in the original Turkic language (similar to Tuvan) and in English. Compiled by Kira Van Deusen in collaboration with Galina Kazachinova, head of the Khakass Writer's Union and a great authority on the culture of her people. 75 pages. Softcover.


The Flying Tiger: Women Shamans and Storytellers of the Amur

(Mcgill-Queen's Native and Northern Series)

Paperback: 260 pages, Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press (March 1, 2001), available via


IPresenting over fifty newly recorded traditional stories, The Flying Tiger explores the world of the female shamans of Siberia. Providing far more than a collection of tales, Kira Van Deusen shares her journey to the taiga forest and describes the lives of its people, as they attempt to find ways to relate their ancient traditions to an uncertain future.

Other great titles:

Singing Story, Healing Drum: Shamans and Storytellers of Turkic Siberia

Singing Story, Healing Drum explores the shamanic practices, worldview, oral traditions, and music of the Turkic peoples of Tuva and Khakassia (south Siberia), past and present. It is based on the author's fieldwork since 1993, conducting interviews, recording stories, participating in rituals and everyday life. Set in the context of social change in the post-Soviet period, it includes conversations, folktales, legends, adn shamanic poems that illuminate spiritual traditions, and introduces ethnographic literature in Russian, mostly unavailable in the West. Wherever possible, the material comes through the voices of indigenous people: scholars, practitioners, and participants in cultural review.

Kira Van Deusen presents an integrated, holistic picture of Turkic spiritual culture, exploring the inner world shamans and other visionaries describe and the ways they cross the boundaries between ordinary and non-ordinary reality. Since nomadic life is never static, its traditional expression comes through performing arts—music and oral poetry—more than visual representation. Most of these arts involve sound and the processes are equally as important as the results. They involve the whole community and are vital in the revival of indigenous culture today.

  • Hardcover: 120 pages, Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press (June 1, 2004) available via

Read more about Kira's work via her website: Shamans, Stories and Music