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Tunguska, The Tunguska Event, & Shamanism

I have been doing some research for a children's story which takes place in 1908 in Siberia, shortly before the Tunguska Event, a (real) explosion in this area, probaby caused by an asteroid, which was the equivalent of numerous nuclear bombs.

The people who lived (and still live) in this area are called, variously, Tungus, Evenk/Evenki and Orochon/Orochi. They are nomadic reindeer herders who practiced Shamanism. We get the word "Shaman" from these people. The Evenki lived in tchums (a kind of teepee) and wore richly decorated and colorful clothing made of reindeer hide. They tell a story that the Tunguska event was caused by a vengeful invasion of "Agdy" or Thunder-bird-gods, who were angry about a clan-feud which was occuring at that time.

There is very little English-language literature available about the Evenki people. Sadly, much of the Russian-language literature, which I've read in translation, is highly negative because the State took an 'enlightened' (superior) view of shamanism. One of the more interesting books I've read on this subject is "Man, God and Magic" by Ivar Lissner. I've since discovered that Lissner was possibly a Jewish spy who reported to the Nazis on activities in Mongolia.