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SHAMAN Volume 1 Number 1 (Spring 1993)
AKE HULTKRANTZ (Stockholm): Introductory Remarks on the Study of Shamanism
GIOVANNI STARY (Venice): “Praying in the Darkness”: New Texts for a Little-Known Manchu Shamanic Rite
Tuibumbi is a technical term for special prayers, which are recited at the end of Manchu shamanic rites, when the lanterns have already been extinguished. It is, therefore, possible to paraphrase it as “praying in the darkness”. The origin of this ceremony is still unknown, though some explanation can be found for it in Manchu folk tales. These prayers are generally addressed to female divinities, and some examples are already known from the Manchu dynasty’s “Imperial Shamanic Ritual” Manjusai wecere metere kooli bithe. In this paper, the author gives a translation and a critical analysis of some newly discovered tuibumbi-prayers, collected mostly in 1981 in Jilin province, Manchuria.
MARI YOSHINAGA and YIJI SASAKI (University of Tokyo): Kamidari as a Key Concept of Okinawan Shamanism
Kamidari occurs predominantly among the shamans of the Okinawan district during the initiation period. Kamidari includes a wide range of states: psychosis, various hallucinations, and somatic complains, which are often the concomitants of daily difficulties such as economic hardship or conflicts among the family members. The authors found that the shaman’s personality factor, unfortunate life events and the environment were all causes of the symptoms of kamidari. The practice of worship as well as the human relationships surrounding the shaman help her or him to overcome the dysphoric state of kamidari. Based on these results, the clinical and cultural aspects of kamidari are discussed from the viewpoint of social psychiatry.
SHI KUN (The Ohio State University): Shamanistic Studies in China. A Preliminary Survey of the Last Deccard
ROY ANDREW MILLER und NELLY NAUMANN. Altjapanisch FaFuri. Zu Priestertum und Schamanismus im vorbuddhistischen Japan (by Catherine U. Köhalmi)
GIOVANNI STARY. Das “Schamanenbuch” der Sibe-Mandschuren. TATJANA A. PANG. Die sibemandschurische Handschrift “Der Schamanenhof”. Die sibemandschurische Handschrift Saman kuwaran-i bithe aus der Sammlung N. Krotkov. ALESSANDRA POZZI. Manchu-Shamanica Illustrata. Die mandschurische Handschrift 2774 der Toyobunka Kenkyusho, Tokyo Daikaku (Shamanica Manchurica Collecta. Vols. 1-3) (by Catherine U. Köhalmi)
News and Notes
MIHÁLY HOPPÁL (Budapest): Report on the First International Conference of the International Society for Shamanistic Research (ISSR)
MIHÁLY HOPPÁL (Budapest): Report on the “Shamanism as a Religion: Origin, Reconstruction and Traditions” Conference Held in Yakutsk, August 15-22, 1992.
Shaman Volume 1 Number 2 (Autumn 1993)
ROBERTE N. HAMAYON (EPHE, Paris): Are “Trance,” “Ecstasy” and Similar Concepts Appropriate in the Study of Shamanism?
The terms “trance” and “ecstasy” are used in many definitions of shamanism to mean both a culturally defined form of behavior and a specific correlative physical and mental state. In fact, however, there is no evidence to indicate that this identification is warranted. According to the symbolic representations of shamanistic societies, the shaman’s ritual behavior is the mode of his direct contact with his spirits; hence it is functional behavior that follows a prescribed pattern. The use of the word “trance” to describe the shaman’s behavior, associated as it is with a specific physical and psychological state, has given Western religions an excuse to condemn this type of behavior, the associated state being considered in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as wild and devilish, and later, as pathological. What is in fact condemned is the assumption implicit in shamanism, i.e. that man and the spirits are similar in essence and status, a hypothesis which is unacceptable to ideologies based on divine transcendence.
ANDRÁS HÖFER (Heidelberg University): Some Hyperpragmatic Patterns in Tamang Shamanic Recitations, Nepal
The article focuses on the classificatory logic in the oral poetry of the Tamang shamans in Nepal. Three types of specific phraseological configurations are examined to demonstrate how and to what extent “doctrinal content” of extra-textual provenance and intra-textual phonic-prosodic potentials interact. This interaction, it is argued, results in poetic qualities which are likely to enhance the persuasive effect of the text in performance, and also to condition the formation of the text as part of an oral tradition. The discussion concludes with a plea for a more text-based approach to shamanism in ethnography and comparative research.
AKE HULTKRANTZ (Stockholm): The Shaman in Myths and Tales
This article points out two different types of folk tales that have been grown up around shamans. Where shamanism occurs among simple hunting peoples the shaman is likely to be spoken of as a gifted and distinctive individual, and will, perhaps, be considered to be more mysterious after his/her death. However, as a rule, he/she is still considered to be a human being. Among the nomads of northern Siberia, however, the shaman is part of a more complex society: after death, he/she may be the object of a regular cult, and the tales told will make him/her into a hero/heroine of divine status. The tales, thus, become myths, and the shamans are transformed into gods.
TATJANA ALEKSANDROVNA PANG (St. Petersburg): The Kun-ning-gung Palace in Peking: The Manchu Dynasty’s Shaman Centre in the “Forbidden City”
The Kun-ning-gung, located behind the main palaces of the “Forbidden City,” was – together with the Tangzi temple – the Qing court’s centre for shamanic rituals. While the Tangzi has been completely destroyed, the Kun-ning-gung palace is still open the public: visitors to the main hall will find some shamanic furniture, and can then proceed to the kitchen where the sacrificial meat was cooked. The rituals celebrated in this hall were carefully described in the “Imperial Shamanic Ritual” (in Manchu Hesei toktobuha Manjusai wecere metere koolo bithe) completed in 1747; it is the most significant passages and prayers of this ritual that are translated here.
MARJORIE MANDELSTAM BALZER (Georgetown University): Shamanism and the Politics of Culture: An Anthropological View of the 1992 International Conference on Shamanism, Yakutsk, the Sakha Republic
SHAMAN Volume 2 Number 1 (Spring 1994)
LÁSZLÓ KÜRTI (Budapest): Language, Symbol and Dance: An Analysis of Historicity in Movement and Meaning
This article describes the existence of shamanism in Hungarian society. I argue that seemingly unrelated complexes (the horse and riding, dance and movement, and the usage of the drum or its substitute the sieve) provide a key to an understanding of the historic and ethnographic presence of a shamanistic world-view in Hungarian culture. Previous models have argued either for the Slavic aspects of Hungarian folk religion or, on the contrary, for a “paganistic” Siberian heritage remaining unchanged throughout the centuries. On the contrary, this analysis is conducted in light of recent writings about shamanism, related folkloristic, symbolic and linguistic materials in a variety of societies including Hungary. I conclude by discussing the implications that shamanistic studies may have for theorizing past and present religious practices in different cultures.
TATJANA ALEKSANDROVNA PANG (St. Petersburg): A “Classification” of the Xibe Shamans
Typical of the shamanism practiced among the Sibe people of the Ili valley living in Qabqal Autonomous County in Xinjiang is that they have a number of kinds of shamans not found among the Manchus: the elcin, the deoci and the siyang tung. While the first two can be male or female, only a woman can become a siyang tung. The three groups differ not only in the terms and practices of their apprenticeship, but also in their duties, the prayers they say and the ceremonies they perform in treating illnesses. The paper describes the various aspects of Sibe shamanism on the basis of Sibe-Manchu and Chinese sources, using also some rare Russian data from the last century.
SEIICHI MATSUMOTO: Topics in the Anthropological Study of Shamanism in Japan
In Memoriam G. N. Gracheva (by A. M. Reshetov)
S. DULAM. Darxad böögiin ulamlal. The Tradition of the Darkhat Shamans (by Ágnes Birtalan)
WALTHER HEISSIG. Schamanen und Geistesbeschwörer in der östlichen Mongolei (by Catherine U. Köhalmi)
News and Notes
KEITH HOWARD (London): Minutes of the General Assembly of the International Society for Shamanistic Research, held 16th July 1993, at the Kulturinnov, Budapest
Shaman Volume 2 Number 2 (Autumn 1994)
VEIKKO ANTTONEN (Helsinki): Transcending Bodily and Territorial Boundaries. Interpreting Shamanism as a Form of Religion
Native terms denoting ‘sacred’ are an important means of defining the cognitive boundaries by which ethnic communities have delimited their internal and external worlds. The author is of the opinion that the study of the culture-specific semantics of the terms in their prehistoric contexts can offer some new insights into the religious element in shamanistic traditions. He argues from the point of view of cognitive anthropology that the fundamental meaning structures that have shaped and organized the cognitive schemes, mental imagery and ritual performances of shamans are the notions of territoriality and of the human body.
GREGORY G. MASKARINEC (Honolulu): The Creation of Man. A Nepalese Shaman’s Recital to Postpone Astrological Crises
Shamans remain a key figure of Nepal’s religious landscape. In each of the diverse diagnostic, healing, protective, or otherwise interventionary ceremonies that Himalayan shamans perform, they recite previously memorized oral texts. These recitals, the core of shamanic knowledge, explain the situation that is to be treated and detail the methods of its treatment. To provide a concrete example of such a recital, I present the Nepali text used to treat problems of astrological origin, along with its line-by-line English translation, a short introduction, and notes to eluciade its language and context.
CLIVE TOLLEY (London): The Shamanic Séance in the Historia Norvegiae
The account of a Lappish shamanic séance in the twelfth century Historia Norvegiae is the earliest detailed account of Lappish shamanism, and is important not only for its age, but for its focus upon a specific séance. No full-scale analysis appears to have been produced hitherto, taking account of later records of shamanism among the Lapps and elsewhere, and also of the colouring lent to the account by the author’s familiarity with Norse magical practices. It emerges that, although the author appears not to have understood the practice of sending out the free-soul and has reconceived the séance in terms of the activities of the Norse magical spirit the gandr, the account is nonetheless essentially reliable (with careful interpretation), and hints at a richness in the practice of Lappish shamanism lost by the time of the later records.
ANATOLIY ALEKSEEV (Yakutsk): Techniques among Even Shamans for Healing Humans and Animals
NADEZHDA BULATOVA (St. Petersburg): Alga, an Evenki Shamanic Rite
Heimo Lappalainen (1944-1994). A Personal Remembrance (by Jonathan Horwitz)
ANNA-LEENA SIIKALA. Soumalainen shamanismi â€“ mielikuvien historiaa (Finnish Shamanism. A History of Ideas) (by Vilmos Voigt)
News and Notes
JOHN A. DOOLEY (Cyprus): Report on the Second Conference of the International Society for Shamanistic Research, July 11-17, Budapest, Hungary
SHAMAN Volume 3 Number 1 (Spring 1995)
V .N. BASILOV (Moscow): “Shamanic Disease” in Uzbek Folk Beliefs
The Uzbeks believed that the shaman’s career began with a special disease caused by the spirits. The case study of an Uzbek woman, Achil, reveals that she was haunted by spirits, went mad and, finally, on the advice of a Muslim holy person (ishan), became a shamaness (qushnach). Later she was visited several times and instructed in divination and healing by a helping spirit that appeared in the form of an old man. In Central Asia the “shamanic disease” sometimes manifested not as mental but as physical illness. Such ailments might strike not only the shaman but also members of his or her family. The nature of the “shamanic disease” is determined by the traditions of the given society and its culture.
Daniel A. Kister (Seoul): Dramatic Characteristic of Korean Shaman Ritual
In Korean shaman rituals, worship and lively theater become one to form a rich, sometimes sophisticated body of drama. Rites dramatize a Spirit’s presence and power by means of costumes, role-playing, and feats of wonder that strengthen believers’ faith in a Spirit’s words as proclaimed by the shaman. Many rites use role-playing and humor that, with the believed aid of deceased ancestors, provide family healing. Dramatically the richest rites present theatrical symbols and comic scenes of daily life in a way that draws believers and non-believers alike into a typically Korean sense of the mystery, complexity, and humor of human life.
TAKEFUSA SASAMORI (Hirosaki): The Use of Music in the Ritual Practice of the Itako, a Japanese Shaman
Itako are able to go into a trance without taking narcotic drugs or engaging in some strenuous physical exercise. They do so simply through chanting sutras. Before going on to describe the musical structure – the tonal system and rhythm – of these sutras, the author clarifies the notion of a trance, and what it would look like in practice. This is to preclude unproductive arguments about whether an itako is a shaman or not. The historical background of the itako’s practices will also be described in brief, as will the qualifications required for someone to become an itako. The procedures and ascetic rites engaged in, and the kinds of sutras and sacred ballads sung will also be described. Then, taking a typical sutra, kuchi yose (spirit talk), the text of the chants will be examined. So will the manner of its performance, its function for the itako, as well as its psychological effect on the audience. Finally, the significance of the itako for Japanese society will be addressed.
ZHONG JINWEN (Beijing): Shamanism in Yughur Folk Tales
Shamanism, an archaic religion, represents a traditional way of thinking that pervades Yughur (Yellow Uyghur) folklore. It has also deeply influenced the history of Yughur culture. Based partly on Yughur folk tales published in Chinese translation and partly on his own fieldwork, the author discusses shamanic elements that occur in Yughur folk beliefs.
T. D. BULGAKOVA (St. Petersburg): An Archaic Rite in Nanai Shaman Ceremonies
KURT DERUNGS. Struktur des Zaubermärchens I. Methologie und Analyse. (by Sabine Wienker-Piepho)
MIHÁLY HOPPÁL. Sámánok: Lelkek és jelképek (Shamans: Souls and Symbols) (by Felicitas D. Goodman)
News and Notes
LAUREL KENDALL (New York) and NANCY LUTKEHAUS (Los Angeles): Shamans and Cameras: A Review of the Symposium and Screenings held at the Margaret Mead Film an Video Festival. American Museum of Natural History, October 12-18, 1994.
Shaman Volume 3 Number 2 (Autumn 1995)
ÁGNES BIRTALAN (Budapest): Some Animal Representations in Mongolian Shaman Invocations and Folklore
Wolf, dog, crow, snake, deer, owl, swan, eagle and raven are some of the most important animals to feature as totemic ancestors in Turkic, Mongolian and Manchu-Tunguz oral tradition and written sources. The study, based in part on shamanic invocations and shamanic folklore collected by the author in Western and Northern Mongolia recently, discusses the animal references characteristically found in Inner Asian mythology. Totem animals such as wolves and deer, we learn, function as mounts for the shaman, while dogs and ravens are the shaman’s helping spirits. Possible connections between among the different functions of the animals are also discussed.
GREGORY G. MASKARINEC (Honolulu): The Origins of Order. A Set of Nepalese Shaman Recitals
Continuing a series of Nepalese shaman oral texts and translations, this article presents a set of three short texts recited in public over critically ill patients. The first is used to treat adult males, detailing the creation of the first human being and narrating both the origins of the planets and of healing rituals. The text used to treat women introduces their (separate) origin and outlines their proper behavior, while the recital over seriously ill children introduces the eldest ritual specialists. Together the three texts constitute a concise introduction to the most important features of the world of Nepalese shamans.
MICHAEL PERRIN (Paris): Intellectual Coherence and Constraining Fuction of Shamanism
The author engages in a “systematic” approach to shamanism, which is a set of ideas justifying a set of acts. It entails a specific representation of the person and the world and requires a particular type of alliance between men and “gods”. Lastly, it is constrained by a function, which is to prevent imbalance and to avert or remedy misfortune. This brief “description” implies several logical consequences, which give rise to as many ethnographical issues. It can also help to make a distinction between shamanism and the other great magico-religious systems (possession, mediumism, sorcery, etc.), and to resolve the problem of the limits of and the relationships between these systems in time and space.
ROMANO MASTROMATTEI (Rome): A Shamanic Séance Conducted by a Woman in Nepal
ROY ANDREW MILLER (Sulzburg) and NELLY NAUMANN (Baden): Reviewing a Review
N. A. ALEKSEEV. Schamanismus der Türken Sibiriens (by Catherine Uray-Köhalmi)
TAE-GON KIM and MIHÁLY HOPPÁL (eds.) Shamanism in Performing Arts. MIHÁLY HOPPÁL and KEITH D. HOWARD (eds.) Shamans and Cultures (by Lászó Kürti)
E. S. NOVIK. Ritual und Folklore im sibirischen Schamanismus. (by Catherine Uray-Köhalmi)
A. V. SMOLYAK. Shaman: lichnost’, funktsii, mirovozzreniye (narodi nizhnego Amura). (by Catherine Uray-Köhalmi)