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Elina Hytönen-Ng

Anthropology and anthropological literature have had an irreversible effect on the practice of contemporary shamanism. In this small-scale study, I look at the complex ways the literature has been recorded, initiated interest, revived and verified the shamanic practices. Over the years, anthropologists have also caused distortions in revived practices as they have left some things unrecorded. On the basis of written responses and interviews from shamanic practitioners and active drumming-group members, I demonstrate that the argument of neo-shamanism as the only form of shamanism still alive is not completely true. Attention is drawn also to the claim about the cycle of learning in contemporary shamanism. My argument is that the main part of learning in the deeper levels of shamanic practices still happens in face-to-face situations.

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Spiritually Enmeshed, Socially Enmeshed

Shamanism and Belonging in Ulaanbaatar

Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko

. Shamanic practice in Mongolia incorporates the belief that communicating with deceased relatives is not only possible but a necessary aspect of ensuring one’s material and spiritual well-being. Anthropologists writing about shamanism in Mongolia have noted

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What If We Don't Know Our Clan?

The City as New Ritual Form in Buriatiia

Justine Buck Quijada

“Traditionally” Buriat shamanism is clan-based. Ritual practice embedded kinship relations within a sacred geography, linking the living and the dead through a relationship to the landscape, reaffirmed at yearly tailgan ceremonies. In Buriatiia, Soviet modernization transformed the Buriat relationship to the land, and with it, the conditions of shamanic practice. As a result, many urban Buriats either do not know their clan affiliation, or no longer hold clan ceremonies. In response, two urban shaman's organizations have begun to hold tailgans on behalf of the residents of the city. The new ritual form relieves anxiety at the loss of tradition and underscores that loss. However, by redefining the ritual community around the city instead of the clan, the ritual community becomes multiethnic.

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Beyond Belief?

Social, Political, and Shamanic Power in Siberia

Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer

An analysis of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in the Russian Federation reveals a variety of village and urban reactions to crises of faith and power. The significance for group identity and instances of synergistic group belief are discussed. The transition that has seen amorphous underground shamanic practice lead to the institutionalization of shamanic cosmology is reflected in the recent opening of a temple in the Republic's capital, Yakutsk, and in the various groups that adhere to charismatic healers and seers. Debates about faith, as well as fragmented faith epistemologies, are described. The data derive from over 25 years of intermittent fieldwork in the Republic and with the Sakha diaspora. My approach is situated at the crossroads of medical-psychological anthropology, political anthropology, and new religious movement analysis.

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Tatiana Bulgakova

material I came across only one such case: opposition to spirits’ wills was expressed by the mother of the neophyte Nikolai Petrovich. She felt sorry for her beloved son doomed to suffer the hardships of shamanic practice, and who dared to protest because

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A Visitor's Guide to Shamans and Shamanism

The Kunstkamera's Russian and Asian Ethnographic Collections in the Late Imperial Era

Marisa Karyl Franz

predator of the north—the bear.” 21 The bear and the bear festival are presented as aspects of northern shamanic practices general across the north, and, rather than examining the specific religious practices, the author offered a broader regional

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Steven Brooke, Dafne Accoroni, Olga Ulturgasheva, Anastasios Panagiotopoulos, Eugenia Roussou, Francesco Vacchiano, Jeffrey D. Howison, Susan Greenwood, Yvonne Daniel, Joana Bahia, Gloria Goodwin Raheja, Charles Lincoln Vaughan, Katrien Pype, and Linda van de Kamp

contemporary Siberian shamans contributing to community spiritual renewal and assertion of ethnic identity? All of the above questions are guiding the author’s attempt to “communicate the unevenness of cultural change and differences in shamanic practice over

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Jack Hunter, Annelin Eriksen, Jon Mitchell, Mattijs van de Port, Magnus Course, Nicolás Panotto, Ruth Barcan, David M. R. Orr, Girish Daswani, Piergiorgio Di Giminiani, Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Sofía Ugarte, Ryan J. Cook, Bettina E. Schmidt, and Mylene Mizrahi

, transitions between life and death, and invisible realities lie at the core of this book. Jokic offers a detailed ethnography of Yanomami shamanic practices based on fieldwork in 1999–2000, intertwined with a description of the ancestral continuum of the

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The Chaco Skies

A Socio-cultural History of Power Relations

Alejandro Martín López and Agustina Altman

churches led to a break with some shamanic practices, which the evangelical missionaries sought to eliminate by casting them as demonic activities. In addition, they attempted to suppress Catholic practices such as the worship of saint images, which, as

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The Algebra of Souls

Ontological Multiplicity and the Transformation of Animism in Southwest China

Mireille Mazard

rituals are organized around multiple negotiations and transformations between domains: the realm of the living and the shadow realm, shamanic practices and the values of Christianity, political history and anthropological classifications. Nusu situate