This careful study of the co-existence over time of Buddhism and shamanism among the Lhopo (Bhutia) people of Sikkim sheds new light on their supposedly hostile relationship. It examines the working relationships between Buddhist lamas and practitioners of "bon," taking into consideration the sacred history of the land as well as its more recent political and economic transformation. Their interactions are presented in terms of the contexts in which lamas and shamans meet, these being rituals of the sacred land, of the individual and household, and of village and state. Village lamas and shamans are shown to share a conceptual view of reality which is at the base of their amiable coexistence. In contrast to the hostility which, the recent literature suggests, characterizes the lama-shaman relationship, their association reveals that the real confrontation occurs when village Buddhism is challenged by its conventional counterpart.
Shamanism has been practised amongst communities all over the world for millennia, and continues to survive today in both modern and ancient forms. Shamanism: A Reader unites perspectives from disciplines including anthropology, psychology, musicology, and botany to provide an unique overview of modern writing on shamanism. Juxtaposing the traditional practices of indigenous peoples with their new and often radically urban reinterpretations, experts including Michael Harner, Milhàly Hoppàl, Majorie M Balzer and Piers Vitebsky raise questions about constructions of shamanism, its efficacy, its use and misuse as a cultural symbol, and its real nature. Locating its material in the encounter between traditional and contemporary, and within many forms of response to the image of the shaman, Shamanism: A Reader is an essential tribute to the vitality and breadth of shamanic tradition both among its original practitioners of Europe, tribes of America and Asia, and within seemingly familiar aspects of the modern west. Representing the best of classic and current scholarship, and highlighting the diversity of approaches to shamanism in an accessible and user-friendly way, this clearly introduced and organized collection sets a new standard for shamanic study in terms of the breadth and depth of its coverage.
Many of the religious practices of historical peoples, for example the Huns, Romans, Turks and Mongols derive from much older Asian traditions. The Huns, for example, practised divination through examining the bones of livestock, something which shares many affinities with the Inner Eurasian tradition of interpreting the future through studying the scorch marks on the burnt shoulder blades of sheep. This comparative study of pre-Christian and pre-Muslim religious practices of Central Asia focuses in particular on the role of animals and shamans, as well as different forms of worship and spirituality among various cultural groups: Inner Eurasia, Turks, Mongols, Tunguz and Manchus.
The series Religion and Society (RS) contributes to the exploration of religions as social systems – both in Western and non-Western societies; in particular, it examines religions in their differentiation from, and intersection with, other cultural systems, such as art, economy, law and politics. Due attention is given to paradigmatic case or comparative studies that exhibit a clear theoretical orientation with the empirical and historical data of religion and such aspects of religion as ritual, the religious imagination, constructions of tradition, iconography, or media. In addition, the formation of religious communities, their construction of identity, and their relation to society and the wider public are key issues of this series.
Popular Religion and Shamanism addresses two areas of religion within Chinese society; the lay teachings that Chinese scholars term folk or “popular” religion, and shamanism. Each area represents a distinct tradition of scholarship, and the book is therefore split into two parts. Part I: Popular Religion discusses the evolution of organized lay movements over an arc of ten centuries. Its eight chapters focus on three key points: the arrival and integration of new ideas before the Song dynasty, the coalescence of an intellectual and scriptural tradition during the Ming, and the efflorescence of new organizations during the late Qing. Part II: Shamanism reflects the revived interest of scholars in traditional beliefs and culture that reemerged with the “open” policy in China that occurred in the 1970s. Two of the essays included in this section address shamanism in northeast China where the traditions played an important role in the cultures of the Manchu, Mongol, Sibe, Daur, Oroqen, Evenki, and Hezhen. The other essay discusses divination rites in a local culture of southwest China.
An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture
Author: Mariko Namba Walter
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
A guide to worldwide shamanism and shamanistic practices, emphasizing historical and current cultural adaptations. * Nearly 200 entries on shamanic belief systems, practices, rituals, and related phenomena * 152 contributors including international experts and pioneering researchers in the field * 100 photos, charts, and tables * Multicultural bibliography of significant materials from the fields of history, ethnography, and anthropology
A distinguished anthropologist–who is also an initiated shaman–reveals the long-hidden female roots of the world’s oldest form of religion and medicine. Here is a fascinating expedition into this ancient tradition, from its prehistoric beginnings to the work of women shamans across the globe today. Shamanism was not only humankind’s first spiritual and healing practice, it was originally the domain of women. This is the claim of Barbara Tedlock’s provocative and myth-shattering book. Reinterpreting generations of scholarship, Tedlock–herself an expert in dreamwork, divination, and healing–explains how and why the role of women in shamanism was misinterpreted and suppressed, and offers a dazzling array of evidence, from prehistoric African rock art to modern Mongolian ceremonies, for women’s shamanic powers. Tedlock combines firsthand accounts of her own training among the Maya of Guatemala with the rich record of women warriors and hunters, spiritual guides, and prophets from many cultures and times. Probing the practices that distinguish female shamanism from the much better known male traditions, she reveals: • The key role of body wisdom and women’s eroticism in shamanic trance and ecstasy • The female forms of dream witnessing, vision questing, and use of hallucinogenic drugs • Shamanic midwifery and the spiritual powers released in childbirth and monthly female cycles • Shamanic symbolism in weaving and other feminine arts • Gender shifting and male-female partnership in shamanic practice Filled with illuminating stories and illustrations, The Woman in the Shaman’s Body restores women to their essential place in the history of spirituality and celebrates their continuing role in the worldwide resurgence of shamanism today. From the Hardcover edition.
A Study of Traditional Belief, with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs
Author: Sharon Paice MacLeod
Category: Social Science
This book provides a comprehensive overview of Celtic mythology and religion, encompassing numerous aspects of ritual and belief. Topics include the presence of the Celtic Otherworld and its inhabitants, cosmology and sacred cycles, wisdom texts, mythological symbolism, folklore and legends, and an appreciation of the natural world. Evidence is drawn from the archaeology of sacred sites, ethnographic accounts of the ancient Celts and their beliefs, medieval manuscripts, poetic and visionary literature, and early modern accounts of folk healers and seers. New translations of poems, prayers, inscriptions and songs from the early period (Gaulish, Old Irish and Middle Welsh) as well as the folklore tradition (Modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, Breton and Manx) complement the text. Information of this kind has never before been collected as a compendium of the indigenous wisdom of the Celtic-speaking peoples, whose traditions have endured in various forms for almost three thousand years.
"This important study provides a critical introduction to the social anthropology of religion, focusing on more recent classical ethnographies. Comprehensive, free of scholastic jargon, engaging, and comparative in approach, it covers all the major religious traditions that have been studied concretely by anthropologists: Shamanism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and its relation to African and Melanesian religions, and contemporary Neo-Paganism"--P.  of cover.
Shamanism, humanity's most ancient spiritual practice, has achieved a dramatic modern resurgence. The foundations and appeal of shamanism are rooted in human nature, the psychobiology of consciousness, and archetypal structures of the brain and mind. The classic shamanic motif of death and rebirth represents the development of self through the symbolic death of the old self to permit the emergence and integration of a higher order self.
Ripinsky-Naxon explores the core and essence of shamanism by looking at its ritual, mythology, symbolism, and the dynamics of its cultural process. In dealing with the basic elements of shamanism, the author discusses the shamanistic experience and enlightenment, the inner personal crisis, and the many aspects entailed in the role of the shaman.
The increasing significance and visibility of relationships between religion and public arenas and institutions following the fall of communism in Europe provide the core focus of this fascinating book. Leading international scholars consider the religious and political role of Christian Orthodoxy in the Russian Federation, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine alongside the revival of old, indigenous religions, often referred to as 'shamanistic' and look at how, despite Islam’s long history and many adherents in the south, Islamophobic attitudes have increasingly been added to traditional anti-Semitic, anti-Western or anti-liberal elements of Russian nationalism. Contrasts between the church’s position in the post-communist nation building process of secular Estonia with its role in predominantly Catholic Poland are also explored. Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries gives a broad overview of the political importance of religion in the Post-Soviet space but its interest and relevance extends far beyond the geographical focus, providing examples of the challenges in the spheres of public, religious and social policy for all transitional countries.
Shamans throughout much of Asia are regarded as having the power to control and coerce spirits. Many Asians today still turn to shamans to communicate with the world of the dead, heal the sick, and explain enigmatic events. To understand Asian religions, therefore, a knowledge of shamanism is essential. Shamans in Asia provides an introduction to the study of shamans and six ethnographic studies, each of which describes and analyses the lives and activities of shamans in five different regions: Siberia, China, Korea, and the Ryukyu islands of southern Japan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The essays show what type of people become shamans, what social roles they play, and how shamans actively draw from the worldviews of the communities in which they operate. As the first book in English to provide in-depth accounts of shamans from different regions of Asia, it allows students and scholars to view the diversity and similarities of shamans and their religions. Those interested in spiritual specialists, the anthropological study of religion, and local religions in Asia will be intrigued, if not entranced, by Shamans in Asia.
Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians
Author: John A. Grim
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Category: Social Science
Tribal peoples believe that the shaman experiences, absorbs, and communicates a special mode of power, sustaining and healing. This book discusses American Indian shamanic traditions, particularly those of the Woodland Ojibway, in terms drawn from the classical shamanism of Siberian peoples. Using a cultural-historical method, John A. Grim describes the spiritual formation of shamans, male and female, and elucidates the special religious experience that they transmit to their tribes. Writing as a historian of religion well acquainted with ethnological materials, Grim identifies four patterns in the shamanic experience: cosmology, tribal sanction, ritual reenactment, and trance experience. Relating those concepts to the Siberian and Ojibway experiences, he draws on mythology, sociology, anthropology, and psychology to paint a picture of shamanism that is both particularized and interpretative. As religious personalities, shamans are important today because of their singular ability to express symbolically the forces that animate the tribal cosmology. Often identifying themselves with primordial earth processes, shamans develop symbol systems drawn from the archetypal earth images that are vital to their psychic healing technique. This particular ability to resonate with the natural world is felt as an important need in our time. Those readers who identify with American Indians as they confront modern technological society will value this introduction to our native shamanic traditions and to the religious experience itself. The author's discussion of Ojibway practices is the most comprehensive short treatment available, written with a fine poetic feeling that reflects the literary expressiveness inherent in American Indian religion and thought.