Shamanism

Front Cover
University of Oklahoma Press, 2001 - Social Science - 184 pages

The shaman occupies a key role as a healer mediating between the world of the living and the world of spirits and is a potent figure in alternative medicine. Shamanism, a richly illustrated guide, looks at both historic and present-day manifestations, from the snowscaps of Siberia to the jungles of the Amazon.

The book discusses visions, initiation rites, shamanic chants, shamanism and mental health, the shamanic use of plants, and the political and social background to the shaman’s work. Also covered are the links between the shaman’s sense of unity in nature and the recent growth of ecological consciousness in Western societies.

* Includes more than 250 color illustrations that present a unique pictorial record of shamanism in practice and as represented in art and artifacts

* Includes a detailed region-by-region survey of shamanism with full-color maps

* Explores both spiritual and psychological aspects of the subject, as well as the relevance of shamanism to contemporary Western culture

 

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Contents

Shamans and Clients
96
Divining
104
Protecting the community
110
Shamans and the state
116
A summary of shamanic procedure
125
Shamanism in the history of religion
132
Are shamans mentally ill?
138
Kinds of consciousness
146
The cosmos within
154
Documentary Reference
161
Directur of Peoples
169
Index
176
Photo Credits
183
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Piers Vitebsky is an anthropologist and Head of Social Sciences at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, England.

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