is a religion practise followed by many people all over the world.However, it is more prominent in the African, European, and Asiancountries, with most followers in the Asian countries. isbelieved to have originated from Mongolian and Turkish religions. religion is a traditional belief and practises thatcomprise the ability to cause illness, diagnose, and cure. Shaman isa spiritual being with the power to heal, see visions, and work withenergies (Vitebsky104).In addition, shamans have the ability to control weather, interpretdreams, divination, travelling to upper and lower worlds, and astralprojection. The most common characteristics of shaman are fire, whichact as a medium of transformation and mastery of energy. followers believe in good and evil spirits that are only subjectiveto Shamans. Shamans are either male or females who are chosen byspontaneous spirits or ancestral. They act as the bridge betweenliving world and spirit world. Nevertheless, different societiespractise shamanism differently due to different traditions, culture,and background. accesses the spiritual realm and altersstates of conciseness. believes on the power of healing anddemonic forces. They use their practises to heal physical injuries. followers practise their rituals according to Shaman, whomthey believe he has the powers to access the spirit realm. Shaman isa vocation rather than just a job. This essay discusses the Shamanboth in the contemporary and traditional societies, and acrossseveral cultures. In addition, the essay discusses the procedure ofbecoming a Shaman.
Accordingto Eliade(56),shamanism originated from Central Asia and Siberia as a religion thatdescribed Shaman as coming of Tungusic language, Russian, and shaman.Hmong shamans believe spirits chooses them, especially after aprolonged or severe illness. The question is who qualifies to be ashaman? Both men and women can become a shaman although men are mostlikely to become shaman. Whenever a new recruit joins shaman, thefirst encounter is a deadly sickness brought by “qhua neeb,” nangspirits or shaman spirits. The recruits may also be struck bylightning or experience a near-death experience. Commonly, anothershaman diagnoses the illness as an initiatory illness caused byspirits. The spirit of Shaman summons both male and female this way.Immediately after recovery, the master Shaman starts teaching newlyrecruited shaman the procedures of Shaman religion that takes abouttwo to three years. During this period, the shaman learns thetechniques, chants, names, and natures of all spirits that bringsuffering and fortune to people, as well as the procedures ofshamanic rites. Although any person can become a shaman throughlearning the shaman basics information, the greatest nang spiritsmust choose the master shaman. Unfortunately, if a person chooses toundergo shaman training but fails to become a shaman, he or shesuffer interminable illness or torture on the rest of his or her life(Jakobsen12).Alternatively, the person may never die but he or she is always sickuntil the moment he or she agree to become a shaman.
Inshamanic religion, shaman plays the role of priesthood. According toJakobsen(45),priest holds the rank and the function of tenant he is sociallyinitiated and conducts most religious ceremonies. On the other hand,shaman gains power on his own. To non-shaman, they believe a shamanis a primitive medical doctor. Shaman followers believes that withoutshaman, they can never please the restless spirits that causes badluck and illness. They believe Hmong shaman is either a man or awoman with the ability to heal the ailing people. The father, alsothe master of the spirit, is the spiritual minister, physician,psychiatrist, dream interpreter, and an elder. In addition, he servesboth the spirit world and the physical world in the community.
Accordingto , spirits live in the skies. Additionally, they believethat the Shaman can climb to the heaven through a ladder on a magicalhorse. The horse has the ability to contact the spirits in the skies.In some cases, illness is caused by a soul climbing in the steps ofthe skies. In this case, the shaman must runs after the illness,locate it, and later brings back to the body to cure. During thisritual, shaman sits in front of a wooden bench that he uses as ahorse. The wooden bench is the same size as the human body. When ashaman is entering the spirit world, he or she jumps up and down onthe top of the bench to signify riding of a horse. At this time, hewears a mask over his head. The mask act as a camouflage to thespirit world, as well as blockage of the real world. The mask is alsoused to increase concentration of the shaman. Then, the Shaman startschanting and enters a trance. Immediately, he or she starts to shakeand may stand or move on the bench to signify the process of climbingto the heaven. Later, chants evokes shaman he or she negotiate withthe spirit for cure or family’s fortune.
Everyperson who believes in shamanism religion has a suka in his or herhome as a symbol of ancestor worship. Suka is a special place in ahomestead where shamanism believes good spirits lives to defend thefamily and homestead. Similar to the Christians, suka is like thecrucifix to the Christian. They believe that spirits has thecapability to maintain the family well being and health if they arehappy (Nicholson132).However, he spirits can also bring suffering and pain if they areangry. Other special equipments that shamanism consider important arepipe, feathers, wings, and jewelleries. Pipes are smoked duringreligious ceremony to create aware that prayers are in progress. blows the smoke to the heaven symbolically carry theprayers to God. Feathers and wings are used to brush the smoke fromsmudge stick. s believe it helps to cleanse off their sins.In addition, feathers are also used during healing ceremonies fordirect energy. Jewelleries are also used in ceremonies, especiallywhen one needs an insight.
ceremonies have all years of its existence. The procedures are passedfrom one generation to another as they are occasionally performedrepeatedly. According to Jakobsen(102),performing a ceremony repeatedly hold more power on its purpose.Shamans believe that the ancient ceremonies were according to thevisions that they ancestors received from God. According totraditional shamanism societies, a family brings an elder home afterthree days when a child is born to perform a spirit blessing ceremonyfor the baby. The main purpose of the ceremony is to welcome thechild to the soul of life, as well as approve him or her as familymember. In addition, the shamanism religion advocates for harmonywithin the worlds of spirits. Some of the traditional rituals thatbring harmony are healing rights, spiritual blessings, New Yearcelebrations, and funeral ceremony. religion passesinformation orally, and as a result, there is no uniform ritual ortechnique. Instead, procedures of shamanism differ according to thedifferent apprentice and master shaman. Unlike animism that ispractised by the whole community, shamanism requires specialisedabilities and knowledge.
Insome societies, shaman inherits powers from fore fathers while inother communities they are “called.” Normally, a new initiatereceive a call through visitation of the spirits (Vitebsky107).Scholars believe shaman acquire their profession through instruction,inheritance, vocation, or inner calling. Nevertheless, each of thesemeans require some qualifications. In this situation, instructiondoes not necessary mean the exact study of shaman knowledge andexplicit dogma, but spirits teaches the shaman. On the other hand,inheritance means passing power from a soul of a dead shaman orshaman illness. Further, “calling” is not a real call, but aspirit forces a person to accept the vocation. According to Pratt(89),children born in shaman religion do not voluntarily venture into thereligion nor attend training lessons. The training is not necessarybecause they are born in families that practise shamanisticpractises hence, they just have to pay close observation of activeshamans.
Inconclusion, shamanism is a religious phenomenon centred on theshaman. A shaman has the powers to heal the sick, communicate withthe spirit, and escort the souls of the dead. Nevertheless, theshamans’ repertories differ from one culture to another, but havemany similarities. According to historical ethnographies, shamanconsists of men, women, and transgender individuals of any age frommiddle childhood onwards. There are several ways of recruiting ashaman. For instance, the southern American Tapirape shamans believethat one has to receive a powers in dream while in Siberian Chukchisbelieve that a person starts behaving as a psychotic and the personreceive possession by spirits that demands him or her to takeshamanic vocation. In some other communities, shamans have a choiceto choose their careers. South American Shuar would seek the power toapprentice themselves to be proficient shamans and protect theirfamilies against enemies.
Eliade,Mircea. :Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy.Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1974. Print.
Jakobsen,Merete D. :Traditional and Contemporary Approaches to the Mastery of Spirits andHealing.New York: Berghahn Books, 1999. Internet resource.
Nicholson,Shirley. :An Expert View of Reality.Wheaton, Ill. u.a: Theosophical Publ. House, 1988. Print.
Pratt,Christina. AnEncyclopedia of .New York, N.Y: Rosen Pub. Group, 2007. Internet resource.
Vitebsky,Piers. .Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. Print.