Siberian Shamanism?

Dean Edwards (
Fri, 31 Mar 1995 21:28:37 GMT

As you may have noticed by now, I have been working with a small
group of others in coordinating a discussion of Shamanism in the
West. Although Siberia lies on the asiatic side of the Urals, the
contact between Siberian and European peoples over the centuries and
millenia has bee both considerable and significant. This has especially
been true of the relations between various Siberian and Finnic peoples.
Indeed, I would say that they Siberian shamic complex, should properly
include the Permians, Finns, Estonians, Lapps, etc., or at least itself
be included in a larger grouping of shamanic tradition which does
exactly that.

Another very important consideration here is that in some places,
shamanism continues to survive in Siberia today. There is a lengthy
bibliography included in the Shamanism-General Overview, which I shall
not duplicate here. There are also procedings from the annual Congress
of Finno-Ugric Peoples, held in Finland, which contain much useful material
on historical, traditional and contemporary shamanism in this area.

Probably the richest and nost culturally relevant material on
traditional shamanism for a western audience is that concerning
shamanism in Siberia. Work on the study of Siberian shamanism
continues today and shamans are beginning to be invited on a
regular basis to speak to meetings outside of Siberia about thier
traditional practices. When we speak of searching for an
underlying pattern of shamanic practice which might have meaning
for a contemporary western audience, the most intact traditions and
certainly the best documented are those found in Siberia. Even the wrod
'Shaman', is a Tunguisic word for Siberia.

What are the practices which are regularly found among shamans in Siberia?
What are the best resources for finding out about Siberian
shamanism? What practicing traditional shamans in Siberia are available
to ve visited by interested individuals from the West or elsewhere?

This article is being cross-posted to soc.religion.shamanism, alt.pagan,
sci.anthropology, soc.vulture.soviet and soc.culture.siberia.
Anyone who has any ideas, references, resources, questions, or any
contributions to make to this ongoing dialogue is invited to join in.

Dean Edwards