RE: Siberian Shamanism?

Sat, 1 Apr 1995 20:26:44 GMT (Dean Edwards) writes: [much snipped]

|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 be visited by interested individuals from the West or elsewhere?

I should think you would want to correspond with the Academy of Sciences
and its publishing voice, _Nauka_, particularly with the Novosibersk
department. They're closest to the field, so they'd be useful contacts.

Shamanism has been discussed on alt.pagan in the past. A sampling:

Ted Schultz's THE FRINGES OF REASON has an excellent section debunking
fake "shamanism" writers such as Carlos Castenada and Lynn Andrews --
section titled "Armchair Shamanism: A Yankee Way of Knowledge".

Here are some book recommendations specifically on Siberian shamanism,
excerpted from articles recently posted on alt.pagan....

>From Raven (JSingle@Music.Lib.MATC.Edu):

Just to give you an idea of the difference in volume, AND degree of
relevance, between what has received English translation and what has
not, here are the Russian studies on Siberian shamanism that I could
find in the local state university library catalog. First, in English:

M.M. Balzer (ed.) - Shamanism: Soviet studies of traditional religion
in Siberia and Central Asia (1990).
I.A. Lopatin - The cult of the dead among the natives of the
Amur Basin (1960).
S.M. Shirokogoroff - Social organization of the Northern Tungus (1979).

Not very much, and not very specific, is it? But...

The following sources are in Russian, mostly published in Novosibersk,
Siberia, by _Nauka_ [Science], voice of the Soviet Academy of Sciences:

N.A. Alekseev - Shamanizm tiurkoiazychnykh narodov Sibiri (1984).
N.A. Alekseev - Traditsionnye religioznye verovaniia
tiurkoiazychnykh narodov Sibiri (1992).
V.N. Basilov - Izbranniki dukhov (1984).
D.S. Dugarov - Istoicheskie korni belogo shamanstva (1991).
I.N. Gemuev, A.M. Sagalev - Religiia naroda Mansi (1986).
M.B. Kenin-Lopsan - Obriadovaia praktika i fol'klor tuvinskogo
shamanstva (1987).
A.I. Mazin - Traditsionnye verovaniia i obrady
evenkov-orochonov (1984).
T.M. Mikhailov - Iz istorii buriatskogo shamanizma (1980).
T.M. Mikhailov - Buriatskii shamanizma (1987).
E.S. Novik - Obriad i fol'klor v sibirskom shamanizme (1984).
I.S. Vdovin (ed.) - Problemy istorii obshchestvennogo soznaniia
aborigenov Sibiri (1981, Nauka - Leningrad)

You'll notice, the works still in Russian tend to be more specific
about which peoples they cover -- Buryats, Evenki, Tuvans, etc.

Once again, I suspect the interest in such details drops away with
distance, so that the West mostly sees the general summary books.

This is by no means all the extant literature, just what the local
campus of University of Wisconsin had. I've seen much more elsewhere.

From: Vajk / David Sanders (

References in English:

Roheim, Geza, Hungarian and Vogul Mythology (1954). Another
edition (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1966). Monographs
of the American Ethnological Society, 23.
Dioszegi, Vilmos, Samanok Nyomaban Sziberia Foldjen. Translated
into English by Anita Rajkay Babo as Tracing Shamans in Siberia.
The story of an ethnographical research expedition. (Oosterhout:
Anthropological Publications, 1968). Distributed in the U.S. by
Hunanities Press, New York
Grim, John, The shaman: patterns of Siberian and Ojibway healing
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983). Another edition
entitled The shaman: patterns of religious healing among the
Ojibway Indians (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983, 1987).
The Civilization of the American Indian series, 165.
Shamanism in Siberia (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1978). Edited by
V. Dioszegi and M. Hoppal. Bibliotheca uralica, 1.
Shamanism: Soviet studies of traditional religion in Siberia and
Central Asia (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1990). Edited by Marjorie
Mandelstam Balzer.
Siikala, Anna-Leena, The rite technique of the Siberian shaman
(Helsinki: Suomalainen tiedeakatemia; Akateeminen kitjakauppa,
1978). FF communications, 220. ISSN 0014-5815.
Siikala, Anna-Leena, Studies on shamanism (Helsinki: Finish
Anthropological Society, 1992) and (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado,
1992). Ethnologica uralica, 2.
Thorpe, S.A., Shamans, medicine men and traditional healers: a
comparative study of shamanism in Siberian Asia, Southern Africa
and North America (Pretoria: University of South Africa, 1993).
Manualia didactica, 21.

Also check "The Hungarians Cross the Carpathians" (author?), that has a
chapter on Magyar religion, including shamanism.

Since a number of peoples besides the Russians are of Siberian origin,
including the Finns and Hungarians, not all of the literature is in Russian
and English, and some of the Hungarian literature (at least) has been

-- Raven (JSingle@Music.Lib.MATC.Edu). [All standard disclaimers apply]