Re: new member interested in shamanism

Thu, 10 Nov 1994 01:08:19 EST

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Hello...I'm not sure quite where to start re your research
request. Shamanism is my research area too in religious
studies so I understand your care in developing your
paradigm circumspectly. I don't think, however, you need
oppose Eliade and Hultkrantz as you seem to be suggesting.
In fact I think there are some fine distinctions Hultkrantz
makes (vis a vis whether the shaman goes up or goes down
when the shaman travels to other realms) which are needlessly
troublesome, if not trifling.

I don't like the Merkur interpretation--or for that matter
any secondary source which use a psychoanalytic framework
to discuss the shamanic trance state. Merkur's work is just
the last knot in that string. As far as I know, he's pretty
much left that line of research now.

There are a number of first-rate scholars you should be
looking at as you work up your gloss on shamanism--John Grim,
Anna Siikala, Marie-Francoise Guedon...others. There are
lengthy bibliographies on shamanism available via the net,
including the one for my own dissertation which you can
retrieve via the Coombspapers archives or at one of these
addresses with the command get shaman-l biblio
(that's "one" in the command)


I especially suggest you look at the two essays by MF Guedon
in the just reissued collection (after more than ten years out
of print)
Margaret Sequin, ed. The Tsimshian: Images of the Past, Views
of the Present (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1993).

Guedon is chair of the religious studies department of the University
of Ottawa.

best wishes,
Maureen Korp, PhD
University of Ottawa