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Old 01-14-2013, 01:23 AM
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Shamanism in Siberia: Part III. Religion: Chapter XIII: Gods, Spirits, Soul



Shamanism in Siberia, by M.A. Czaplicka, [1914], at

BENEVOLENT supernatural beings are called by the Chukchee vairgit, i. e. 'beings'. The most important are the 'benevolent beings sacrificed to' (taaronyo vairgit), those to whom the people bring sacrifices. They live in twenty-two different 'directions' of the Chukchee compass. The chief of these beings is the one residing in the zenith, which is called 'being-a-crown' (kanoirgin), or 'middle-crown' (ginon-kanon). Mid-day, the Sun, and the Polar Star are often identified with the 'middle-crown '. The Dawn and the Twilight are ' wife-companions', several of the tales describing them as being married to one wife. The 'directions ' of the evening are together called 'Darkness'. Sacrifices are made to them only on special occasions, and are often mingled with those offered to the kelet ('evil spirits') of the earth.'

The sun, moon, stars, and constellations are also known as vairgit; but the sun is a special vairgin,
Vairgin = Virgin

but wait .... in this version :

represented as a man clad in a bright garment, driving dogs or reindeer

Among the stars, the pole-star is the principal vairgin, and is most often referred to as unpener, [2] the pole-stuck star', a name, .which, Mr. Bogoras asserts, is universal throughout Asia.[3]

WYRD isn't it ( Flunkch )

Wyrd is a concept in Anglo-Saxon culture roughly corresponding to fate or personal destiny. The word is ancestral to Modern English weird, which retains its original meaning only dialectically.


IN this chapter, which deals with the different types of shamans, the duties of a shaman will be enumerated. In nearly all the more advanced tribes we shall see that certain shamans specialize in one sort of duty or another, while among the more primitive peoples each performs many different kinds of duties-a state of things made possible by the less complex nature of those duties. The high conception of a shaman's duties among certain tribes may be seen from Banzaroffs ideal picture of a Buryat shaman. He is (a) priest, (b) medicine-man, and (c) prophet.

(a) 'As a priest, he knows the will of the gods, and so declares to man what sacrifices and ceremonies shall be held; he is an expert in ceremonials and prayers. Besides the communal ceremonies at which he officiates, he conducts also various private cerenionials.'[1]

(b) As medicine-man, the shaman performs certain ceremonies to expel the evil spirit from the patient.

(c) As a prophet, he foretells the future either by means of the shoulder-blade of a sheep or by the flight of arrows.

This ideal type of shaman was probably rare even in Banzaroff's time, for he himself says that the shaman was not present at all communal sacrifices.[2] It is the same with some family sacrifices: the ongons are fed by the master of the house; and certain other sacrifices, as, for instance, those offered at child-birth, are made without the assistance of the shaman.[3]

The fact that a communal or family ceremony is sometimes presided over by the head of the commune or family, or that a private individual occasionally performs divination, does not alter the fact that the original type of Buryat shaman had the performance of all these rites in his hands.[4] They had among the

[1 Banzaroff, Black Faith, 1893, pp. 107-15.

2 ibid.

3. Klenientz, E.R.E., 'The Buriats', p. 13 ).

4. Ibid.]

Mongols in the time of Djingis Khan, when the shamans were at the height of their power.[1] We cannot therefore agree with Mr. Mikhailowski, who says, 'Of all the actions of the shaman, the most characteristic of his calling is what is known as kamlanie,' i.e. invocations of spirits.[2] Although it may be that in the decadence of his office a shaman is sometimes nowadays no more than a medicine-man, even now in certain places shamans are present, not only at communal, but also at family rites, and even when not so present we find in the rites traces of their original participation,

Good shamans have a red shamanistic coat and bad shamans a black one. The same colours are used by the Yukaghir shamans.

The majority of shamans, however, combine in themselves the gifts of all these categories and in the name of 'spirits' perform various tricks, foretell the future, and pronounce incantations.

Rumi "Truth was a mirror in the hands of God
It fell, and broke into pieces
Everybody took a piece of it
And they looked at it and thought they had the truth."
Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws. -Confucius.

Last edited by MonsieurM; 01-14-2013 at 02:21 AM.
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