You are on page 1of 4


(From Shaman or Saman, a word derived by Bantzaroff from Manchu saman, i.e., an excited or raving man, by van Gennep and Keane from Saman a Tungu word! other ay a "ater dia"ectic form of the #an $rit sraman, i.e., a wor$er or toi"er.% & vague term u ed by exp"orer of #iberia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centurie to de ignate not a pecific re"igion but a form of avage magic or cience, by which phy ica" nature wa be"ieved to be brought under the contro" of man. 't prevai" among Turanian and Mongo"ian tribe and &merican 'ndian , and b"end with their varied re"igiou be"ief and cu tom . Thu the Turanian be"ieve the haman were a c"a created by the heaven( god Tengri to trugg"e for men) good again t the evi" pirit . The Buddhi t Mongo" ca"" #hamani m shara-shadshin, i.e., the b"ac$ faith, the *hine e tjao-ten, i.e., dancing before pirit . The haman are variou "y de ignated, e.g., by Tatar kam, by #amoyed taryib, by + t,a$ tadib, by Buriate boe, by -a$ut Tur$ oyun, by &merican 'ndian medicine men, 'n the Bhagavata .urana the /ain are ca""ed hraman . 'n .er ian(0indu the term 1 haman1 mean an ido"ater. 'n Tibet #hamani m repre ent a Buddhi m degenerated into demono"ogy. Thu the Mongo" ay that haman are c"o e"y a""ied with +do$i", or #atan, who wi"" not in,ure any tribe that obey it wizard . (2% #hamani m re t for it ba i on the animi tic view of nature. &nimi m (3.v.% teache that primitive and avage man view the wor"d a pervaded by piritua" force . Fairie , gob"in , gho t , and demon hover about him wa$ing or "eeping4 they are the cau e of hi mi hap , "o e , pain . Mountain , wood , fore t , river , "a$e are conceived to po e . pirit , i.e., the itch-tchi of the -a$ut , and to be "iving, thin$ing, wi""ing, pa ionfu" being "i$e him e"f. 'n re pect to the e, man i in a tate of he"p"e ne . The haman by appropriate word and act u e hi power to hie"d man and enve"op him in a $ind of protective armour o that the evi" pirit become inactive or inoffen ive. 0i r5"e i that of antagoni t to the pirit and of guardian to ordinary man. The 6 3uimaux be"ieve a"" the affair of "ife are under the contro" of ma"ignant pirit who are everywhere. The e minor pirit are ub,ect to the great pirit. Tung(&$, yet mu t be propitiated. The haman a"one i uppo ed to be ab"e to dea" with Tung(&$, though not uperior to him. Tung(&$ i a name for 7eath, who ever ee$ to hara the "ive of peop"e that their pirit may go to dwe"" with him. 6""i ay that pirit far from friend"y compa ed the "ive of the .o"yne ian i "ander on every ide. The god of the Maori were demon thronging "i$e mo 3uito and ever watchfu" to inf"ict evi"! their de ign cou"d be counteracted on"y by powerfu" pe"" and charm . 'n Kamchat$a every corner of earth and heaven wa be"ieved to be fu"" of pirit more dreaded than God. The 8ava,o, +,ibwa , and 7a$otah 'ndian have a mu"tip"icity of pirit , both evi" and good, fi""ing a"" pace, which can be communicated with on"y after due preparation by the per on who have power to do o, i.e., med or jossakeed. (9% The main princip"e of #hamani m i the attempt to contro" phy ica" nature. 0ence the term embrace the variou method by which the pirit can be brought near or driven away. The be"ief that the haman practi e thi magic art i univer a" among avage . To thi art nothing eem impo ib"e! it intimate"y affect their conduct and i ref"ected in

their myth . 'n ome ca e initiation i re3uired. Thu with the 8ava,o and +,ibwa they who have ucce fu""y pa ed through the four degree of the medwin are ca""ed med, and are con idered competent to fore ee and prophe y, to cure di ea e and to pro"ong "ife, to ma$e feti he , and to aid other in attaining de ire not to be rea"ized in any other way. They who have received in truction in one or two degree u ua""y practi e a pecia"ty, e.g., ma$ing rain, finding game, curing di ea e . For thi women are e"igib"e. &gain the jossakeed, or ,ugg"er , form a di tinct c"a with no y tem of initiation, e.g., an individua" announce him e"f a ,o a$eed and perform feat of magic in ub tantiation of hi c"aim. &mong the &u tra"ian the birraark were uppo ed to be initiated by wandering gho t . The 7a$otah be"ieve the medicine men to be wakanised (from wakan, i.e., godman% by my tic intercour e with upernatura" being in dream and trance . Their bu ine wa to di cern future event , "ead on the war(path, rai e the torm, ca"m the tempe t, conver e with thunder and "ightning a with fami"iar friend . Father :e /eune write that the medicine men of the 'ro3uoi en,oyed a"" the attribute of ;eu . Tie"e ay that the magica" power i po e ed by the haman in common with the higher pirit and doe not differ from their ! in re"igiou ob ervance the magician prie t entire"y uper ede the god and a ume their form (#cience of <e"igion, '', 2=>% Mo t common"y the haman i a man. &mong the -a$ut , the *arib tribe , and in 8orthern *a"ifornia there are fema"e a we"" a ma"e haman ! and in ome ca e , e.g., the -a$ut , ma"e haman have to a ume women) dre . 6very Maori warrior i a haman. 'n #amoa there i no regu"ar ca te, but in other .o"yne ian group the haman i the exc"u ive privi"ege of an hereditary c"a of nob"e . ?ith the -a$ut the gift of hamani m i not hereditary, but the protecting pirit of a haman who die i reincarnated in ome member of the ame fami"y. To them the protecting pirit i an indi pen ab"e attribute of the haman. They be"ieve that the haman ha an @m@g@t, i.e., a pirit(protector, and an ie-kyla i.e., image of an anima" protector, e.g., totemi m. 0ence the haman are graded in power according to the ie-kyla, e.g., the wea$e t have the iekyla of a dog, the mo t powerfu" that of a bu"" or an eag"e. The @m@g@t i a being comp"ete"y different, and genera""y i the ou" of a dead haman. 6very per on ha a pirit(protector, but that of the haman i of a $ind apart. ?ith the &merican 'ndian the guardian pirit, from whom the novice derive aid, i more genera""y ecured from the ho t of anima" pirit ! it can a" o be obtained from the "oca" pirit or pirit of natura" phenomena, from the gho t of the dead or from the greater deitie . 'n the practice of hi art the #haman i regarded a 4

& hea"er, hence the term 1medicine man1, and the ecret medicine ocietie of the #eneca, and of other &merican tribe ! the &"a $an Tunga$ are principa""y hea"er . &n educator, i.e., the $eeper of myth and tradition, of the art of writing and divination! he i the repo itory of the triba" wi dom. & civi" magi trate! a eer po e ing ecret $now"edge with power at time of a uming other hape and of emp"oying the ou" of the dead, they are credited with abi"ity to detect and puni h crime , e.g., the &ngaput wizard among the 6 3uimaux. 'n #iberia every tribe ha it chief haman who arrange the rite and

ta$e charge of the ido" ! under him are "oca" and fami"y wizard who regu"ate a"" that concern birth, marriage, and death, and con ecrate dwe""ing and food. & war(chief! thu with the 7a$otah and *heyenne the head war(chief mu t be a medicine man. 0ence the haman po e e great inf"uence and in many ca e i the rea" ru"er of the tribe.

The mean which the haman u e are4

#ymbo"ic magic, on the princip"e that a ociation in thought mu t invo"ve imi"ar connexion in rea"ity, e.g., the war and hunting dance of the <ed 'ndian , p"acing magica" fruit( haped tone in the garden to in ure a good crop, to bring about the death of a per on by ma$ing an image of him and then de troying it or rubbing red paint on the heart of the figure and thru ting a harp in trument into it. Fa ting with o"itude and very genera""y bodi"y c"eanne and incantation u ua""y in ome ancient or unmeaning "anguage and with the -a$ut very ob cene. Thu the ong that a"ved wound wa $nown to the Gree$ , e.g., the +dy ey, and to the Finn , e.g., the epic poem Ka"ewa"a. &mong the 'ndo(6uropean the incantation are $nown a mantras, and are u ua""y text from the Aeda chanted over the ic$. ?ith the 8ew ;ea"ander they are ca""ed karakias. 'n ancient 6gypt, according to Ma pero, the god had to obey when ca""ed by their own name. &t 6"eu i not the name but the intonation of the voice of the magician produced the my teriou re u"t . 'n ca""ing on the pirit the haman imitate the variou ound of ob,ect in nature wherein the pirit are uppo ed to re ide, e.g., the whi pering breeze, the whi t"ing and how"ing torm, the grow"ing bear, the creeching ow". 7ance and contortion with u e of ratt"e and drum and a di tinctive dre dec$ed with na$e , tripe of fur, "itt"e be"" . &mong the +,ibwa at the ound of the acred drum every one ri e and become in pired becau e the Great #pirit i then pre ent in the "odge. The frenzy and contortion "ead to an ec tatic tate which i con idered of the greate t importance. 'n #outh &merica drug are u ed to induce tupor. The piritua" f"ight in earch of information i characteri tic of the #iberian haman! it i rare in &merica. AambBry cite a who"e erie of hamani tic ceremonie , e. g., tambourine and fire(dance , practi ed by the ancient sak-uyzur. #haman incantation are found in the cuneiform in cription of the Mede at #uze. #acrifice , gift of bead and tobacco, and a few drop of the novice) b"ood form part of the e rite with the &merican 'ndian . .o e ion! thu in Korea the pan-su i uppo ed to have power over the pirit , becau e he i po e ed by a more powerfu" demon who e trength he i ab"e to wie"d. Thi i a" o the be"ief of the -a$ut .

(C% #hamani m i c"o e"y a$in to Feti hi m, and at time it i difficu"t to te"" whether the practice in vogue among certain peop"e hou"d be referred to the one or to the other. Both pring from &nimi m! both are y tem of avage magic or cience and have certain rite in common. -et the difference con i t in the be"ief that in Feti hi m the magic power re ide in the in trument or in particu"ar ub tance and pa e into or act upon the ob,ect, wherea in #hamani m the wi""(effort of the magician i the efficient factor in compe""ing ou" or pirit or god to do hi wi"" or in preventing them from doing their

own. 0ence in Feti hi m the empha i i "aid on the thing, a"though fa ting and incantation may be emp"oyed in ma$ing the feti h! in #hamani m the prime factor i the wi"" or per ona"ity of the magician, a"though he may emp"oy the "i$e mean . Therefore we cannot admit the tatement of .e che" who refer to #hamani m everything connected with magic and ritua". Criticism (a% The rea on which prove &nimi m to be fa" e de troy the ba i on which #hamani m re t . (b% #hamani m ta$e for granted the theory that fear i the origin of re"igion. 7e :a #au aye ho"d that the concept of God cannot ari e exc"u ive"y from fear produced by certain bio"ogica" phenomena. <obert on #mith teache that from the ear"ie t time , re"igion, di tinct from magic and ecrecy, addre e it e"f to $indred and friend"y being , and that it i not with a vague fear of un$nown power but with a "oving reverence for $nown God that re"igion in the true en e of the word began (<e"igion of the #emite , 9nd ed., p. DE%. Tie"e ay 1wor hip even in it mo t primitive form a"way contain an e"ement of veneration1 and ca"" orcery 1a di ea e of re"igion1 (#cience of <e"igion, '', 2CF, 2E2%. (c% #hamani m i not a re"igion. The re"igiou prie t be eeche the favour of the god ! the haman i be"ieved to be ab"e to compe" and command them to do hi wi"". 0ence de :a #au aye regard #hamani m not a a name for a principa" form of re"igion but for important phenomena and tendencie of &nimi m.