v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »

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Shamanism in Siberia
IExcerpts from]
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
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SHAMANISM is understood hv some people to he a primitive lorm ol relieion or relieio-maeic
practised hv the ahorieines ol northern Asia as well as hv all other ahorieines in other parts ol the
world. This opinion is held hv Mikhailowski, Kharuzin, and some other Russian scientists. Others
hold that Shamanism was onlv one lorm ol expression ol the relieious cult ol northern Asia,
practised in order to avert the evil spirits. This opinion is lound in the writines ol ¹ochelson and
Boeoras. There is still another view put lorward, which it is well lor us to consider. This view we
lind expressed verv clearlv in the lollowine extract lrom Klementz.
'One must not lose sieht ol the lact that in the various heliels ol the Siherian trihes a verv close
connexion is noticeahle, and, likewise, there can he ohserved an uninterrupted identitv in the
loundations ol their mvtholoev, and in their rites, even extendine as lar as the nomenclature-all ol
which eives one the rieht to suppose that these heliels are the result ol the joint work ol the
intellectual activitv ol the whole north ol Asia.'|a|
In the writines ol the Burvat scientist Banzaroll we lind a verv similar statement. 'The old
national relieion ol the Moneols and the neiehhourine nations is known in Europe as
¨Shamanism¨, whereas amone those who are not its lollowers it has no special name.
'Alter the introduction ol Buddhism amone the Moneolic nations, thev called their old relieion
¨The Black Iaith¨ (K|oro S|oJjjn), in contradistinction to Buddhism, which thev called ¨Yellow
Iaith¨ (S|jro S|oJjjn). Accordine to Iather ¹akiuv, the Chinese call Shamanism TooS|en
(eamholline helore the spirits).
|·. Ior certain sueeestions as to the construction ol this chapter I all, indehted to mv lriend, Miss Bvrne, ol Somerville
a. Enc. Pe|. onJ Ei|., 'The Buriats,' p. a6.|
Those names, however, do not eive anv idea ol the true character ol shamanism. Some are ol
opinion that it orieinated aloneside with Brahminism and Buddhism, while others lind in it some
elements in common with the teachines ol the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tze. . . . Iinallv some
hold that Shamanism is nothine hut Nature-worship, likenine it to the laith ol the lollowers ol
Zoroaster. Carelul studv ol the suhject shows that the Shamanistic relieion . did not arise out ol
Buddhism or anv other relieion, hut orieinated amone the Moneolic nations, and consists not onlv
in superstitious and shamanistic ceremonies . . ., hut in a certain primitive wav ol ohservine the
outer world-Nature-and the inner world-the soul.'|·|
Ol course, Banzaroll speaks especiallv ol the Shamanism ol the Moneols. We cannot aeree with
him that Shamanism is limited to these people. We lind it all over northern and part ol central
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
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As we see them now the Palaeo-Siherians mav he considered as possessine the simplest, and the
Neo-Siherians the most complex, lorm ol Shamanism. Thus amone the lormer we see more
'Iamilv' than 'Prolessional' Shamanism, that is, the ceremonials, heliels, and shamans are
practicallv limited to the lamilv. Prolessional Shamanism, that is, ceremonies ol a communal kind
perlormed hv a specialized or prolessional shaman, is here onlv in its inlancv, and, heine weaker,
has heen more allected hv Christianitv.
Amone the Neo-Siherians, where prolessional Shamanism is stronelv developed (lor example, the
Yakut), lamilv Shamanism has heen more allected hv European inlluences. We cannot, however,
areue lrom this that the Palaeo-Siherian lorm is the more primitive. Prolessional Shamanism mav
he a development ol lamilv Shamanism, or it mav he a deeenerate lorm, where environment is
such that communal lile is no loneer possihle.
That the dissimilaritv hetween the Shamanism ol the Palaeo and Neo-Siherians is no douht due
to the dillerences in the eeoeraphical conditions ol northern and southern Siheria seems to he
proved hv the result ol a carelul studv ol certain Neo-Siherian trihes (Yakut) who mierated to
the north, and ol certain Palaeo-Siherians (Gilvak) who mierated to the south. The ease with
which thev ahsorhed the customs and heliels appertainine to
|·. Banzaroll, The Black Iaith, pp. ¡-¡.|
their new surroundines shows that there was no lundamental dillerence hetween their
shamanistic practices. The dillerences, heine due to environment, disappear in mieration. It
cannot he said that the chanee is due to contact, since this, in manv cases, is verv slieht. Indeed,
Shamanism seems to he such a natural product ol the Continental climate with its extremes ol
cold and heat, ol the violent bvrgos and bvrons, |·| ol the huneer and lear which attend the lone
winters, that not onlv the Palaeo-Siherians and the more hiehlv cultivated Neo-Siherians, hut
even Europeans, have sometimes lallen under the inlluence ol certain shamanistic superstitions.
Such is the case with the Russian peasants and ollicials who settle in Siheria, and with the Russian
Accordine to the ollicial census, onlv a small part ol the ahorieines are 'true Shamanists', hut, as a
matter ol lact, we see that thoueh thev are reeistered as Orthodox Catholics and Buddhists, thev
are in realitv nearlv all laithlul to the practice ol their old relieion.
In psvcholoeical terminoloev, Shamanism consists ol animistic and preanimistic conceptions,
althoueh most ol the people at present eneaeed in research work on Siheria have heen so much
inlluenced hv the Tvlor theorv ol Animism that thev misuse the word 'soul', and the phenomena
that thev descrihe as animistic are verv olten in a dillerent cateeorv altoeether.
The reader must decide lor himsell whether Shamanism appeals to him as a cult peculiar to this
reeion, or whether it is part ol a verv eeneral primitive maeico-relieion. It appears to the author
personallv to he as dillicult to speak in eeneral terms ol primitive relieions as it would he to
speak ol Christian relieious. This mieht he the task ol a separate work-to determine whether
Shamanism in its conception ol the deities, nature, man, and in its rites, lorms a special 'sect ' in
the Animistic Relieion.
|·. See chapter on Geoeraphv (not included in this excerpt -ed.)
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
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a. See Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, p. ¡··.|
As amone all primitive relieions, the róle ol the priest, as the repositorv ol relieious heliels and
traditions, is ol the ereatest importance, therelore we shall lirst proceed to the studv ol the
shaman himsell.
The oreanization ol the shamanhood varies sliehtlv in dillerent trihes. In some cases this ollice is
hereditarv, hut evervwhere the supernatural eilt is a necessarv qualilication lor hecomine a
shaman. As we should expect lrom the eenerallv hieher culture ol the Neo-Siherians, their
shamanhood is more hiehlv oreanized than that ol the Palaeo-Siherians. The lamilv shamans
predominate amone the Palaeo-Siherians, and the prolessional shamans amone the Neo-Siherians,
thoueh Boeoras savs. 'In modern times the importance ol lamilv shamanism is losine eround
amone all the trihes named, with the exception ol the Chukchee, and there is a tendencv to its
heine replaced on all occasions hv individual shamanism.' These individual or prolessional
shamans are called amone the Chukchee 'those with spirit' (enenj|ji), lrom enen, 'shamanistic
Althoueh hvsteria (called hv some writers 'Arctic hvsteria') lies at the hottom ol the shaman's
vocation, vet at the same time the shaman dillers lrom an ordinarv patient sullerine lrom this
illness in possessine an extremelv ereat power ol masterine himsell in the periods hetween the
actual lits, which occur durine the ceremonies. 'A eood shaman oueht to possess manv unusual
qualities,|a| hut the chiel is the power, acquired hv tact and knowledee,
|·. Boeoras, op. cit., p. ¡·¡.
a. In the district ol Kolvma, Sieroszewski used to meet a voune hut verv skillul shaman, who
could do most ol the dillicult shamanist tricks. he swallowed a stick, ate red-hot coals and pieces
ol elass, spat coins out ol his mouth, was ahle to he in dillerent places at the same time-and in
spite ol all this he was not considered a lirst-class shaman, whereas an inspired old woman-
shaman, who could not perlorm all these tricks, was held in ereat esteem and lame. (Op. cit., p.
to inlluence the people round him.'|·| His reserved attitude has undouhtedlv a ereat inlluence on
the people amone whom he lives. He must know how and when to have his lit ol inspiration,
which sometimes rises to lrenzv, and also how to preserve his hieh 'tahooed' attitude in his dailv
In speakine ol the shaman's vocation, we do not include the lamilv shaman ol the Korvak, Asiatic
Eskimo, Chukchee, and Yukaehir, whose position and capacitv are rather vaeue, as we see lrom
the lollowine description ol his duties. 'Each lamilv has one or more drums ol its own, on which
its memhers are hound to perlorm at specilic periods. that is, to accompanv the heatine ol the
drum with the sineine ol various melodies. Almost alwavs on these occasions one memher at least
ol the lamilv tries to communicate with ¨spirits¨ alter the manner ol shamans.'|¸| Sometimes he
even tries to loretell the luture, hut he receives no attention lrom his audience. This is done in
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
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the outer room and in davlieht, whereas the 'shaman's', or prolessional shaman's, actions are
perlormed in the inner room and at nieht.
'Besides this, everv adult Chukchee will occasionallv take his drum, especiallv in the winter, and
heat it lor awhile in the warm shelter ol the sleepine-room, with the lieht or without it, sineine
his melodies to the rhvthm ol the heats.'|¡|
We see lrom the ahove that one memher ol the lamilv has the dutv ol heatine the drum durine
certain ceremonials, and amuses himsell sometimes hv shamanizine just as he amuses himsell hv
heatine the drum at anv time, apart lrom ceremonials. Ol course, we cannot call this memher ol
the lamilv a shaman, hut a master ol the ceremonies, 8c., who imitates the shaman, we can call
shamans onlv those individuals havine special skill and vocation, whether or not thev are shamans
hv hereditv.
However, the same Korvak, Asiatic Eskimo, Chukchee, Yukaehir, 8c.-practicallv all the Palaeo-
Siherians-possess the prolessional shaman, sometimes in decadence,|¡| hut still there is no
|·. Sieroszewski, ·a Loi w Krvjv YoIviow, ·oca, p. 6¸c.
a. He must also have eood manners, as we see lrom the lollowine.
'The shaman Yetilin had an incessant nervous twitchine in his lace, |and| the Chukchee said
lauehinelv, that he was prohahlv ¨with an owl Ie|e¨ (spirit), comparine his allliction to the jerkine
motion ol the owl's head when it devours its prev.' (Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, p. ¡a8.)
¸. Boeoras, op. cit.,p. ¡·¸.
¡ Ihid.
¡. Durine the stav ol ¹ochelson amone the Korvak (·occ-·) he had the opportunitv ol seeine onlv
two shamans. Both were voune men, and neither enjoved special respect on the part ol his
relations. (¹oehelson, T|e KorxoI, p. ¡o.)|
douht ol his existence. Krasheninnikoll|·| who travelled throueh the land ol the Kamchadal in
the middle ol the eiehteenth centurv, savs that 'amone the Kamchadal there is onlv one ereat
annual ceremonv, in Novemher, and the chiel róles at this ceremonv heloneed to old men'.
The same author savs. 'Amone the Kamchadal there are no special shamans, as amone other
nations, hut everv old woman and IoeIc|vc| (prohahlv women in men's clothes) is a witch, and
explains dreams.' |a|
Irom this meaere inlormation we can scarcelv decide whether amone the Kamchadal ol the time
ol Krasheninnikoll there was or not a lamilv shaman, hecause as the old men plaved the róle not
at ceremonials in separate lamilies, hut at communal ceremonies, we must rather call them
communal shamans. But there was some lorm ol prolessional shamanism, thoueh not specialized,
since everv old woman could shamanize. On the other hand, the lollowine quotation shows that
there were certain qualilications necessarv lor the shaman.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
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'The lemale sex is nicer |¸| and prohahlv cleverer, therelore there are more women and IoeIc|vc|
amone the shamans than there are men.'|¡|
Thus Krasheninnikoll. ¹ochelson savs. 'Both Steller and Krasheninnikoll assert that the Kamchadal
had no prolessional shamans, hut that everv one could exercise that art, especiallv women and
Koekehuch, that there was no special shaman earh, that thev used no drum, hut simplv
pronounced incantations and practised divination (Krasheninnikoll, iii. p. ··¡, Steller, p. a··),
which description appears more like the lamilv shamanism ol the present dav. It is impossihle
that the Kamchadal should lorm an exception amone the rest ol the Asiatic and American trihes
in havine had no prolessional shamans.'
In support ol ¹ochelson's opinion just quoted, it mav he said that, in spite ol Krasheninnikoll's
statement to the contrarv, prolessional shamanism does seem to have existed, at least in eerm,
amone the Kamchadal, aloneside ol the communal shamanism
|·. Krasheninnikoll, Descrjvijon o| i|e Covnirx o| Komc|oiIo, ed. ···¡, p.8¡.
a. Op. cit., p. 8·.
¸. This epithet is somewhat vaeue, hut lor this I am not responsihle, as orieinal has a similar vaeue
¡. Krasheninnikoll, p. ·¡, quot. Troshchanski.
¡. ¹ochelson, The Korvak, p. ¡8.|
which was in the hands ol the old men. This appears clear lrom Krasheninnikoll's own words
quoted ahove. That those who could shamanize most ellectuallv were women, 'nice and clever',
points to the lact that some sort ol standard was alreadv set up lor those who aspired to he
special practitioners ol this extra-communal shamanism, and that women most nearlv
approached this ideal.
Whether his calline he hereditarv or not, a shaman must he a capahle-nav, an inspired person. Ol
course, this is practicallv the same thine as savine that he is nervous and excitahle, olten to the
veree ol insanitv. So lone as he practises his vocation, however, the shaman never passes this
veree. It olten happens that helore enterine the calline persons have had serious nervous
allections.|·| Thus a Chukchee lemale shaman, Telpina, accordine to her own statement, had
heen violentlv insane lor three vears, durine which time her household had taken precautions that
she should do no harm to the people or to hersell.|a|
'I was told that people ahout to hecome shamans have lits ol wild paroxvsms alternatine with a
condition ol complete exhaustion. Thev will lie motionless lor two or three davs without
partakine ol lood or drink. Iinallv thev retire to the wilderness, where thev spend their time
endurine huneer and cold in order to prepare themselves lor their calline.'|¸|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
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To he called to hecome a shaman is eenerallv equivalent to heine alllicted with hvsteria, then the
acceptine ol the call means recoverv. 'There are cases ol voune persons who, havine sullered lor
vears lrom lineerine illness (usuallv ol a nervous character), at last leel a call to take up
shamanistic practice and hv this means overcome the disease.'|¡|
To the heliever the acceptance ol the call means acceptine several spirits, or at least one, as
protectors or servants, hv which means the shaman enters into communication with the whole
spirit world. The shamanistic call sometimes manilests itsell throueh some animal, plant, or other
natural ohject, which the
|·. Boeoras met several shamans who were alwavs readv to quarrel, and to use their knives on such occasions, e.e. the
shaman Kelewei wauted to kill a Cossack who relused to huv lurs lrom him. (Boeoras, op. cit., p. ¡a6.)
a. Op. cit., p. ¡a8.
¸. ¹ochelson, The Korvak, p. ¡·.
¡. Boeoras, The Chukchee, p. ¡a·.|
person comes upon at the 'rieht time', i.e. when verv voune, olten in the critical period hetween
childhood and maturitv (or else when a person more advanced in aee is alllicted with mental or
phvsical trouhles). 'Sometimes it is an inner voice, which hids the person enter into intercourse
with the ¨spirits¨. Il the person is dilatorv in ohevine, the calline spirit soon appears in some
outward visihle shape, and communicates the call in a more explicit wav.' Ainanwat alter an
illness saw several 'spirits', hut did not pav much attention to them, then one 'spirit' came, whom
Ainanwat liked and invited to stav. But the 'spirit' said he would stav onlv on the condition that
Ainanwat should hecome a shaman. Ainanwat relused, and the 'spirit' vanished.'
Here is an account hv a Yakut-Tuneus shaman, Tiuspiut ('lallen-lrom-the-skv'), ol how he
hecame a shaman. |a|
'When I was twentv vears old, I hecame verv ill and heean ¨to see with mv eves, to hear with mv
ears¨ that which others did not see or hear, nine vears I strueeled with mvsell, and I did not tell
anv one what was happenine to me, as I was alraid that people would not helieve me and would
make lun ol me. At last I hecame so seriouslv ill that I was on the veree ol death, hut when I
started to shamanize I erew hetter, and even now when I do not shamanize lor a lone time I am
liahle to he ill.'
Sieroszewski tells us that Tiuspiut was sixtv vears ol aee, he hid his shamanistic eilt nine vears,
and had heen shamanizine thirtv-one vears when Sieroszewski met him. He was a man ol
medium size, thin, hut muscular, with siens ol lormer heautv. In spite ol his aee he could
shamanize and dance the whole nieht. He was an experienced man, and travelled a ereat deal
hoth in the south and in the north. Durine the shamanistic ceremonies his eves had a stranee
expression ol madness, and a pertinacious stare, which provoked to aneer and excitement those
on whom his look rested.
'This is the second shaman with such stranee eves whom I have met in the district ol Yakut.
Generallv in the leatures ol a shaman there is somethine peculiar which enahled me, alter a short
experience, to distineuish them lrom the other lolk present.'|¸|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
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A similar statement is made ahout the Chukchee shamans hv Boeoras. 'The eves ol a shaman have
a look dillerent lrom that
|· Boeoras, op. cit.
a Sieroszewski, ·a Loi w Krojv YoIviow, p. ¸o6. Ihid.|
ol other people, and thev explain it hv the assertion that the eves ol the shaman are verv hrieht
(njIeroaen), which, hv the wav, eives them the ahilitv to see ¨spirits¨ even in the dark. It is
certainlv a lact that the expression ol a shaman is peculiar-a comhination ol cunnine and shvness,
and it is olten possihle to pick him out lrom amone manv others.'|·|
'The Chukchee are well aware ol the extreme nervousness ol their shamans, and express it hv the
word njnjrIj|ajn, ¨he is hashlul¨. Bv this word thev mean to convev the idea that the shaman is
hiehlv sensitive, even to the sliehtest chanee ol the psvchic atmosphere surroundine him durine
his exercises.'
'The Chukchee shaman is dillident in actine helore straneers, especiallv shortlv alter his initiation.
A shaman ol ereat power will reluse to show his skill when amone straneers, and will vield onlv
alter much solicitation. even then, as a rule, he will not show all ol his power.' |a| 'Once when I
induced a shaman to practise at mv house his ¨spirits¨ (ol a ventriloquistic kind) lor a lone time
relused to come. When at last thev did come, thev were heard walkine round the house outside
and knockine on its walls, as il still undecided whether to enter. When thev entered, thev kept
near to the comers, carelullv avoidine too close proximitv to those present.'
The shamanistic call comes sometimes to people more advanced in vears.
'To people ol more mature aee the shamanistic call mav come durine some ereat mislortune,
daneerous and protracted illness, sudden loss ol lamilv or propertv,' 8c. 'It is eenerallv considered
that in such cases a lavourahle issue is possihle onlv with the aid ol the ¨spirits¨, therelore a man
who has undereone some extraordinarv trial in his lile is considered as havine within himsell. the
possihilities ol a shaman, and he olten leels hound to enter into closer relations with the ¨spirits¨,
lest he incur their displeasure at his neelieence and lack ol eratitude.¨
Katek, lrom the villaee ol Unisak at Indian Point, entered into relations with the 'spirits' when he
was ol mature aee, durine a terrihle adventure he had while huntine seal.
He was carried awav on the piece ol ice on which he was standine, and onlv alter a lone time ol
driltine came upon an icehere, on to which he climhed. But helore he encountered
|·. Boeoras, op. cit., p. ··6.
a Ihid.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¡a·.|
the icehere, he had tried to kill himsell with his helt-knile, when a laree walrus-head suddenlv
appeared out ol the water quite close to him and sane. 'O Katek, do not kill voursell' You shall
aeain see the mountains ol Unisak and the little Kuwakak, vour elder son.' When Katek came
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
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hack home he made a sacrilice to the walrus-head, and lrom that time on he was a shaman, much
respected and verv lamous amone his neiehhours.|·|
However, verv old people are not supposed to hear the shamanistic call. In a Korvak tale,|a| when
Ouikinnaqu (who had alreadv a erown-up dauehter) unexpectedlv makes lor himsell a drum out
ol a small louse, and hecomes a shaman, his neiehhours sav scepticallv. 'Has the old Ouikinnaqu
reallv hecome a shaman: Irom his vouth up he had no spirits within his call.'
But voune people when thev eet into trouhle also call lor the help ol 'spirits', when the latter
come to them, such vouths also lrequentlv hecome shamans.
'A man, Yetilin hv name, who heloneed hv hirth to an Arctic maritime villaee, hut alterwards
married into a reindeer-hreedine lamilv on the Drv Anui River, and joined its camp, told me that
in his earlv childhood his lamilv perished lrom a contaeious disease (prohahlv inlluenza), and he
was lelt alone with his small sister. Then he called to the ¨spirits¨. Thev came and hroueht lood
and said to him. ¨Yetilin, take to heatine the drum' We will assist vou in that also.¨'|¸|
The Chukchee tales contain accounts ol poor and despised orphans, who were protected hv
'spirits', and turned into shamans.
The vocation ol the shaman is attended with considerahle daneer. 'The sliehtest lack ol harmonv
hetween the acts ol the shamans and the mvsterious call ol their ¨spirits¨ hrines their lile to an
end. This is expressed hv the Chukchee, when thev sav that ¨spirits¨ are verv had-tempered, and
punish with immediate death the sliehtest disohedience ol the shaman, and that this is
particularlv so when the shaman is slow to carrv out those orders which are intended to sinele
him out lrom other people.' |¡|
We have similar statements lrom the more advanced trihes. 'The duties undertaken hv the
shaman are not easv, the strueele which he has to carrv on is daneerous. There exist traditions
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡a·.
a. ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI, p. ao·.
Boeoras, op. cit., p. ¡a¡.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡··.|
ahout shamans who were carried awav still livine lrom the earth to the skv, ahout others killed hv
¨spirits¨, or struck down at their lirst meetine with the powers whom thev dared to call upon.
The wizard who decides to carrv on this strueele has not onlv material eain in view, hut also the
alleviation ol the eriels ol his lellow men, the wizard who has the vocation, the laith, and the
conviction, who undertakes his dutv with ecstasv and neelieence ol personal daneer, inspired hv
the hieh ideal ol sacrilice, such a wizard alwavs exerts an enormous inlluence upon his audience.
Alter havine once or twice seen such a real shaman, I understood the distinction that the natives
draw hetween the ¨Great¨, ¨Middline¨, and ¨Mockine¨ or deceitlul shamans.'|·| Althoueh
exposed to daneer lrom supernatural powers, the shaman is supposed to he saler lrom human
aneer than anv other person.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c - -
One Chukchee tale savs. 'She |the murderer| came to her neiehhour, a woman who was husv
with her lirehoard, trvine to make a lire. She stahhed her lrom hehind. But the eirl continued to
work on the lire, hecause she was a shaman-eirl, a woman ahle to stah hersell |in a shamanistic
perlormance|. Therelore she could not kill her, hut onlv severed the tendons ol her arms and
lees.' |a|
A man who can pierce himsell throueh with a knile, so that its end shows at his hack,|¸| or cut
his head oll, put it on a stick, and dance round the vurta,|¡| is surelv strenethened sullicientlv
aeainst an enemv's attacks. Yet the shaman, Scratchine-Woman, when he relused to drink the
alcohol ollered to him hv Boeoras, and which he had previouslv demanded, explained as lollows.
'I will he lrank with vou. Drink reallv makes mv temper too had lor anvthine. Usuallv mv wile
watches over me, and puts all knives out ol mv reach. But when we are apart, I am alraid.¨.|¡|
On the whole, the shamans are verv much attached to their vocation, in spite ol the persecutions
which thev have to suller lrom the Government. Tiuspiut was manv times punished hv the
Russian ollicials and his shamanistic dress and drum were hurned, hut he returned to his duties
alter each ol these incidents. 'we have to do it, we cannot leave oll shamanizine,' he said to
Sieroszewski, 'and there is no harm in our doine it.'
Another shaman, who was old and hlind, allirmed that he had
|·. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6¸o.
a. Boeoras, Chukchee Materials, p. ¸a.
¸. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. ¸o8.
¡ Ihid.
¡ Boeoras, The Chukchee, p. ¡a8.|
heen a shaman some time helore, hut alter he hecame convinced that it was a sin he stopped
shamanizine, and 'althoueh another verv powerlul shaman took lrom him the ¨sien¨, ämäevat, still
the spirits made him hlind'.|·|
In the villaee Baieantai Sieroszewski met with another instance ol a shaman who, however manv
times he vowed to ahstain lrom shamanism, still returned to it when the occasion arose. He was a
rich man, who did not care lor eain, and he was so wonderlul that 'his eves used to jump out on
his lorehead' durine shamanistic perlormances.
Tiuspiut was poor and cared lor monev, hut he was proudlv reeardlul ol his reputation, and when
some ol his neiehhours called in another shaman, one who lived larther awav than Tiuspiut, he
hecame quite ollended.
Boeoras never met shamans amone the Palaeo- Siherians who could he said 'to live solelv on the
prolits ol their art. It was onlv a source ol additional income to them., |a|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· · - -
Amone the Tuneus and Yakut the shaman is recompensed onlv when his arts are successlul, and
now, since Russian monev has come into use, he receives lrom one to twentv-live rouhles lor a
perlormance, and alwavs eets plentv to eat hesides.
The shamanistic call amone the Tuneus ol Trans-Baikalia shows itsell in the lollowine manner. A
dead shaman appears in a dream and summons the dreamer to hecome his successor. One who is
to hecome a shaman appears shv, distrait, and is in a hiehlv nervous condition.|¸|
Similar instances are to he lound in the records ol all Siherian trihes.
As to the shamanistic ollice heine hereditarv, this is the case wherever a descendant ol a shaman
shows a disposition lor the calline.
Amone the Ostvak, the lather himsell chooses his successor, not necessarilv accordine to aee, hut
accordine to capacitv, and to the chosen one he eives his own knowledee. Il he has no children,
he mav pass on the ollice to a lriend, or to an adopted child.|¡|
The Ostvak shaman occasionallv sells his lamiliar spirit to another shaman. Alter receivine
pavment, he divides his hair
|· Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. ¸o¡.
a. Boeoras, i|e C|vIc|ee, p. ¡a¡.
¸ Anonvmous article in Sjberjon News, ·8aa, pp. ¸o-¡c.
¡ Bielavewski, A 1ovrnex io i|e C|ocjo| Seo, pp. ··¸-·¡.|
into tresses, and lixes the time when the spirit is to pass to his new master. The spirit, havine
chaneed owners, makes his new possessor suller, il the new shaman does not leel these ellects, it
is a sien that he is not hecomine prolicient in his ollice.|·|
Amone hoth the Yakut and the Burvat, althoueh the ollice is not necessarilv hereditarv, it is
usuallv so in part, lor it will eenerallv happen that the shamanistic spirit passes lrom one to
another ol the same lamilv.|a|
The Altaians helieve that no one hecomes a shaman ol his own lree will, rather it comes to him
vo|ens vo|ens, like a hereditarv disease. Thev sav that sometimes when a voune man leels
premonitorv svmptoms ol the call, he avoids shamans and shamanistic ceremonies, and hv an
ellort ol will occasionallv cures himsell. The period when the shamanistic call comes to the
descendant ol a shamanistic lamilv is known as ies bozjnxoi, 'the ancestor (spirit) leaps upon,
straneles him'.|¸|
I. Pa|aeo-Siberians.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·a a - -
T|e C|vIc|ee. The Chukchee call the preparatorv period ol a shaman hv a term sienilvine 'he
eathers shamanistic power'. Ior the weaker shamans and lor lemale shamans the preparatorv
period is less painlul, and the inspiration comes mainlv throueh dreams.
But lor a strone man this staee is verv painlul and lone, in some cases it lasts lor one, two, or more
vears. Some voune people are alraid to take a drum and call on the 'spirits', or to pick up stones
or other ohjects which mieht prove to he amulets, lor lear lest the 'spirit' should call them to he
shamans. Some vouths preler death to ohedience to the call ol spirits.|¡| Parents possessine onlv
one child lear his enterine this calline on account ol the daneer attached to it, hut when the
lamilv is laree, thev like to have one ol its memhers a shaman. Durine the time ol preparation the
shaman has to pass throueh hoth a mental and a phvsical trainine. He is, as a rule, seereeated, and
eoes either to the lorests and hills under the pretext ol huntine or watchine the herds, 'olten
without takine alone anv
|· Tretvakoll, T|e Covnirx o| TvrvI|onsI, ·8··, p. aa¸.
a Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. ¸o¡, Potanin, Troshchanski.
¸. Wierhicki, T|e Noijves o| i|e A|ioj, p. ¡¡.
¡. Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, p. ¡¡c.|
arms or the lasso ol the herdsman'|·|, or else he remains in the inner room the whole time. 'The
voune novice, the ¨newlv inspired¨ (ivrene njivj||jn), loses all interest in the ordinarv allairs ol lile.
He ceases to work, eats hut little and without relishine his lood, ceases to talk to people, and does
not even answer their questions. The ereater part ol his time he spends in sleep.' This is whv 'a
wanderer . . . must he closelv watched, otherwise he mieht lie down on the open tundra and sleep
lor three or lour davs, incurrine the daneer in winter ol heine huried in driltine snow. When
comine to himsell alter such a lone sleep, he imaeines that he has heen out lor onlv a lew hours,
and eenerallv is not conscious ol havine slept in the wilderness at all., |a|
However exaeeerated this account ol a lone sleep mav he, we learn lrom Boeoras that the
Chukchee, when ill, sometimes 'lall into a heavv and protracted slumher, which mav last manv
davs, with onlv the necessarv interruptions lor phvsical needs'.|¸|
T|e KorxoI. The mental part ol the trainine consists in comine into contact with the rieht spirits,
i.e. with the spirits who are to he the shaman's protectors in his shamanistic practice. 'Everv
|Korvak| shaman', savs ¹ochelson, 'has his own euardian spirits, who help him in his strueele with
disease-inllictine Io|ov in his rivalrv with other shamans, and also in attacks upon his enemies.
The shaman spirits usuallv appear in the lorm ol animals or hirds. The most common euardian
spirits are the woll, the hear, the raven, the sea-eull, and the eaele.'|¡| One ol the two shamans
whom ¹ochelson met amone the Korvak related to him how the spirits ol the woll, raven, hear,
sea-eull, and plover appeared to him (the shaman) in the desert-now in the lorm ol men, now in
that ol animals-and commanded him to hecome a shaman, or to die. Thus we see that, while thev
are in solitude, 'the spirits appear to them in visihle lorm, endow them with power, and instruct
them.' But Boeoras descrihes the mental trainine ol a new shaman dillerentlv. 'The process ol
eatherine inspiration is so painlul to voune shamans, hecause ol their mental strueele aeainst the
call, that thev are sometimes said to sweat hlood on the lorehead and the temples. Alterwards
everv preparation ol a shaman lor a perlormance is considered a sort ol repetition ol the initiative
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·¸ ¸ - -
process. hence it is said that the Chukchee shamans durine that time are easilv susceptihle to
haemorrhaee, and even to hloodv sweat.'|¡|
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡ac.
a. Op. cit., p. ¡a·.
¸ Ihid.
¡. ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI, p. ¡·.
¡. Boeoras, op. cit., p. ¡ac.|
Boeoras himsell saw two cases ol nose-hleedine and one ol hloodv sweat amone the shamans, hut
in the last instance he suspected the shaman ol smearine his temples with the hlood lrom his
As to the phvsical trainine ol a novice, he must learn sineine, dancine, various tricks, includine
ventriloquism, and how to heat the drum.
'The heatine ol the drum, notwithstandine its seemine simplicitv, requires some skill, and the
novice must spend considerahle time helore he can, acquire the desired deeree ol perlection. This
has relerence especiallv to the perlormer's power ol endurance. The same mav he said ol the
sineine. The manilestations continue lor several weeks, durine which time the shaman exercises
the most violent activitv with scarcelv a pause. Alter the perlormance he must not show anv
siens ol latieue, hecause he is supposed to he sustained hv the ¨spirits¨, and, moreover, the ereater
part ol the exercise is asserted to he the work ol the spirits themselves, either alter enterine the
shaman's hodv or while outside his hodv. The amount ol endurance required lor all this, and the
ahilitv to pass quicklv lrom the hiehest excitement to a state ol normal quietude, can, ol course,
he acquired onlv hv lone practice. Indeed, all the shamans I conversed with said that thev had to
spend a vear, or even two vears, helore sullicient streneth ol hand and lreedom ol voice were
eiven to them hv the spirits. Some asserted that, durine all this preparatorv time, thev kept
closelv to the inner room, takine up the drum several times a dav, and heatine it as lone as their
streneth would allow.'|a|
Ol course a certain diet must he adhered to durine the time ol the trainine and helore each
individual ceremonial.
Have the novices anv teachers: One would suppose that thev must have, il onlv to learn the
dillicult maeical tricks, hut it is hard to eet anv detailed inlormation on this point, hecause the
natives ascrihe all the cleverness ol the shaman to the 'spirits'.
'There are manv liars in our calline', the shaman Scratchine Woman said to Boeoras.|¸| 'One will
lilt up the skins ol the sleepine-room with his rieht toe and then assure vou that it was done hv
¨spirits¨, another will talk into the hosom ol his shirt or throueh his sleeve, makine the voice issue
lrom a quite unusual place.' Ol course he himsell was readv to swear that he never did such
|·. Ihid.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·¡ ¡ - -
a. Op. cit., p. ¡a¡.
¸. Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, p. ¡a6.|
Sometimes the old men teach the voune shamans. 'The man who eives a part ol his power to
another man loses correspondinelv, and can hardlv recover the loss alterwards. To transler his
power, the older shaman must hlow on the eves or into the mouth ol the recipient, or he mav
stah himsell with a knile, with the hlade ol which, still reekine with his ¨source ol lile¨
(ie|Iexvn), he will immediatelv pierce the hodv ol the recipient.'
Boeoras did not hear ol anv translerrine ol shamanistic power while he was amone the Chukchee.
He lound it, however, amone Eskimo women, who were taueht hv their hushands, and whose
children were taueht hv their parents. In one lamilv on St. Lawrence Island the shamanistic
power has heen retained throueh a succession ol eenerations, evidentlv havine heen translerred
lrom lather to son.|·|
T|e Cj|xoI. Sternhere |a| savs that althoueh shamans do not plav so important a róle amone the
Gilvak as amone some neiehhourine trihes, still their power amone this lolk is almost unlimited.
Sternhere was told hv a Gilvak shaman that helore he had entered on his vocation he had heen
verv ill lor two months, durine which time he was unconscious, lvine quite motionless.
Sometimes, he said, he almost reeained consciousness, hut sank aeain into a swoon helore
recoverine his senses. 'I should have died', he explained, 'il I had not hecome a shaman.' Durine
these months ol trial he hecame 'as drv', he said, 'as a drv stick.' In the nieht he heard himsell
sineine shaman's sones. Once there appeared to him a hird-spirit, and, standine at some distance
lrom it, a man, who spoke to him in these words. 'Make voursell a drum and all that pertains to a
shaman. Beat the drum and sine sones. Il vou are an ordinarv man, nothine will come ol it, hut il
vou are to he a shaman, vou will he no ordinarv one.' When he came to himsell he lound that he
was heine held hv head and leet close to the lire hv his lriends, who told him that thev had
thoueht him alreadv dead, carried oll hv the evil spirits (IeI|n). Iorthwith he demanded a drum,
and heean to heat it and sine. He lelt hall dead, hall intoxicated. Then lor the lirst time he saw his
spirit-protectors, IeI|n and Ienc|I|. The lormer told him, 'Il vou see anv one ill, cure him. Do
not trust Ienc|I|. He has a man's lace, hut his hodv is a hird's. Trust us onlv.'
Sternhere himsell was once witness ol a lirst manilestation ol shamanistic power.
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡ac.
a. Sternhere, T|e Cj|xoI, p. ·a.|
Koïnit was a little euest ol Sternhere's, a hov ol twelve. In spite ol his vouth he had two souls,
heine the son ol a ereat shaman, Chanikh, who had as manv as lour souls (one lrom the
mountains, another lrom the sea, a third lrom the skv, and a lourth lrom the underworld). Once
on heine suddenlv awakened lrom sleep, Koïnit heean to throw himsell ahout, and to shout aloud
in dillerent pitches or intonations ol the voice, as shamans are accustomed to do. When this was
over, the hov's lace looked worn and tired, like that ol an old man. He said alterwards that,
durine the sleep which had preceded his outhreak, two IeI|ns had appeared to him. He knew
them lor his lather's IeI|ns, and thev said to him. 'We used to plav with vour lather-let us plav
with vou also.¨
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·¡ ¡ - -
II. Neo-Siberians.
Passine lrom the Palaeo- to the Neo-Siherians, we notice that the shaman's protectors amone the
latter are hiehlv developed heines.
Three kinds ol 'spirits' are associated with a Yakut shaman, namelv, önögxoi, xeIxvo, and Io|jonx
(Sieroszewski). Anögxoi is the indispensahle attrihute ol everv shaman.
But önögxoi is also the name ol the iron hreast-circle, the sien ol the shaman's dienitv.
Even the weakest shamans possess önögxoi |a| and xeIxvo-the latter is 'sent lrom ahove, animal
picture, hewitchine spirit, devilish devourer' (YeIxvo oívn obossxvo|, sjmo| obossxvo|, üssüiion
The xeIxvo is carelullv hidden lrom the people. 'Mv xeIxvo will not he lound hv anv one, it lies
hidden lar awav, there, in. the rockv mountains ol Edjiean.'|¸|
Once a vear, when the snow melts and the earth is hlack, the xeIxvo arise lrom their hidine-
places and heein to wander. Thev hold oreies ol liehts and noises, and the shamans with whom
thev are associated leel verv ill. Especiallv harmlul are the xeIxvo ol lemale shamans.
|·. Op. cit., pp. ·¸-¡.
a. Sieroszewski, in speakine ahout the division ol the shamans into three kinds, savs that the last
or third kind are not real shamans, as thev have not änäevat, hut are sorcerers and other people in
some wav peculiar (·a Loi w Krojv YoIviow, p. 6a8).
¸. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6a6.|
The weakest and most cowardlv are the xeIxvo ol does, the most powerlul are those ol
enormous hulls, stallions, elks, and hlack hoars. 'Those shamans who have as their animal
incarnation a woll, hear, or doe, are the must unlortunate, these animals are insatiahle, thev are
never satislied, however much the shaman mav provide lor them.' The doe especiallv eives no
peace to his two-looted lellow, he 'enaws with his teeth the shaman's heart, tears into pieces his
hodv'.|·| Then the shaman leels sick and sullers pain. The crow is also a had xeIxvo, the eaele and
hairv hull are called 'devilish liehters and warriors' (obossx IejIio|). This title is the most
llatterine one lor a shaman.|a| When a new shaman appears, the other shamans recoenize him at
once hv the presence ol a new xeIxvo, whom thev have not seen helore. Onlv wizards can see
xeIxvo, to ordinarv people thev are invisihle.
Troshchanski |¸| savs ol the xeIxvo. 'Amone the protectors ol the shaman, the most important
role is plaved hv the xeIxvo (literallv, ¨mother-animal¨). It is said that the shamans incarnate their
Ivi|¡| in certain animals, e.e. in stallions, wolves, does, and that these animals are thus the vekvua
ol shamans.
'Il one ol these animals kills another ol its species, then the correspondine shaman will die.'
Troshshanski thinks that the shaman incarnates his Ivi onlv durine the time that he is actuallv
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·6 6 - -
Whereas this 'hlack' animal-protector seems to he ol a totemic and personal nature, to a certain
extent 'ol one hlood and llesh' with his protéeé, on the other hand ömögxoi strikes us as heine a
more impersonal power.
Sieroszewski |¡| explains that it is in most cases 'the spirit ol a deceased shaman', or, in some rare
cases, one ol the secondarv heavenlv heines. But it seems that the term 'spirit' is used here quite
vaeuelv, e. e., we read lurther on. 'The human hodv cannot contain the power ol ereat eods, and
so the spirit-protector remains alwavs near the heloved man (outside ol him) and willinelv comes
at his call, in dillicult moments it helps him, delends him, and eives him advice.'|6| 'The shaman
sees and hears onlv throueh his ömögxoi', savs the shaman Tiuspiut.
Amögxoi comes to a shaman throueh an accident, or as a
|·. Ihid.
a. Ihid.
¸. Troshchanski, T|e Evo|vijon o| i|e B|ocI Foji|, p. ·¸8.
¡ The part ol the soul which, accordine to the Yakut, is common to animals and men.
¡. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6a6.
6. Ihid.|
heavenlv destinv. 'When I was travelline in the north,' savs Tiuspiut, 'I came upon a heap ol wood
(soíbo) in the mountains, and as I just wanted to cook some dinner, I set this on lire. Now under
this heap was huried a well-known Tuneus shaman (Tiuspiut was a Yakut), and so his ömögxoi
leapt into me.¨ Il the ereat shamans at death take their (ömögxoi to heaven, thev are translormed
into heavenlv heines, hut il the ömögxoi is not removed to heaven, then it will appear on the
earth sooner or later.|a|
Besides the two so-called spirits mentioned ahove, there comes to the Yakut shaman, durine
shamanistic perlormances, still another kind ol spirit, a rather mischievous one, which lorces the
shaman to talk and to imitate various, olten indecent, eestures. These spirits are called Io|jonx,
and their representatives mav he a Russian devil, a devil's dauehter with a devilish eroom, who,
heine hlind, is in the hahit ol eropine ahout in the dark, 8c.
Thus Sieroszewski, on the mental trainine ol the novice. Iurther lieht is thrown on the question
hv Troshchanski.|·| Iollowine out his main idea ol treatine hlack and white shamans separatelv,
he savs. 'Not everv one can hecome a shaman, either white or hlack, onlv a person whose sür has
ohtained a suitahle education.
'The sur ol a white shaman is educated under the care ol one ol the oíx, and the sür ol a hlack
shaman studies with an obossx. How the sür ol a white shaman is educated amone the Yakut is
not known to us. The sur ol a hlack shaman lives with his tutor on the ninth lloor (undereround-
in their ideal division ol the universe). Il the sür is educated on the ninth lloor, then a most
powerlul shaman will arise lrom it, il on the eiehth lloor, then the shaman will he ol medium
power, il on the third lloor, then the shaman will he onlv a sorcerer.'
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· · - -
The education consists in the sür's learnine 'the hahits, character, and hehaviour ol obossx|or and
As to the education ol a shaman himsell, and his initiation, the Yakut shaman is taueht hv an
older shaman, who consecrates him hv 'placine on him the ömögxoi'.|¡| This sien is taken awav hv
the shaman lrom a person who does not wish to he a shaman anv loneer. There is in the Yakut
laneuaee a word vsüj, which
|·. Op. cit., p. 6a·.
a. lhid.
¸. Troshchanski, op. cit., p. ·¡6.
¡. Troshchanski, op. cit., p. ·¡·.|
means to teach the art ol shamanizine and to consecrate a shaman.
Pripuzoll |·| descrihes the consecration ol a shaman amone the Yakut as lollows. 'The old shaman
leads his pupil up a hieh mountain or into a clearine in the lorest. Here he dresses him in a
shaman's earment, eives him a rattle, and places on one side ol him nine chaste vouths, and on the
other nine chaste maidens. Then the shaman puts on his own earment, and directs the vouth to
repeat alter him certain words.' He demands ol the novice that he shall eive up all that is most
dear to him in the world, and consecrate his lile to the service ol the spirits who shall come -it his
call. He tells his pupil where certain 'hlack' spirits dwell, what diseases thev cause, and how thev
mav he propitiated. Iinallv the voune shaman must kill a sacrilicial animal, and sprinkle himsell
with its hlood. The llesh is eaten hv those who have heen present at the ceremonv.
A child chosen to he a shaman is recoenized amone the Burvat hv the lollowine siens|a|. 'He is
olten ahsorhed in meditation, likes to he alone, has mvsterious dreams, and sometimes has lits
durine which he is unconscious.' Accordine to the Burvat heliels, the soul ol a child is then in
process ol heine trained, amone the 'West Teneeris' il he is to he a 'white' shaman, amone the
'East Teneeris' il he is to hecome a 'hlack' one. Livine in the dwelline ol the eods, his soul, under
the tutelaee ol deceased shamans, learns the various secrets ol the shaman's vocation, the soul
must rememher the names ol the eods, the places where thev live, the means hv which thev mav
he propitiated, and the names ol the spirits which are suhordinate to the hieh eods. Alter a period
ol trial the soul ol the child returns to the hodv, which lor a time resumes its normal lile. But on
his reachine adolescence, peculiar svmptoms show themselves in the person who has undereone
these experiences. He hecomes moodv, is easilv excited into a state ol ecstasv, leads an irreeular
lile, wanderine lrom v|vs to v|vs to watch the shamanistic ceremonies. He eives himsell up with
ereat earnestness to exercises in the shamanistic arts, lor which purpose he seereeates himsell,
eoine to some hieh mountain or into the lorest, where, helore a ereat lire, he calls on the spirits,
|·. Pripuzoll, Moierjo|s |or i|e SivJx o| S|omonjsm omong i|e YoIvi, pp. 6¡-¡.
a. Aeapitoll and Khanealoll, Moierjo|s |or i|e SivJx o| S|omonjsm jn Sjberjo, pp. ¡a-¡¸.|
and alterwards lalls into a swoon. In the meanwhile, to prevent him lrom doine himsell an injurv,
his lriends keep watch over him unohtrusivelv.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·8 8 - -
While the novice is preparine himsell lor his new lile, his relations call in a eood shaman, who
makes a sacrilice to propitiate the spirits and induce them to help the voune shaman-to-he. Il the
luture shaman helones to a poor lamilv, the whole communitv helps to procure the sacrilicial
animals and other thines which are indispensahle lor the ceremonies.
The preparatorv period lasts lor several vears, its leneth dependine lareelv on the capacitv ol the
voune man. He cannot, however, hecome a shaman until he reaches the aee ol twentv. Iinallv he
undereoes a purilication ceremonv. One such ceremonv does not conler all the riehts and powers
ol a shaman, there are, in lact, nine. But verv lew shamans eo throueh all these purilications, most
onlv undereo two or three, some, none at all, lor thev dread the responsihilities which devolve
upon consecrated shamans. To a lullv consecrated shaman the eods are verv severe, and punish
his laults or mistakes with death.
The lirst consecration ceremonv is preceded hv a purilication ol water. Ior this an experienced
old shaman, called the 'lather-shaman', is chosen, toeether with nine voune men to he his
assistants. These are spoken ol as his 'sons'. The water lor the ahlution must he drawn lrom a
sprine-sometimes lrom three sprines. Thev eo in the mornine ol the dav ol consecration to letch
the water, takine with them iorosvn |·|, with which thev make a lihation to the master- and
mistress-spirits ol the sprine. As thev return, thev pluck up lrom the earth hirch-seedlines, ol
which thev make a hroom, and take it to the house ol the novice. Next the water is heated over a
lire, and into it are thrown certain herhs and pieces ol hark. Then lrom the ears ol a he-eoat
prepared helorehand thev cut pieces ol hair, and some shavines lrom its horns and hools, and
throw these also into the pot. The he-eoat is then killed in such a manner that its hlood drips into
the pot. Then onlv is the water readv lor the consecration ceremonv. The llesh ol the eoat is
eiven to the women present, who cook and eat it.
Now the lather-shaman loretells the luture lrom a sheep's shoulder-hlade. He summons the
shamanist ancestors ol the
|·. A native Burvat drink, composed ol milk and wine, called also wine ol milk'.|
novice, and ollers lihations ol wine and iorosvn. Then he dips the hirch-hroom into the water and
heats the candidate on the naked hack, as do also the nine 'sons' ol the 'lather-shaman', savine at
the same time. 'When thou art called to a poor man, ask little in return lor vour trouhle, and take
what is eiven. Take care ol the poor alwavs, help them, and prav to the eods to delend them
aeainst the power ol evil spirits. Il thou art called hv a rich man, eo to him ridine on a hullock,
and do not ask much lor vour trouhle. Il thou art called at the same time hv a poor and hv a rich
man, eo lirst to the poor.' The candidate repeats these precepts alter the shaman, and promises to
ohserve them.
Then lollows a lihation ol iorosvn to the euardian spirits, this closes the ceremonv.
The purilication ol a shaman hv water is perlormed at least once a vear, hut sometimes once a
month, at the new moon, or else at anv other time when he considers himsell to have heen
deliled, e. e. hv touchine some unclean ohject. Il the delilement is especiallv eross, then
purilication is perlormed with hlood. The shaman also purilies himsell alter a death has occurred
in the v|vs.|·|
This ceremonv is lollowed alter some time hv the lirst consecration, called I|eregeI|v|I|e, the
expenses ol which are shared hv the communitv. Aeain a 'lather-shaman' and nine 'sons' are
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·o o - -
chosen, and thev, accompanied hv the novice, ride on horsehack lrom xvrio to xvrio, collectine
ollerines. Belore each xvrio thev stop and announce their comine with a shout. Thev are
hospitahlv entertained, and ollerines ol dillerent kinds-votive handkerchiels, which are tied to 'a
hirch stall carried hv the novice, and sometimes monev-are hroueht to them. Thev huv wooden
cups, little hells tied to horse-staves, wine, 8c. The dav helore the ceremonv a certain numher ol
stout hirches are cut lrom the eroves hv the 'sons' under the direction ol the 'lather-shaman ',
lrom the straiehtest ol these thev make horse-staves. The erove lrom which these are taken is one
in which the dead ol the v|os are huried, and lor the propitiation ol the spirits there thev make
ollerines ol mutton and tarasan. At the same time thev prepare the shaman's accessories, and
meanwhile other shamans ol similar standine with the 'lather-shaman ' summon the spirits.
|·. ihid.|
In the mornine ol the dav ol the consecration the hirch-trees cut the dav helore are planted. The
stoutest hirch, which has its roots still attached to it, thev plant in the south-west corner ol the
xvrio, where the eround is lelt hare lor the lire, the top ol the tree projects throueh the smoke-
hole ahove. This hirch represents svmholicallv the porter-eod who allows the shaman ineress into
heaven. It points the wav hv which the shaman can reach the skv, and remains permanentlv in
the xvrio as a sien that the dwelline is that ol a shaman. The other hirches are planted in lront ol
the xvrio in the place where sacrilices are usuallv ollered, in the lollowine order, lrom west to
(i) A hirch under which, on a carpet ol lelt, is placed some iorosvn. To the hranches ol this
rihhons ol hlack and vellow are tied il the shaman is to he 'hlack', ol white and hlue il he is to he
a 'white' shaman, and ol all lour colours il he is to serve hoth kinds ol spirits.
(ii) A hirch to which are tied a hie hell and the sacrilicial horse.
(iii) A lairlv stout hirch which the novice has to climh.-These three trees are planted with their
roots, and are called seree (posts).
(iv) Nine saplines, in eroups ol three, the saplines in each eroup heine hound toeether with a rope
made ol white horsehair. To these are tied rihhons ol dillerent colours in the lollowine order-
white, hlue, red, vellow, and so on aeain. On the saplines are hune skins ol animals.
(v) Nine posts to which sacrilicial animals are tied.
(vi) Some stout hirches to which the hones ol the sacrilicial animals are tied alter heine hound up
in straw. These hirches lorm a row.
Irom the principal hirch in the xvrio to all those which stand outside are led two rihhons, red
and hlue. This is a svmholical representation ol the path ol the shaman to the spirit-world. To the
north ol the row ol hirches are placed nine pots lor cookine the sacrilicial meat.
When evervthine is readv, the novice and the others who take part in the ceremonv don their
ceremonial dress. Then the shaman's accessories are hlessed, alter which the horse-staves are said
to turn into real horses. All the mornine the assemhled shamans have heen summonine the spirits
and sprinkline iorosvn. The 'lather-shaman' now calls upon the euardian eods, and the novice
repeats alter him the words ol his invocation. The candidate climhs the hirch inside the xvrio,
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a ac c - -
eets on to the rool, and lrom there summons the spirits in a loud voice. When the moment
comes lor leavine the xvrio, lour shamans take hold ol a certain lelt carpet, each hv a corner.|·|
¹ust outside the entrance to the xvrio a lire is made, and various herhs are thrown into it.
evervhodv and evervthine which passes over the lire is purilied hv it.
The people leave the vurta in the lollowine order. lirst the 'lather-shaman', then the candidate,
then the nine 'sons', and linallv the relatives and euests.
The ceremonv ends with leasts and sacrilices.|a|
Amone the SomoxeJ and OsixoI ol the Turukhan countrv the luture shaman spends his vouth in
exercises which stimulate his nerves and excite his imaeination.|¸| At the consecration ol a
novice, accordine to Tretvakoll|¡| he must stand with his lace towards the west, while the
olliciatine shaman asks the Dark Spirit to help the candidate and to eive him a spirit to serve him.
At the end ol the ceremonv the shaman sines a hvmn in praise ol the Dark Spirit, and the novice
repeats it alter him. The heeinner is tested hv the spirits, who require ol him certain sacrilices, as
ol his wile or son, and he has to promise them various other sacrilices.
Both Castren |¡| and Islavin |6| speak ol the special trainine ol the novice hv an old shaman. One
ol the Samoved shamans told Castren ol how he was entrusted to the care ol an old shaman lor
trainine, when he was lilteen, as he (the candidate) came ol an
|·. Accordine to Potanin, the lelt carpet alluded to hv Aeapitoll and Khanealoll provides the means ol perlormine
what is considered the most essential part ol the ceremonv. The novice is carried on it, hv the lour shamans
mentioned, out ol the xvrio to the row ol nine hirches. Ol the moment ol his elevation on the carpet, thev sav bo
begJe, 'the shaman ascends'. On reachine the hirches, the shaman must leap lrom the carpet on to one ol them,
which he climhs. Irom the top ol this hirch he must jump to that ol the one next to it, and so on to the end ol the
row, whence he must return in the same manner to his startine-point, and is then aeain placed on the carpet. Alter
this ceremonv the new shaman heeins to shamanize, to loretell the luture, and to heal the sick-hut all this without
the use ol the drum. This accessorv he is not permitted to acquire until alter the third vear lrom his consecration.
(Potanin, SIeic|es o| Nori|ern Mongo|jo, vol.iv,pp.¡8-o.) Accordine to Appitoll and Khanealoll (op. cit., p. ·¡·), the
custom thus descrihed hv Potanin is peculiar to the Burvat ol Baleansk.
a. Ihid.
¸ Bielavewski, op. cit., p. ··¸.
¡. Tretvakoll, T|e Covnirx o| TvrvI|onsI, pp. a·c-·a.
¡. Castren, NorJjsc|e Pejsen vnJ Forsc|vngen, p. ·o·.
6. Islavin, The SomoxeJ, i|ejr Home onJ Socjo| Lj|e, p. ·co.|
old shamanist lamilv. The means ol education was as lollows. Two ioJjbex (shamans) hlindlolded
him with a handkerchiel, and then heat him, one on the hack ol the head and the other on the
shoulders, till his eves were dazzled as with too much lieht, and he saw demons dancine on his
arms and leet. It must he rememhered, ol course, that he had heen taueht helorehand ahout the
Samoved world ol spirits.' In lormer times Lapland was a school ol shamanism, and all
neiehhourine trihes sent vouths thither to he trained as shamans.|a| At present onlv amone
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a a· · - -
Russian Lapps are noxJo (shamans) to he lound, and thev are hut deeenerate copies ol their
|·. Castren, op. cit., p. ·o·.
a. Schellerus, Lovvonjo, p. ·ac. N. Kharuzin, T|e NoxJo omong i|e Ancjeni onJ i|e MoJern
IN this chapter, which deals with the dillerent tvpes ol shamans, the duties ol a shaman will he
enumerated. In nearlv all the more advanced trihes we shall see that certain shamans specialize in
one sort ol dutv or another, while amone the more primitive peoples each perlorms manv
dillerent kinds ol duties-a state ol thines made possihle hv the less complex nature ol those
duties. The hieh conception ol a shaman's duties amone certain trihes mav he seen lrom
Banzarolls ideal picture ol a Burvat shaman. He is (a) priest, (h) medicine-man, and (c) prophet.
(a) 'As a priest, he knows the will ol the eods, and so declares to man what sacrilices and
ceremonies shall he held, he is an expert in ceremonials and pravers. Besides the communal
ceremonies at which he olliciates, he conducts also various private cerenionials.'|·|
(h) As medicine-man, the shaman perlorms certain ceremonies to expel the evil spirit lrom the
(c) As a prophet, he loretells the luture either hv means ol the shoulder-hlade ol a sheep or hv
the llieht ol arrows.
This ideal tvpe ol shaman was prohahlv rare even in Banzaroll's time, lor he himsell savs that the
shaman was not present at all communal sacrilices.|a| It is the same with some lamilv sacrilices.
the ongons are led hv the master ol the house, and certain other sacrilices, as, lor instance, those
ollered at child-hirth, are made without the assistance ol the shaman.|¸|
The lact that a communal or lamilv ceremonv is sometimes presided over hv the head ol the
commune or lamilv, or that a private individual occasionallv perlorms divination, does not alter
the lact that the orieinal tvpe ol Burvat shaman had the perlormance ol all these rites in his
hands.|¡| Thev had amone the
|· Banzaroll, B|ocI Foji|, ·8o¸, pp. ·c·-·¡.
a ihid.
¸. Klenientz, E.P.E., 'The Buriats', p. ·¸ ).
¡. Ihid.|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a aa a - -
Moneols in the time ol Djineis Khan, when the shamans were at the heieht ol their power.|·| We
cannot therelore aeree with Mr. Mikhailowski, who savs, 'Ol all the actions ol the shaman, the
most characteristic ol his calline is what is known as Iom|onje,' i.e. invocations ol spirits.|a|
Althoueh it mav he that in the decadence ol his ollice a shaman is sometimes nowadavs no more
than a medicine-man, even now in certain places shamans are present, not onlv at communal, hut
also at lamilv rites, and even when not so present we lind in the rites traces ol their orieinal
T|e KorxoI. Amone the Korvak, as amone the Palaeo-Siherians and most Neo-Siherian trihes, we
mav distineuish |¸| (·) lamilv shamans, and (a) prolessional shamans.
Iamilv shamanism is connected with the domestic hearth, whose wellare is under its care. The
lamilv shaman has charee ol the celehration ol lamilv lestivals, rites, and sacrilicial ceremonies,
and also ol the use ol the lamilv charms and amulets, and ol their incantations.
Prolessional shamans are those who are not delinitelv attached to a certain eroup ol people. The
more powerlul thev are, the wider is the circle in which thev can practise their art.
'There is no douht that prolessional shamanism has developed lrom the ceremonials ol lamilv
shamanism', savs ¹oehelson. |¡| It seems, however, necessarv to add another cateeorv ol (¸)
communal shamans, lormine a transitional class hetween lamilv and prolessional shamans. These
shamans have to deal with a eroup ol lamilies takine part in important ceremonials. The
admission ol this third cateeorv must not he taken to mean that we aeree unconditionallv with
the idea that the prolessional shaman is a development lrom the lamilv, or the communal,
shaman, thoueh manv practices, and the opinions ol such serious investieators as ¹ochelson and
Boeoras, lend some weieht to this notion.
It was amone the Korvak that prolessional shamans were lirst allected hv Christianitv.
T|e C|vIc|ee. Amone the Chukchee, the ahove division into lamilv and prolessional shamans
needs to he supplemented, since we lind |¡| that there exist three cateeories ol prolessional
|·. Mikhailowski, S|omonjsm, p. .¡8.
a Op. cit., p. ¡¡.
¸. ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI, p. ¡·.
¡ Ihid.
Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, pp. ¡¸c-·.|
(A) Ecstatic shamans, (B) Shaman-prophets, (C) Incantation shamans.
Ol course, the duties ol the shamans ol all these cateeories meree into each other, still, a certain
specialization is to he ohserved.
A. The ecstatic shaman communicates with 'spirits' and is called Io|oiIovrgjn.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a a¸ ¸ - -
This includes all kinds ol intercourse with ¨spirits¨ which hecome apparent to the listeners, that
is, the voices ol ¨spirits ¨ talkine throueh the medium ol the shaman, ventriloquistic
perlormances, and other tricks-eenerallv speakine, the whole spectacular part ol shamanism,
which lorms ' the main content ol the shamanistic séonces.' As ohserved ahove, 'all this is olten
considered merelv as a kind ol jueelerv. Ior perlormances ol this sort, voune people are said to he
hetter adapted than older ones. With increasine vears some ol the shamans discontinue most ol
these tricks.'|·|
B. The shaman-prophet, i. e. one who is 'lookine into', |eio|oijrgjn.
'This hranch ol Chukchee shamanism is held in the hiehest veneration, hecause the shaman
possessine it has the lacultv ol seeine the daneer lvine in wait lor the people, or the eood in store
lor them, and accordinelv he is ahle to advise them how to avoid the lirst and to secure the
second. Most ol the instructions eiven are ol a ritualistic kind, and reler to certain details ol such
and such a ceremonial, which must he arraneed alter a certain manner in order to secure the
desired result., |a|
There are shamans who, thoueh thev have Ie|ei at their disposal, cannot eive anv advice, while
others, on the other hand, cannot communicate with 'spirits', hut 'eive maeical advice as a kind ol
internal suhjective inspiration, alter sell-communion lor a lew moments. These, notwithstandine
the simplicitv ol their proceedines, usuallv enjov the hiehest consideration ol their neiehhours.'|¸|
Ior instance, the shaman Galmuurein was said hv the Chukchee to he '(with) onlv his (own)
hodv' (emwjIj|jn), hecause no other heines helped him with their inspiration.
'When eivine a séonce, he heean hv heatine a drum and sineine, hut in a lew minutes he would
leave oll the exercise,
|·. Boeoras, The C|vIc|ee, p. ¡¸c.
a Op. cit., p. ¡¸·.
¸ Ihid.|
and drawine a lew lone, almost hvsterical hreaths, would immediatelv proceed to loretell the
luture. He talked to manv people present, one hv one. When he was throueh with one case, he
would stop lor a while, as il recollectine himsell, and then, alter several deep-drawn siehs, would
pass on to the next applicant.'|·|
C. Incantation shamans (ewgonvoijrgjn, 'producine ol incantations'), who carrv on the more
complicated practices ol shamanism.
Incantations, toeether with spells, lorm the ereater part ol Chukchee maeic. The incantations mav
he ol a henevolent or malevolent character. Hence there are two tvpes ol shamans in this class.
·. 'Well-minded' (iencjmnv|jn), who plv their art in order to help sullerers.
a. 'Mischievous' (Ivrgenenj|ji, or Ivnjc|enenj|ji, literallv 'mockine shamans'), who are hent on
doine harm to people.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a a¡ ¡ - -
Good shamans have a red shamanistic coat and had shamans a hlack one. The same colours are
used hv the Yukaehir shamans.
The majoritv ol shamans, however, comhine in themselves the eilts ol all these cateeories and in
the name ol 'spirits' perlorm various tricks, loretell the luture, and pronounce incantations.
The Neo-Siberians.
T|e YoIvi. Troshchanski|a| sueeests that the division ol shamans into hlack and white is the most
essential division amone all Siherian trihes, thoueh manv travellers speak ol shamans in a eeneral
wav as il there were onlv one kind. It would seem, however, that Troshchanski overlooks the
distinction hetween the relieious conceptions ol the Palaeo-Siherians and those ol the Neo-
Siherians. Thev live under dillerent environmental conditions, and, hesides, the Neo-Siherians
have undouhtedlv heen to some extent inlluenced hv contact with the hieher Asiatic relieions.
It is amone the Neo-Siherians that maeico-relieious dualism appears more distinctlv. Aeain,
within the class ol Neo-Siherians themselves dillerences are lound. Amone the Yakut |¸| the
hlack shamans predominate, the white hardlv existine, while amone
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡¸·.
a Troshchanski, T|e Evo|vijon o| i|e B|ocI Foji|, ·oca, p. iii.
¸. Op. cit., P. ··c.|
the Votvak the white are almost the onlv shamans now to he lound, as the cult ol the hrieht eod
has almost entirelv displaced that ol the hlack.
The Yakut white shamans are called oíxoívno. Thev take part in the sprine lestivals, marriaee
ceremonies, lertilization rites, and the curine ol diseases, in cases where Ivi has not vet heen
taken awav lrom the patient.|·|
We read in a certain tale that at one weddine there were present nine oíxoívno (white men-
shamans) and eieht oíxvJongono (white women- shamans). |a| White shamans also ask, in cases
ol the sterilitv ol women, the mog|on sx|gg|oI| to descend to earth and make the woman lertile.
At the autumn lishine, in lormer times, thev liehted torches made ol wood cut lrom a tree struck
hv liehtnine, pureed the waters ol all uncleanness, and asked the jc|c|j (spirit-owner) ol the lake
lor a henelit. This, he considers, was certainlv done hv white. shamans, il onlv lor the reason that
the ceremonv was held in the davtime.|¸| But, on paee ·c¡ ol the same work, Troshchanski
writes. 'Onlv the sprine lestivals were called oíxxsxoI|, the autumn lestivals were known is
obossxxsxoI|.' Hence the ceremonv ol lertilization ol the lake must have heen perlormed hv
hlack shamans, obossxoívno, in spite ol the lact that this ceremonv was held in the davtime.
As to the characters ol the two kinds ol shamans, Gorokholl savs that he knew personallv several
oíxoívno, who were verv eood people indeed, quiet, delicate, and reallv honest, while the obossx
oívno were eood lor nothine.|¡| But Troshchanski savs that the 'hlack shaman' amone the Yakut is
onlv prolessionallv 'hlack', that his attitude has no speciallv evil character, and that he helps men
no less than the white shaman does. He is not necessarilv had, thoueh he deals with evil powers,
and he occupies amone the Yakut a hieher position than amone other Neo-Siherians.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a a¡ ¡ - -
Black shamans oller sacrilices to obossx|or and shamanize to maintain their prestiee. Thev loretell
the luture, call up spirits, wander into spirit-land, and eive accounts ol their journevs thither.|¸|
At the present dav there are amone the Yakut special storvtellers and also special sorcerers
|·. Op. cit., ·). ·¡o.
a. Khudiakoll, Verkhovansk Antholoev, p. 88.
¸. Troshchanski, ihid.
¡. Gorokholl . YvrvngUo|on, E.S.S.I.R.G.S., ·88·, p. ¡6.
Troshchanski, op. cit., p. ·¡a.|
Accordine to the deeree ol esteem, in which thev are held hv the people, Sieroszewski' classilies
Yakut shamans as lollows.
The Great Shaman-v|o|onoívn.
(a) The Middline Shaman-oriooívn.
(¸) The Little Shaman-IennjIjoívn.
A 'ereat shaman' has the ömögxoi lrom U|vToíen himsell.
A shaman ol middline power also possesses ömögxoi, hut not ol so hieh a qualitv or to so ereat an
extent as the lormer.
A 'little shaman' does not possess ömögxoi. He is not, in lact, reallv a shaman, hut a person in
some wav ahnormal, neurotic, or orieinal, who can cure trilline illnesses, interpret dreams, and
lriehten awav small devils onlv.
With reeard to the classilication ol shamans into 'white' and 'hlack', Troshchanski puts lorward
the hvpothesis that these two classes ol shamans orieinated and developed independentlv.
'One mieht imaeine that the class ol white shamans came into existence lirst, and that it derived
lrom the class ol heads ol lamilies and clans. The custom ol the choice ol one leader (shaman) lor
common ceremonies or sacrilices mav have helped in this evolution ol the white shaman lrom
the heads ol lamilies. The wisest and most respected memher ol the communitv would prohahlv
have the hest chance ol heine chosen, as he could please not onlv the people hut also the spirits.'
The same persons mieht then have heen chosen repeatedlv, and presentlv a class ol white
shamans mieht arise lor the communal cults and sacrilices. In the meantime the head ol the
lamilv could still keep his priestlv power in his own home, until the prolessional shaman took his
place, as we see at the present dav amone certain trihes, e.e. the Yakut. |¸|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a a6 6 - -
Whv should we reeard the head ol the lamilv as the prototvpe ol the white shaman: We shall
lind in Troshchanski's hook no more satislactorv replv to this question than is contained in the
lollowine short passaee.
'I think we are rieht in savine that the heads ol the lamilv, or the chosen priests, in their practice
and pravers do not address themselves to the evil spirits, which in Yakut are called obossx|or,
hence it is here that we lind the oriein ol white shamans.' |¡|
Il we lollow Troshchanski, we must draw the conclusion that
|·. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6a8.
a. Troshchauski, op. cit., p. ·ac.
¸. Op. cit., p. ·a¡.
¡. Op. cit., p. ··¸.|
amone the Neo-Siherians, e. e. the Burvat and the Yakut, the white shamans lorm a quite distinct
class, althoueh we see that on certain occasions the head ol the lamilv mav take the place ol the
white shaman.
'Toj|gon is a communal sacrilice in which the whole lamilv or clan takes part. This ceremonv is
desiened to show humilitv. the Burvat call it the ¨askine ceremonv¨. The perlormer ol ioj|gon
mav he the shaman, or the whole eroup ol lamilv heads without the assistance ol a shaman.'|·|
Amone the Palaeo-Siherians there is no class ol white shamans, and the lamilv cult is in the hands
ol the lather, assisted hv the mother, the participation ol prolessional shamans heine olten
prohihited. Amone the Gilvak the assistance ol shamans at sacrilicial leasts, e.e. the hear-
ceremonial, is even lorhidden. Is this hecause there is no white shaman amone these people: Or is
it an indication that, alter all, lamilv and prolessional shamanism have developed separatelv:
Amone the Yakut, lrom. the ohservation ol whom Troshchanski lormed his hvpothesis, the
white shaman mav he a woman, in cases where the woman stands as lamilv head.|a|
Now as to the hlack shamans, thev were orieinallv women, savs Troshchanski, and he draws
attention to the lollowine lineuistic and socioloeical particulars which are made to act as evidence
in support ol his hvpothesis.
What is the essential meanine ol the word shaman: In Sanskrit srom=to he tired, to hecome
wearv, sromono=work, relieious mendicant. In the Pali laneuaee the word somono has the same
meanine. These two latter words have heen adopted hv the Buddhists as names lor their
priests.|¸| But, accordine to Banzaroll, the word s|omon orieinated in northern Asia. somon is a
Manchu word, meanine 'one who is excited, moved, raised', sommon (pronounced s|omon) and
|ommon in Tuneus, have the
|·. Aeapitoll and Khaneitloll, Moierjo|s |or i|e SivJx o| S|omonjsm jn Sjberjo, E.S.S.I.R.G.S., p. ¸6.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a a· · - -
'How this mav occur, in the patriarchal Yakut lamilv, Troshchanski explains as lollows. 'Each
wile ol a polvevnous Yakut lived separatelv with her children and relations and cattle, durine the
lrequent ahsences ol her hushand she was actuallv the head ol the lamilv, and perlormed lamilv
ceremonials. Several such xevso (matriarchal lamilies) lormed one ogovso (patriarchal lamilv)'
(p. ··6).
¸. I am indehted lor this inlormation to Mr. M. de Z. Wickremasinehe, Lecturer in Tamil and
Telueu in the Universitv ol Oxlord.|
same meanine. SomJombj is Manchu. 'I shamanize', i.e. 'I call the spirits dancine helore the
Irom the ahove we see that the essential characteristic ol a shaman is a liahilitv to nervous ecstasv
and trances. Women are more prone to emotional excitement than men. amone the Yakut most
ol the women suller lrom menerjI (a nervous disease, one tvpe ol the so-called 'Arctic hvsteria ').
Thus Troshchanski. But the onlv conclusion-il anv-that he could draw lrom this would he that
women are hv nature more disposed to shamanizine than men. And whv should this make her
the orieinal hlack shaman: Onlv one piece ol evidence is adduced to connect women with 'hlack'
shamanizine, and that is taken lrom Kamchadal lile,. not lrom that ol the Yakut, upon which
chiellv he erounds his hvpothesis. Amone the most primitive Kamchadal, where there were onlv
women (or IoeIc|vc|) shamans, these practised onlv hlack shamanism, summonine evil
As to the lineuistic evidence.
Amone the Moneols, Burvat, Yakut, Altaians, Toreout, Kidan, Kireis, there is one eeneral term lor
a woman-shaman, which has a sliehtlv dillerent lorm in each trihe. viogon, vJogon, vJog|on,
vboI|on, vixgon, vijvgvn, jJvon (Jvono), whereas the word lor man-shaman is dillerent in each
ol these trihes.
In Yakut he is called oívn, in Moneol, bvge, Burvat, bvge and bö, Tuneus, sommon and |ommon,
Tartar, kam, Altaian, Iom and gom, Kireis, boIso (bosIx), Samoved, ioJjbex.
Irom the ahove Troshchanski concludes that durine the mieration ol the Neo-Siherians thev had
onlv women-shamans, called hv a similar eeneral name, and that the men-shamans appeared later,
when these people scattered, settline in lands distant lrom one mother, so that the term lor man-
shaman orieinated independentlv in each trihe.|¡|
Ol course, this lineuistic evidence concerns onlv the Neo- and not the Palaeo-Siherians.
Troshchanski eives us lurther the lollowine relieio-social evidence, drawn exclusivelv lrom the
Yakut, in support ol his
|·. Zakharoll, Comv|eie Monc|vPvssjon Djcijonorx, ·8·¡, p. ¡68.
a. Troshchanski, op. cit., p. ··o.
¸. Krasheninnikoll, Descrjvijon o| i|e Conojirx o| Komc|oiIo, pp. 8·-a.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a a8 8 - -
¡. Troshchanski, op. cit., p. ··8.|
hvpothesis ol the evolution ol the 'hlack' man-shaman lrom the 'hlack' woman-shaman.
(a) On the Yakut shaman's apron there are sewn two iron circles, representine hreasts.|·|
(h) The man-shaman dresses his hair like a woman, on the two sides ol the head, and hraids it,
durine a perlormance he lets the hair lall down.|a|
(c) Both women and shamans are lorhidden to lie on the rieht side ol a horse-skin in the xvrio.|¸|
(d) The man-shaman wears the shaman's costume onlv on verv important occasions, in ordinarv
circumstances he wears a eirl's dress made ol the skin ol a loal.|¡|
(e) Durine the lirst three davs alter a conlinement, when Avisit, the deitv ol lecunditv, is
supposed to he near the woman who is lvine-in, access to the house where she is conlined is
lorhidden to men, hut not to shamans.|¡|
How the lemale hlack shaman was displaced hv the male hlack shaman Troshchanski explains as
lollows, aeain usine exclusivelv Yakut evidence.
The smith who made the ornaments lor the lemale shaman's earment acquired some shamanistic
power. He was in contact with iron, which was ol maeical importance, and power came to him
throueh this contact. (The smiths were, like the shamans, 'hlack' and 'white', hut amone the
Yakut one hears more ol 'hlack' smiths than ol 'white'.) Thus the similaritv hetween the vocation
ol a shaman and that ol a smith hecomes close, especiallv when the calline ol smith descends
throueh manv eenerations in the same lamilv. Smiths come to he considered as the elder hrothers
ol shamans, and then the dillerences hetween them linallv disappear, the smith hecomine a
The woman, then, since she could not he a smith, had eventuallv to eive up her place to the man.
In modern times, as there are no loneer anv 'inaeical smiths', new shamanistic earments cannot he
|·. Krasheninnikoll, op. cit., pp. 8·-a.
a Ihid.
¸. Troshchanski, op. cit., p. ·a¸.
¡. Ihid
¡. Ihid.
Troshchanski, op. cit.. p. ·a¡. It will he interestine to quote here what Sieroszewski savs ahout the
vocation ol the smith. ¨Those who approach most nearlv to the shamans in their ollice, and are
partiallv related to them, are the smiths. ¨The smith and the shaman are ol one nest,¨, savs a
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - a ao o - -
proverh ol the Kolvma district. The smiths also can cure, advise, and loretell the luture, hut their
knowledee does not possess a maeical character, thev are simplv clever people, who know much,
and who possess ¨peculiar lineers¨. The prolession ol smith is eenerallv hereditarv, especiallv in
the north. It is in the ninth eeneration that a |hereditarv| smith lirst acquires certain supernatural
qualities, and the more ancient his ancestrv, the more marked are these qualities. The spirits are
eenerallv alraid ol iron hoops and ol the noise made hv the hlowine ol the smith's hellows. In the
Kolvma district the shaman would not shamanize until I |Sieroszewski| removed mv case ol
instruments, and even then his had luck in shamanizine wits explained hv him as due to the lact
that, as he said, ¨the spirits are alraid ol smiths |in this case Sieroszewski|, and that is whv thev do
not appear at mv call.¨ Onlv a smith ol the ninth eeneration can, without harm to himsell,
hammer out the iron emhellishment ol the shamanistic dress, the iron lor the drum, or make
ömögxoi. Il the smith who makes a shamanistic ornament has not a sullicient numher ol
ancestors, il the noise ol hammerine and the elare ol the lire does not surround him on all sides,
then hirds with crooked claws and heaks will tear his heart in pieces. Respectahle hereditarv
smiths have tools possessed ol ¨spirits¨ (jc|c|j|o|) which can eive out sounds hv themselves.'
(Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6¸a.)|
This hvpothesis ol women heine the lirst hlack shamans is, however, not horne out hv the
evidence. Even il we allow that the ahove quotations, especiallv that containine the lineuistic
evidence, tend to show that women were shamans helore men, it does not lollow that thev were
the lirst hlack shamans. There is not enoueh evidence in Troshchanski's hook to support his
hvpothesis ol two separate orieins and developments lor hlack and white shamans.
On the other hand, the evolution which Troshchanski ascrihes to hlack shamans mieht he
ascrihed to prolessional shamanism, il we reject ¹ochelson's and Boeoras's view that prolessional
developed out ol lamilv shamanism.
T|e A|iojons. Wierhicki |·| savs that amone the Altaians, hesides the shaman, called Iom, there
are also (i) rxnc|j, 'who, durine attacks accompanied hv pain, can loretell the luture', (ii) ie|goc|j,
or 'euessers', (iii) xorjnc|j, or those who can divine hv means ol the hlade-hone, (iv) Io||Ivrec|j,
who divine lrom the hand, (v) vadachi, who control the weather hv means ol a stone, xoJoios|,
which is lound in narrow mountain deliles, where winds hlow continuallv. To ohtain these stones
a xoJoc|j must swear awav all his possessions. Hence he is poor, lonelv, and usuallv a widower.
T|e Bvrxoi. Amone the Burvat, accordine to Shashkoll,|a| shamans are divided into (a) hereditarv
shamans and (h) shamans ol the lirst eeneration. Another division is into (a) real, (h) lalse
|·. T|e Noijves o| i|e A|ioj, pp. ¡¡-6.
a. Shashkoll, S|omonjsm jn Sjberjo, W.S.S.I.R.G.S., p. 8a.|
shamans. Aeain there are (a) white (sogonbö) and (h) hlack (|oronínbö).
The white and hlack shamans, the Burvat sav, lieht with each other, hurline axes at one another
lrom distances ol hundreds ol miles. The white shaman serves the West iengerj and West I|ois,
and has charee ol the ceremonies held at hirth, marriaee, 8c. He wears a white coat and rides a
white horse. A lamous white shaman was Barlak ol the Balaeansk district, at whose erave his
descendants still eo to worship.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸c c - -
The hlack shaman serves the iengerj and I|ois ol the East. These shamans are said to have power
to hrine illness and death upon men. Thev are not liked, hut much leared, hv the people, who
sometimes kill hlack shamans, to such a point does this dislike develop.|·| The erave ol a hlack
shaman is usuallv shaded hv aspens, and the hodv is lastened to the earth hv a stake taken lrom
this tree.
Accordine to Aeapitoll and Kanealoll, there are also a lew shamans who serve hoth eood and had
spirits at the same time.
T|e SomoxeJ. Lepekhin |a| Savs that the Samoved shamans are not divided into distinct classes,
hlack and white, as amone the Burvat, hut serve hoth lor eood and had ends, as occasion arises.
The Lapps likewise make no strict distinction hetween eood shamans and had. Some ol the Lapp
noxJo (shamans) are known as 'Bie', and others as 'Little', noxJo.
T|e VoixoI. The whole Votvak hierarchv arose lrom the white shamans. The chiel ol the
shamans is the ivno. At the present dav the ivno |¸| is the chiel upholder ol the old relieion.
As the soul ol a ivno is 'educated' hv the Creator, he is without douht a white shaman. Besides
the ivno, there are priests, chosen either hv himsell or hv the people under his advice. 'In most
cases the prolession and knowledee ol a ivno descend lrom lather to son, althoueh anv person
who has the opportunitv ol acquirine the knowledee necessarv to a ivno can hecome one.' |¡|
Amone the Votvak there is a classilication ol shamans into (a) permanent and (h) temporarv. The
latter are chosen to Perlorm some particular sacrilice. Besides these there are
|·. Aeapitoll and Khanaaloll, op. cit., pp. 8¡-6.
a. Lepekhin, Djorx o| o 1ovrnex, p. a6a.
¸. Boeavewski, A Sketch ol the Mode ol Lile ol the Votvak ol Sarapul, p. ·a¸.
¡. Op. cit., p. ·a6.|
secondarv priests appointed hv the ivno and called iöre and parchis.
In lormer times hlack shamans also were to he lound amone the Votvak, hut thev have eiven
wav to the white, just as amone the Yakut the white shaman has heen lareelv displaced hv the
The Votvak hlack shaman ol lormer times has heen converted into an ordinarv sorcerer. He is
called ve||osIjs, and 'he can aid the sick, and lind lost cattle throueh his incantations, hut all this
without anv connexion with the deities'.|·| Another kind ol sorcerer is called veJjn. He is leared
and hated hv all. |a|
When the ivno has linished his education under Kx|c|jnInmor (the Creator), the latter takes his
pupil to a place where the candidates lor the position ol sorcerer reside. He examines them, and
to those who answer satislactorilv he eives permission to enchant and destrov men.
|·. Boeavewski, op. cit., p. ·a).
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸· · - -
a. Op. cit., p. ·a6.|
IN evervdav lile the shaman is not distineuishahle lrom other people except hv an occasionallv
hauehtv manner, hut when he is eneaeed in communicatine with spirits he has to make use ol a
special dress and special instruments. Ol these the most important and the one in most eeneral
use is the shaman's drum. It mav he said that all over Siheria, where there is a shaman there is also
a drum. The drum has the power ol transportine the shaman to the superworld and ol evokine
spirits hv its sounds.
Authors ol the eiehteenth centurv, like Pallas and Krasheninnikoll, pav ereat attention to the
shaman's accessories. Thoueh thev have prohahlv onlv heen attracted hv their picturesque side,
vet their descriptions are verv valuahle in view ol the modern attempt to reach the primitive
mind throueh its svmholical lorms ol expression.
Shashkoll |·| enumerates the lollowine items as indispensahle to the shaman's dress all over
Siheria-the coat, the mask, the cap, and the copper or iron plate on the hreast. The Samoved
ioJjbex suhstitute lor the mask a handkerchiel tied over the eves, so that thev can penetrate into
the spirit-world hv their inner sieht. This use ol a handkerchiel is also mentioned hv Wierhicki,
who savs that the shamans ol northern Altai wear one round the lorehead to keep the hair out ol
the eves.
These lour accessories-the coat, the mask, the cap, and the iron plate-are used hv the Neo-
Siherians onlv, since amone Palaeo-Siherians the dress is much less complicated.
Each trihe has, moreover, some particular ohject which plavs the chiel part in the shamanistic
Gmelin,|a| descrihine the Tuneus shaman's costume, savs that over the usual shamanistic earment
an apron, adorned with iron, is also worn, his stockines, likewise remarkahle, are made ol skin
|·. S|omonjsm jn Sjberjo, p. 86.
a. Pejse Jvrc| Sjbjrjen, ii, ·o¸.|
ornamented with iron. Amone the Gilvak and the Olchi it is the shaman's eirdle which is ol the
ereatest sienilicance,|·| amone the Burvat,|a| the horse-staves, 8c. Iron and copper ohjects seem
also to he especiallv associated with the Neo-Siherians.
The whole costume with its appurtenances used durine shamanistic perlormances throuehout
Siheria has, accordine to Mikhailowski,|¸| a threelold sienilicance.
·. The shaman wishes to make a prolound impression on the eves ol the people hv the
eccentricitv ol his costume.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸a a - -
a. The rineine ol the hells and the noise ol the drum impress their sense ol hearine.
¸. Iinallv, a svmholic meanine is attached to these accessories and adornments, a meanine known
onlv to helievers, especiallv to the shamans, and closelv connected with the relieious conceptions
ol shamanism.
Thus Mikhailowski. But this interpretation does not hrine out the whole importance ol the
relation ol these ohjects to the spiritual world. Thev are ol ereat importance, lor the spirits will
not hear the voice ol the shaman unless the rieht dress and implements are used, and the drum
heaten, thev are sacred hecause ol their contact with a supernatural and olten daneerous power.
Beine sacred, these accessories must not he used hv anv one hut a shaman, otherwise thev are
impotent to produce anv result. It is onlv a eood shaman, a real one, who can possess the lull
shaman's dress.
Amone the Palaeo-Siherians it is usuallv the shaman himsell who makes all accessories, and that
onlv when the spirits eive their permission. Amone the natives ol Altai it is not all shamans who
have the rieht to wear monxoI (the coat) and the owl-skin cap.|¡|
Amone the Yakut even the hlacksmith who undertakes the ornamentation ol the costume, must
have inherited the rieht, 'Il the hlacksmith who makes a shamanistic ornament has not a sullicient
numher ol ancestors, il he is not surrounded on all sides hv the noise ol hammerine and the elow
ol lire, then hirds with crooked claws and heaks will tear his heart in pieces.'|¡| Ior this
|·. Schrenck. T|e Noijves o| i|e Amvr Covnirx, iii, ·a¡-6.
a. Aeapitoll and Khanealoll, Moierjo|s |or i|e SivJx o| S|omonjsm jn Sjberjo, p. ¡¸.
¸. S|omonjsm, p. ·a.
¡. Potanin, SIeic|es o| Nori|Vesiern Mongo|jo, iv, ¡¸.
¡. Sieroszewski, T|e YoIvi, p. 6¸a.|
reason the hlacksmith's vocation comes next in importance to the shaman's. In modern times it is
practicallv impossihle amone the Yakut lor the shaman's coat to he made, since there is now no
class ol hereditarv hlacksmiths. In his description ol the Tuneus shaman's earment, Gmelin relates
how the shaman whom he saw had no cap hecause the old one was hurnt and the spirits would
not erant him a new one.|·| Ol the Burvat shamans he ohserves that manv ol them do not possess
drums, since the spirits with. hold permission to make them, and two lone sticks which are
struck crosswise aeainst each other are therelore suhstituted at the perlormance.|a| Mikhailowski
quotes the ahove statement in explanation ol the lact that Khanealoll had seen onlv one drum
amone the Burvat shamans.
'With the deeeneration ol shamanism', savs Mikhailowski, 'the numher ol people who know how
to prepare the sacred instrument with due reeard to maeical custom is decreasine.' |¸| This,
however, is not the true explanation ol the disappearance ol the drum amone the Burvat, lor the
importance ol the other chiel Burvat accessorv, the horse-staves, which demand equal care in the
makine, must also he taken into account. Without them the shaman cannot perlorm anv ol the
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸¸ ¸ - -
principal rites. Thev are usuallv made ol hirch-wood, no one hut a shaman who has passed his
lilth consecration heine allowed to use iron horse-staves.|¡| The Lapps take ereat care ol their
drum and keep it covered up with lurs. No woman mav touch it.
A. Pa|aeo-Siberians.
T|e C|vIc|ee. Amone Palaeo-Siherians there are no strict reeulations as to the shape and qualitv
ol the shaman's dress. Orieinalitv ol costume is what is most soueht alter, and Boeoras tells us that
the Chukchee shamans sometimes adopt some old coat hroueht lroin the American shore. 'The
Chukchee have nothine similar to the well-known tvpe ol coat covered with lrinees and imaees,
which is in eeneral use amone the Yakut and Tuneus, and which prohahlv was horrowed lrom
the latter hv the Yukaehir and perhaps also hv the Kamchadal.'|¡|
The ahsence ol a peculiar shaman's dress amone the Chukchee
|·. Op. cit., P. ·o¸.
a. These are Prohahlv what are called hv later writers 'horse-staves'.
¸ Op. cit., p. 68.
¡. Klenientz, E. P. E., p. ·6.
¡. The Chukchee, pp. ¡¡·-8.|
mav he accounted lor hv the lact that the shamans perlorm their ceremonies in the darkness ol
the inner room ol the house, in an atmosphere so hot and stilline that thev are ohlieed to take oll
their coats and to shamanize with the upper part ol the hodv quite naked.
The onlv shamanistic earments that Boeoras speaks ol are a coat and a cap. 'As lar as I know,' he
savs, 'amone the other neiehhourine trihes also lemale shamans have no outward distineuishine
mark, nor do thev use the special shamanistic earh which is assiened onlv to the male shamans.'|·|
Alter this statement the custom amone certain trihes ol the adoption hv the male shaman ol the
clothes and manner ol a woman appears still more stranee. The shamanistic coat is characterized
hv a lrinee round the sleeves a little ahove the openine, or round the neck a little helow the
collar. This coat mav he adopted hv the shaman or hv the patient. Besides the lrinee there are slits
ornamented with cured leather. 'These slits and lrinees are usuallv said to represent the curves
and ziezaes ol the Milkv Wav.' |a|
But il we rememher the manv other wavs in which the Chukchee shaman imitates the Tuneus
shaman, we mav conclude that hoth slits and lrinees in the shamanistic coat are hut another
instance ol the same imitation. The earment represented in Boeoras's hook has in lront ol it an
imaee ol ieiIexvn, that is, 'vital lorce', which resides in the heart and assumes its lorm. It is made
like a leather hall and lilled with reindeer-hair. The other lieure, likewise ol leather, represents a
reIIen, or 'assistine' spirit ol the shaman.|¸|
The shamanistic cap is also supplied with lrinees, with a tassel on the top and a lone douhle tassel
on the lelt side. The tassels are ol the tvpe adopted lor maeic purposes, that is, thev are lormed ol
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸¡ ¡ - -
alternatine pieces ol white and hlack lur. 'Another cap with the openine on top, and likewise
lrineed and tasselled, was used hv the shaman as a remedv aeainst headache.' |¡|
In addition to these earments, the Chukchee shaman uses in his perlormances manv small
instruments, such as the knile, the handle, ol which is emhellished with maeical ohjects, and a
small llat piece ol ivorv, which is said to he usuallv emploved when cuttine open a hodv. The
ivorv ol the shaman, 'Scratchine-Woman', had three
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡¡8.
a Op. cit., p. ¡¡o.
¸. Ihid.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡6c.|
leather imaees lastened to it. 'One was said to represent a Ie|e lrom the ¨direction¨ ol the
darkness, with the arms loneer than the lees. The middle imaee with onlv one arm and one lee,
and with the two eves one ahove the other, represented the Ie|e |vmeivn. The third imaee
represented a crawline ¨spell¨ sent hv an enemv ol the shaman, who interecpted it on the wav
and thorouehlv suhdued it so that it heean to do his hiddine.'|·| These dillerent amulets, the lorm
ol pendants and tassels, are made ol skin and heads hv the shaman himsell, and are lastened to
various parts ol the hodv or dress. Such are also the 'round patches ol skin, olten with a tassel in
the centre',|a| which are considered hiehlv ellective amulets amone the Chukchee, the Korvak,
and the Asiatic Eskimo. Thev are sewn to the coat, on the hreast or on the shoulders, or aeainst
the allected part ol the hodv. An imaee ol the 'euardian' is placed in the middle, and is olten
replaced hv an ornamental lieure ol a woman, ol a dancine man, or ol a warrior. These ohjects, as
well as those alreadv mentioned, serve hoth a maeical and an ornamental purpose.
The most important ohject in shamanistic perlormances all over Siheria is the drum. Thus the
Chukchee use the drum which is common to hoth Asiatic and American Eskimo.
The drum used hv the Reindeer and Maritime Chukchee is dillerent lrom that adopted in north-
western Asia hv the Yakut, Tuneus, Korvak, Kamchadal, and Yukaehir, which is rather ol a
southern tvpe.
The southern drum is laree and somewhat oval in shape, and is held hv lour loose hands, which
are lastened to the hoop ol the drum on the inner side. The other ends ol these hands meet in the
middle, where thev are tied to a small wheel or a cross, which is without anv other support.
When these are erasped hv the hand the drum hanes looselv, and mav he shaken and its position
chaneed at will. The drum-stick is made ol wood and covered with skin or with cured leather.
The Chukchee drum has a wooden handle|¸| which is lashed with sinews to the wooden hoop.
The diameter ol the hoop, which is nearlv circular in shape, is lrom ¡c to ¡c centimetres. The
head is made ol verv thin skin, usuallv the dried skin ol a walrus's stomach. In order to stretch the
skin it is moistened with water or wine, and the edee is then tied with sinew cord. The ends ol
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡66.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸¡ ¡ - -
a. Op. cit., p. ¡68.
¸. Accordine to Mr. Henrv Ballour this shows Eskimo inlluence.|
this cord are lastened to the handle. The drum is verv lieht weiehine lrom hall a pound to a
pound and a hall. The drumstick varies accordine to its purpose. It is either a narrow, lieht strip
ol whalehone lrom ¸c to ¡c centimetres lone, or a piece ol wood lrom 6c to ·c centimetres lone,
which is sometimes adorned with lur tassels. The lormer is used durine the maeical perlormances
held in the inner room at nieht, the latter durine ceremonials perlormed in the outer tent durine
the dav.|·|
When the lamilv is movine lrom place to place, the cover ol the drum is removed, lolded, and
lastened to the hoop to he replaced when needed. In the winter house the drum remains in lront
ol the sleepine-place, and in the summer tent it hanes near the sacred lire-hoard.
T|e KorxoI. The shaman accessories ol the Korvak, another Palaeo-Siherian trihe, are descrihed
hv ¹ochelson as lollows. 'The Korvak shamans have no drums ol their own, thev use the drums
heloneine to the lamilv in whose house the shamanistic perlormance takes place. It seems that
thev wear no special dress, at least the shamans whom I had occasion to ohserve wore ordinarv
One emhroidered jacket. which was sold to ¹ochelson as an Alutor shaman's dress, is verv much
like the ordinarv man's dancine-jacket used durine the whale ceremonv, hut more elahorate. The
Korvak drum helones not to the shaman hut to the lamilv. It is used hoth as a musical instrument
and as a sacred ohject in the household. Evervhodv who pleases can heat the drum, hut there is
usuallv one competent person who knows how to shamanize with it.
The Korvak drum, xxoj, is oval in shape and covered with reindeer-hide on one side onlv, its
diameter heine ·¸ centimetres. The drum-stick is made ol thick whalehone, wider at the end
with which the drum is struck, and this end is covered with the skin ol a woll's tail.
Inside the drum at lour points in the rim a douhle cord ol nettle lihre is lastened and joined
helow to lorm the handle. These cords run towards one side ol the drum. On the top ol the
inside rim is attached an iron rattle. ¹ochelson savs that this custom ol attachine the rattle has
heen horrowed lrom the Tuneus and that not all Korvak drums possess it.|¸|
|·. Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, pp. ¸¡6-·.
a. The Korvak, pp. ¡¡-¡.
¸. Op. cit. P. ¡6|
T|e Komc|oJo| lIie|men). Amone the Kamchadal there is apparentlv no shamanistic earment or
drum. Two earlv travellers to their countrv, Steller and Krasheninnikoll, sav that evervhodv,
especiallv women, could shamanize, and hence this occupation was not prolessional enoueh to
demand a special dress.
T|e YvIog|jr. The Yukaehir drum is a roueh oval. It is covered with hide on one side onlv. Inside
the drum there is an iron cross near the centre, which serves as a handle. The ends ol the cross are
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸6 6 - -
lastened with straps to the rim, to which lour iron rattles are attached.|·| There is a ereat
similaritv hetween the Yukaehir and the Yakut drum, not onlv in the iron rattles, iron cross, and
eeneral shape, hut also in the small protuherances on the outer surlace ol the rim, which
accordine to the Yakut represent the horns ol the shaman's spirits. The stick is covered with the
skin ol a reindeer's lee. In Yukaehir traditions the drum without metallic additions is still
traceahle, the iron pieces havine heen horrowed lrom the Yakut.
The Yukaehir word lor drum is xo|gj|, which means 'lake', that is, the lake into which the shaman
dives in order to descend into the shadow-world.|a|
T|e EsIjmo. This is verv much like the conception ol the Eskimo, the souls ol whose shamans
descend into the lower world ol the eoddess Sedna. The Eskimo drums are not laree, the lareest
are to he lound at Hudson Bav. Thev are either svmmetricallv oval or round, and a wooden
handle is lastened to the rim. ¹. Murdoch|¸|, savs that such drums are used hv the Eskimo lrom
Greenland to Siheria. The Eskimo as well as the Chukchee heat the lower part ol the drum with
the stick. The Korvak drum also is struck lrom helow, and is held in a slantine position. Other
Asiatic drums are mostlv heaten in the centre. Amone the Indians livine south ol the Eskimo we
lind hroad-rimmed drums used lor purposes ol shamanism, as well as in dancine-houses.|¡|
T|e Cj|xoI. The most important accessories ol the Gilvak shaman are the drum, Ios, and the
shaman's eirdle, xongvo. Schrenck eives us the lollowine description ol them. 'One nieht when I
was sittine in a tent in the villaee ol Yrri, thev hroueht in two shamans' drums and other
accessories, and at mv request
|·. Ihid.
a. Op. cit., P. ¡o.
¸. A Pojni Borrow EsIjmo, ·88·-8, p. ¸8¡.
¡. ¹ochelson, The, Korvak, p. ¡8.|
thev allowed me to he present at the preparation lor the ceremonv, Iirst ol all the drum was
heated hv the lire, to make the hide taut, so that the sound mieht he more sonorous.|·| The drum
was made ol the skin ol a eoat or reindeer, and whilst it was heine prepared the shaman made
readv. He took oll his outer earment, put on the so-called IosIo, a short apron, and tied round his
head a hand ol erass, the end ol which hune over his shoulders like a tress ol hair. Then he took
the shaman's leather eirdle, with manv iron plates,|a| copper hoops, and other metal pendants,
which produce a loud clankine noise durine the shamanistic dances.' This eirdle is called in Olcha
dialect xongvo. Its chiel pendant is a laree copper disk with a small handle ornamented in reliel,
showine Manchu inlluence, this circle, called io|e, makes the most important sound. There are
also manv iron links called iosso, and manv irreeular pieces ol iron called Ixjre, which make a verv
loud noise, a lew rolled iron plates called Iongoro, and, linallv, some small copper hells without
toneues, called IongoIio. When the eirdle is put on all these ohjects hane toeether at the hack.
This shamanistic eirdle is ol considerahle weieht.|¸|
Althoueh the Gilvak helone to the Palaeo- Siherians, the metal accessories seem to he ol Tuneus
oriein, as are some other leatures ol their culture. We read in Gmelin's |¡| description ol the
costume ol a Tuneus shaman that he wears over the ordinarv dress an apron ornamented with
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸· · - -
iron. This sueeests that this apron-lorm ol the shaman's coat was horrowed either hv the Gilvak
lrom the Tuneus, or vice versa.
B. The Neo-Siberians.
Amone the Neo-Siherians all their philosophv ol lile is represented svmholicallv in the drum, and
ereat sienilicance is also attached to various parts ol their dress.
T|e YoIvi. Amone the Yakut even those who, like the hlacksmith, help in the adornment ol the
shaman's earment, occupv a hall-maeical position, heine credited with 'peculiar lineers '. |¡| The
hereditarv hlacksmiths have tools with ' souls', jc|c|x|oI|, which can eive out sounds ol their
own accord. The hlacksmiths
|·. Exactlv the same preparations are mentioned hv ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI, p. ¡6.
a. Compare the leather apron hune with jineline iron pieces worn hv Manchu shamans.
|Sueeestion ol Mr. Henrv Ballour.|
¸. Schrenck, op. cit., iii. ·a6.
¡. Op. cit., p. ·o¸.
Sieroszewski, T|e YoIvi, p. 6¸a.|
are those who approach most nearlv to the shaman in their ollice, and are, in a wav, related to
them. 'The hlacksmith and the shaman are ol one nest', savs a proverh ol the Kolvma district,
cited hv Sieroszewski. 'The smith is the elder hrother ol the shaman' is another savine quoted hv
Troshchanski. Blacksmiths can sometimes cure, eive advice, and loretell the luture, hut their
knowledee is simplv a matter ol cleverness and does not possess maeical value. The prolession ol
hlacksmith is mostlv hereditarv, especiallv in the north, in the ninth eeneration the hlacksmith
lirst acquires certain supernatural qualities, and the loneer his line ol descent, the ereater his
qualities. The spirits are eenerallv alraid ol the iron hoops and ol the noise made hv the smith's
hellows. In the district ol Kolvma the shaman would not shamanize until Sieroszewski had
removed his case ol metal instruments, and even then attrihuted his had luck to them. 'The
spirits are alraid ol the hlacksmith (Sieroszewski), and that is whv thev do not appear at mv
The shaman's dress, accordine to Sieroszewski, consists chiellv ol a coat. It is ol cowhide, so short
in lront that it does not reach the knees, hut touchine the eround at the hack. The edees and the
surlace ol this coat are ornamented at the hack with dillerent ohjects, each havine its own name,
place, and meanine. The shaman's coat, which is not an indispensahle part ol the ritual costume
arnone Palaeo-Siherians, is most elahorate amone the Neo-Siherians.
Lineuisticallv also there is a curious point connected with the terms lor coat and drum. While the
drum has a common name (with dialectic dillerences) amone most Neo-Siherians, iünür, iüngür,
8c., the term lor the shaman's coat varies. Ivmv, erenj, monxoI.|a| This seems to show that the
ceremonial coat is a comparativelv newer invention than the ceremonial drum.|¸|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸8 8 - -
Sieroszewski |¡| eives us an account ol the meanine ol the coat ornamentation, which he heard
lrom in old Yakut. It is as lollows.
·. Küngeio (the sun), a round, smooth, shinine disk, the size ol a small saucer, haneine hetween.
the shoulders, on a short strap ol leather which passes throueh the hole in the middle ol the disk.
|·. lhid.
a. Wierhicki, A|iojon Djcijonorx, p. ¡8·.
¸. Troshchanski, op. cit., P. ·¸·.
¡. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6¸a.
¡. Troshchanski (p. ·¡¸) savs that accordine to Piekarski there is no such word is Iüngeio, it is, he
savs, Iünösö, or Iüsönö, hut the meanine ol Iünösö is uncertain. However, Troshchanski thinks
that the Yakut word Iün-sun'--is not etvmoloeicallv connected with Iünösö. Khudvakoll
translates the Yakut word Iüsönö as'hell'. Accordine to Katanoll, Iüsönö means (·) 'oracular time'
(:), or (a) 'iron circle' lastened to the shaman's coat and representine the sun.|
a. OjbonKüngo (hole-in-the-ice sun), a disk ol the same shape and size as the lirst, hut with a
lareer hole in the middle. it hanes ahove or helow the lirst plate on a lone leather strap.|·|
¸. KonJej Ix|on, rolls ol tin ahout the size ol a thumh, hut loneer, haneine at the hack on the
metal rines or loops.
¡. C|j||jrxi Ix|on, llat plates as lone as lineers, haneine in ereat numhers at the hack, ahove the
¡. .Hobo, copper hells without toneues, suspended helow the collar, like a crow's eee in size and
shape and havine on the tipper part a drawine ol a lish's head. Thev are tied to the leather straps
or to the metal loops.
6. Bjjrgüne, two round llat disks, similar to those which adorn the woman's cap, ivsIoio, hut
without anv desien on them, thev are tied like an epaulet on the shaman's shoulders.
·. Ojogos ijmjrjo, two plates ahout the hreadth ol lour lineers and a little shorter, lastened on
hoth sides ol the hodv.
8. Tobxiovo, two lone plates two lineers hroad, which are lastened to hoth sleeves.
o. Amögxoi, obogxio ömöijoi (in manv places called emc|ei), a copper plate as lone as the lirst
lineer and hall as wide as the palm ol the hand. It is covered either with a drawine ol a man, 'with
leet, hands, head, nose, mouth, eves, and ears',|a| or with an eneravine in reliel on a copper
medallion, havine a man's lieure in the middle.
'Onlv a hlacksmith who has nine eenerations hehind him can,
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¸ ¸o o - -
|·. Troshchanski (p. ·¡¡) converts this term into ojbonIünösöiö (hole-in-the-ice circle). Künösöiö is the eenitive ol
Iünösö, the eenitive lorm is used to show that these ohjects helone to the shaman's coal. Priklonski (T|ree Yeors jn
i|e YoIvisI Terrjiorx, ·8o·, p. ¡¡) calls it Iü|orIüsonoi (happv, jovous sun), which, accordine to Troshchanski (p.
·¡¡), is also wrone. He savs it oueht to he Iü|ör Iüsönö (lauehine circle). Potanin (op. cit., iv. ¡·) states that amone
the Moneols Ol north-western Asia, there are sewn on the hack ol the shaman's coat two round copper disks, called
hv the Altaians Ivsvngx, or Iv|erIvsvngx, and sometimes two others on the hreasts. Tretvakoll (op. cit., p. a·¡)
inlorms us that the shamans ol Dolean have a disk haneine on the hreast, which represents the chiel evil spirit called
Ivgonno, Troshchanski (op. cit., p. ·¡¡), however, sueeests that Ivgonno is simplv the Yakut Iüsönö, and is not a
term lor an evil spirit, hut lor the disk.
a. Sieroszewski quotes a native description ol it, op. cit., p. 6¸¡.|
without daneer to himsell lrom the spirits, make an ömögxoi, a copper plate such as has heen
descrihed, which the shaman, when he heeins to shamanize, hanes on his hreast.'|·| What exactlv
ömögxoi means, whether it is a personal or an impersonal power, it is dillicult to determine. We
shall eo on to review the various relerences to this suhject, since the word ömögxoi is used in the
douhle sense ol (·) an invisihle power and (a) ol a visihle svmhol. In this chapter we shall conline
ourselves to the latter. The ahsence ol ömögxoi dillerentiates the less important shamans, called
IennjIj oxvvn, lrom those who possess it and who are known as orio oxovn. The power ol those
in partial possession ol ömögxoi varies accordine to 'the streneth ol their ömögxoi'|a| The ereat
shamans are those whose 'spirit-protector was sent them hv Ulu-Toven himsell' (ömögxoijijo|
v|xioör v|vioönion ongorv|o|).|¸|
Descrihine the shaman in action, Sieroszewski¡ savs that the shaman implores the assistance ol his
ömögxoi and ol other protectine spirits', and it is onlv when the ömögxoi descends upon the
shaman that he heeins his lrenzied dances.
Whenever a lamilv numhers a shaman amone its memhers, it continues to do so, lor alter his
death the ömögxoi seeks to re-emhodv itsell in some one heloneine to the same clan (oxovso).|¡|
'Amögxoi ', savs Sieroszewski in another place,|6| is a heine quite apart, in most cases it is the soul
ol a departed shaman, sometimes it is one ol the secondarv supreme heines.'
The human hodv cannot endure the continuous presence ol a power equal to that ol the ereat
eods, hence this spirit-protector (il ömögxoi can he so called) resides not within, hut close heside
the shaman, and comes to his assistance at critical moments, or whenever he needs him.|·|
The shaman can see and hear onlv with the help ol his ömögxoi said the shaman Tiuspiut to
Possession ol the ömögxoi does not in anv wav depend upon the shaman, it comes either hv an
accident or hv a decree lrom ahove. Tiuspiut ohtained his ömögxoi (ol Tuneus oriein) quite
The ereat shamans at death take their ömögxoi with them, and thus chanee into heavenlv heines,
most ol whom are ex-shamans,
|·. Op. cit., p. 6¸a.
a. Op. cit., p. 6a8.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡c c - -
¸ Ihid.
¡. Op. cit., pp. 6¡a-¸.
¡. Op. cit., p. 6a¡.
6. Op. cit., p. 6a6.
· Op. cit., p. 6a·.
8. Ihid.|
il the ömögxoi does not depart in this wav, then sooner or later it will show itsell on the earth.
Troshchanski savs that the most important ornament ol the Yakut shaman's coat is ömögxoi,
which represents a man. On one ol the coats that he reproduces there is an ömögxoi on the lelt
side made ol molten copper. On another coat ömögxoi were op. hoth sides ol the hreast and
made ol tin.|·|
Amögxoi is the sien ol the shaman's vocation, which is alwavs eiven hv the old shaman to the
new. It is quite possihle, thinks Troshchanski, that it represents the shaman's ancestor and
Speakine ol the preparatorv staee ol the shaman, Troshchanski savs that the Yakut shaman is
taueht hv an older shaman, who initiates him hv suspendine round his neck the ömögxoi. This
svmhol is taken awav lrom the shaman who no loneer wishes to shamanize. An old hlind Yakut,
however, told Sieroszewski (p. 6a¡) how he eave up his shaman's vocation, thinkine it a sin, and
althoueh a powerlul shaman removed the ömögxoi sien lrom him, nevertheless the spirits made
him hlind.
In the Moneolian laneuaee ömögö|Jzj sienilies the lieure ol the protective eenius ol the house,
lamilv, and eoods, and is made ol tin. Accordine to Katanoll, this word is derived lrom ämäeän,
·c. Bo|xIijmjr (the lish), a plate a metre lone, two lineers wide, made in the lorm ol a lish with
head, lins, tail, and scales. It hanes on a lone leather strap. In some places, like the district ol
Kolvma, it draes on the eround to entice the secondarv spirits, which run alter it and trv to catch
··. C|oron, small hollow copper halls, lastened to the ends ol lone leather straps reachine to the
heels and haneine like a lrinee lrom the lower edee ol the coat. This lrinee is called bxixrxs (the
The coat is plain in lront, and lastens on the hreast with leather straps, and under the chin with a
huckle in the lorm ol a colt's toneue (Iv|vn ix| IvrJvI). On the lront ol the coat are sewn lieures
ol animals, hirds, lishes, various disks, imaees ol the sun, moon, and stars, and also some iron
representations ol the human skeleton and howels.
In the north, in case ol the ahsence ol this costume, the shaman
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡· · - -
|·. Troshchanpki, op. cit., p. ·¡c.
a. Ihid.
¸. Op. cit., p. ·¡·.
¡. Sieroszewski, p. 6¸¡.|
wears the woman's songxnjo|, a coat ol call's skin, with the hair outside, on the leet ol which are
occasionallv hune some ol the most important iron accessories, like the two 'suns' (or sun and
moon), the lish and the bürgüne, sometimes two round circles, which represent the hreasts, are
hune in the lront.
A eood shaman's dress requires ahout ¸¡ to ¡c pounds ol iron.
In the north the shaman wears a woman's travelline cap with ear-llaps, hut this is not to he seen
in more southern reeions, where the shaman is in most cases hareheaded.
Accordine to eeneral heliel, the iron and the jineline pendants ol the shaman's coat have the
power to resist rust, and possess a soul-jc|c|jie.|·|
The shaman wears his maeical coat next his skin, and receives it lrom the hand ol a Iv|vrvIsvio
(paee, assistant), i. e. the man whose dutv it is to shout durine the perlormance. seb¹ IjrJjI¹ c|oo¹
o o¹ ('well' true' choo' o o''), and who helps the shaman in other wavs, such as preparine the
The Yakut drum is called, accordine to Sieroszewski, tuneur,|a| and accordine to Troshchanski,|¸|
iünür or Jünür.
The drum is alwavs eee-shaped, and is covered with the hide ol a voune hull. Its loneest diameter
is ¡¸ cm., the width ol the rim ·· cm., and the leneth ol the stick ¸a cm. The wider part ol the
stick is covered with cowhide. Accordine to ¹ochelson, there are twelve raised representations ol
horns on the drum.|¡| Sieroszewski |¡| savs that thev are alwavs lound in odd numhers, ·, o, or ··.
The cross inside is attached to the rim hv means ol straps. Little hells, jineline trinkets, and other
rattles ol iron and hone are attached inside round the rim, especiallv in the places where the
straps are lastened.
The term iüngür- seems to he a universal name lor the drum amone most ol the Neo-Siherian
trihes, sometimes i chanees to J, eivine the lorm Jüngür.
In Manchu the drum is called ivnIvn, in Moneol Jüngür, in Altaian tuneur, in Uriankhai JonIür,
in Soïot and Karaeass iüngvr.
Amone the Yakut, as has heen said, there are two names, iünür and JonIür. Maak|¡| records that
the Yakut ol Viluv
|·. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6¸¡.
a. Op. cit., p. 6¸¡.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡a a - -
¸. Op. cit., p. ·a8.
¡. T|e KorxoI, pp. ¡6-·.
¡. Sieroszewski, p. 6¸¡.
6. T|e Vj|vxsI Djsirjci o| i|e YoIvsI Terrjiorx, iii. ··8.|
explained to him that 'the shamans in addition to the tunur (drum) have also a strineed
instrument, Jünür.
The word iünür amone the Yakut means also kinship throueh marriaee. iünüröiör, 'match-
Troshchanski|·| thinks that this douhle meanine is not accidental, and that as the shaman was
orieinallv the head ol a lamilv, the drum mieht he reearded as the hond ol unitv hetween the
shaman and the communitv, as well as hetween the shaman and the spirits.
Besides the drum, the shaman uses two other musical instruments, one ol which is a strineed
instrument like the Russian halalaika (a kind ol hanjo), the other an instrument like that known
as a jews' harp, a small lrame with a lone wooden or metal toneue, which is moved hv the lineer,
the narrow end ol the instrument is held hetween the teeth, so that the mouth acts as a soundine-
Amone the Yakut the jews' harp, called |omvs (|omxs), is apparentlv not a shaman's instrument,
thoueh the shamans ol other Neo-Siherians have heen known to use it.
Amone the Burvat lrom Irkutsk, this instrument is called I|vr, and is used onlv hv the
shamans.|a| This is also true ol the Uriankhai. The Soïot call it Iomvs, hut the Altaians (usine the
term in the narrowest sense), who also have the word Iomvs, use it to desienate the strineed
instrument resemhline the Russian halalaika, which onlv shamans plav.|¸| The Kireis call the
shaman's drum Iobvz.|¡| Accordine to Wierhicki, the Altaians use the two-strineed Iobxs or
Iomvs as an accompaniment to the recital ol heroic tales.|¡|
There are sometimes minor shamanistic perlormances without the drum and without the special
earments. The shaman sits in his evervdav dress on a small chair in the middle ol the room and
holds in his hands a hranch ornamented with hunches ol white horsehair, ol which there mav he
three, live, or seven, hut never an even numher. The lire is not put out lor these perlormances,
and some ol the horsehair is thrown on to it. The shaman does not dance, hut sines and whirls
|·. Op. cit., p. ·ao.
a. Katanoll, A 1ovrnex io Korogoss jn :8go, I.R.G.S., ·8o·, p. ac·.
¸. Wierhicki, A Djcijonorx o| i|e TvrIjc Longvoge, p. ·¡·.
¡. Troshchanski, p. ·¸c.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡¸ ¸ - -
¡. T|e Noijves o| i|e, A|ioj, p. ·¸o.
¡. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6¸¡.|
Troshchanski |·| thinks that, amone the Yakut, white and hlack shamans have dillerent coats.
The coat ol the white shaman has no animal pictures on it, hecause their spirit-protectors helone
to the ojx (eood spirits), which are not svmholized hv animal pictures. The coat ol the hlack
shaman should not (accordine to Troshchanski) have representations ol the sun, lor these are
peculiar to white shamans. The drums ol the two shamans also diller. When Troshchanski
showed an old Yakut woman, who knew a ereat deal ahout the shaman dress, a certain drum (op.
cit., lie. II, b), she at once recoenized it as a white shaman drum, since horsehair was lastened
round the iron rim inside it.|
Trihal and clan dillerences exist in the shaman's coat, and it would he dillicult to sav whether a
sharp line can he drawn hetween hlack and white shamanistic earments. Troshchanski is much
inlluenced hv this conception ol dualism, hut lrom the materials in our possession, a lew verv
imperlect photoeraphs, it would he unwise to come to a decision. It should he remarked,
however, that neither ol the writers on the Palaeo-Siherians in descrihine shaman instruments
makes this division, and hut lew ol the writers on the Neo-Siherians.
Potanin |a| descrihes how, on a shaman's coat ol the Uriankhai trihe, amone other properties,
there was a small doll with a minute drum in its lelt hand. On the same strine to which the doll
was tied there was another small lieure ol an animal resemhline the sacrilicial animal ol the real
shaman. The sienilicance ol this is, ol course, ohvious. The shaman's ancestor resides in a svmholic
lorm in the shaman's coat. Thus the small doll ol the Uriankhai shaman's coat takes the place ol
the ömögxoi the Yakut, il we are to take ömögxoi as the svmhol ol the shaman's ancestor.
The skeleton lieurine on the shaman's coat in Troshchanski's hook must prohahlv also he ascrihed
to the shaman's ancestor, lor quite near it are sewed hawks' wines, and none hut a shaman can llv
or he represented hv wines.
One mieht suppose lrom what has heen said ahove that we have here to deal with three wavs ol
representine the shaman ancestor. hv the doll, the ämäevat, and the skeleton. It would he
interestine to know, however, whether or not the ämäevat is to he lound side hv side with either
ol the other svmhols. Il so, it
|·. Op. cit., p. ·¸¸.
a. Op. cit., iv. ·cc.|
is possihle that ämäevat is not a svmhol ol the ancestor spirit, hut has a meanine ol its own. On
the Yakut coat the skeleton exists independent ol ämäevat. On the Altaian coats descrihed hv
Potanin, the doll is lound side hv side with the ämäevat. Both Troshchanski and Sieroszewski
descrihe ämäevat as an indispensahle ornament ol everv shaman's coat.
The coat possesses an impersonal power ol itsell. It is said to hear the names ol ongor (Moneol)
and ionoro (Yakut) in addition to the classilied names lor the coat.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡¡ ¡ - -
Bv assumine this coat the shaman receives supernatural power, which allows him to eo to the
upper- and under-worlds to meet spirits and deal with them. It is called 'shaman's horse' amone
the Yakut.
The coat as a whole is a ionoro ol the shaman, and each svmholic picture on the coat is also his
ionoro, i.e. protector.|·|
Another interpretation ol the coat is eiven hv Pripuzoll.|a| The picture ol a perlorated sun and a
hall-moon, he savs, represents the dusk which reiens in the kinedom ol the spirits. The stranee
animals, lishes, and hirds which hane on the coat point to the monsters that are said to inhahit the
The iron chain haneine on the hack sienilies, accordine to some, the streneth ol the shaman's
power, and accordine to others, the rudder which he uses in his journevs throueh the spirit
countrv. The iron disks are there to delend the shaman lrom the hlows ol the hostile spirits.
Potanin|¸|, eives us an interestine description ol the shaman's earment amone the natives ol Altai
and north-western Siheria. Accordine to him, it is in comparativelv eood preservation amone the
natives ol Altai.
Noijves o| A|ioj. The shaman's coat is made ol eoat or reindeer hide. All the outer side is covered
with pendants ol varvine leneth in serpent lorm, and has pieces ol manv-coloured stull stitched
on to it. The pendants, which terminate in serpents' heads, hane lreelv. Bundles ol reindeer
leather straps are also attached here and there. The term monxoI, is applied hv the natives ol
Altai to the small pendants as well as to the coat as a whole.
There can lurther he lound on the coat various svmholic lieures and jineline pendants, such is
iron trianeles, a small how and
|·. Troshchanski, p. ·¸¡.
a. p. o¡.
¸. Op. cit., iv. ¡o-¡¡.|
arrow to lriehten hostile spirits, 8c. On the hack and sometimes on the lront ol the coat there are
sewed two copper disks. One Iom (shaman) had lour emptv tohacco-haes haneine on his coat
with imaeinarv tohacco inside, which he ollers to the spirits whilst he is wanderine in their
The collar is trimmed with owl's leathers. One Iom had, accordine to Potanin, seven little dolls
on his collar, which, Potanin was told, were heavenlv maidens.
A lew hells are sewed on here and there, the more prosperous shamans have -is manv as nine.
The rineine ol the hells, a Iom told Potanin, is the voice ol the seven maidens whose svmhols are
sewed to the collar calline to the spirits to descend to them.
The cap |·| ol the Altaian shaman is lormed ol a square piece ol the hide ol a reindeer call. On
one side there are two huttons and on the other two loops. On the top, hunches ol leathers are
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡¡ ¡ - -
sewed, and lrom the lower edee hanes a lrinee made ol strine and shell-lish. This is placed on the
head with the two sides huttoned to the hack, thus lormine a cvlindrical cap on the shaman's
head. Il the hide is hard, the top ol the cap with its leathers sticks up like a coronet.
Amone some shamans ol the Teleut, the cap is made ol hrown owl skin, the leathers remain as
ornaments, and sometimes also the hird's head.
It is not all shamans who can wear the monxoI and the owlskin cap. The spirits eenerallv
announce to the chosen man when he mav wear them.
Amone the Tartars ol Chern the shaman wears a mask (Ioc|o), with squirrels' tails lor evehrows
and moustaches. Amone the same people Yadrintzell noticed the use ol two crutches, one ol
them was a crook, the other was supposed to he a horse, similar to the horse-staves ol the Burvat.
All the drums which Potanin saw amone the natives ol Altai and north-western Moneolia were
round in shape.|a| Yadrintzell savs that the Tartars ol Chern have oval drums resemhline the eee-
shaped drum ol the east Siherians.
The Altai drum has a hoop as laree as the palm ol one's hand, covered on one side with hide.
Inside the drum there is vertical wooden stick and a horizontal iron c|orJ with rattles
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡a.
a. Op. cit., iv. ¡¡, 6·o.|
attached. The drum is held hv the wooden stick, and not at the intersection ol the stick and the
iron crosshar.
The wooden vertical stick is called bor hv the natives ol Altai. Amone other north-western trihes
it has various names. The bor has a man's head and leet at the two ends. The upper part is olten
carved, the eves, the nose, the mouth, and the chin heine cut with ereat exactness. The horizontal
iron stav is called hv the Altaians Irjs|, and lrom it hane various iron rattles called Ivngrv. The
numher ol Ivngrv varies accordine to the ahilitv ol the shaman. It is a euide to the quantitv ol
c|oxv (Potanin translates this word 'spirits', hut it seems rather to mean 'spiritual power)
possessed hv the shaman, since the more c|oxv the shaman possesses, the more Ivngrv are lound
in his drum.
Under the chin ol the lieure on the wooden har are lastened lone strips ol eaudv material called
xovosvo. Radloll|·| calls this xo|omo.
On the hide ol the drum, sometimes on hoth sides, sometimes on the inner side onlv, circles and
crosses and other lines are drawn with red dve.|a|
Some Altai drums have drawines ol animals on them, lilce those on the drums ol the North-
American Indians.|¸|
The drums ol the Chern and Kumandinsk Tartars diller lrom those ol the Altaians, instead ol
bor, Irjs|, and jineline plates there are here representations ol the two worlds, ahove and
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡6 6 - -
undereround, separated hv a horizontal line, which divides the drum into two parts, an upper and
a lower.|¡|
On the outer side ol the drum ol the Chern Tartars, pictures ol animals and plants are lound. On
the upper and lareer part an arch is drawn, with indications ol skv, inside ol which are two trees
with a hird on each. To the lelt ol the tree are two circles-the sun and the moon-lieht and
darkness. Below the horizontal line are pictures ol lroes, lizards, and snakes.|¡| These drawines
have a particular importance, since the svmhols descrihed show more than anv others the
shamanistic view ol the natural and the supernatural.
There is unlortunatelv verv little material ol a reliahle character, the studies ol Potanin and
Klementz heine the most valuahle. On the whole, it is sale to sav that the drums ol the natives ol
|·. Avs Sjbjrjen, ii. ·8.
a Potanin, iv. ¡c-o.
¸. ¹ochelson T|e KorxoI, i. ¡8-o.
¡. Potanin, op. cit., iv. 68c.
¡. Op. cit., iv. ¡¡-¡.|
north-west Asia, especiallv in the southern parts, are adorned with representations ol the upper
and lower worlds divided hv a horizontal line.|·|
The lollowine interpretation ol this same ornamentation is eiven hv Klementz in his studv ol the
drums peculiar to the neiehhourhood ol Minussinsk.|a| His inlormation was eiven him hv a Iom
ol hieh standine.
Althoueh hv no means all drums are ornamented in the same wav, vet in this account we mav
perceive certain traditional rules emhodvine the Altaian and Moneolian conception ol the
meanine ol the drum and its decoration.
A. The lower part ol the drum.
·. BojKozxn (painted in white), 'a rich hirch' -alludine to the hirches round which annual
sacrilicial ceremonies are held.
a. U|vgbojIozxn (in white)-two trees erowine in Ulukhan's countrv.
¸ and ¡. AIbogo ('white lroe') and Korobogo ('hlack lroe'), the servants ol U|vI|on.
¡. C|s|jixvs, spirits associated with seven nests and seven leathers.
6. C|s|jixIxz ('seven maids'), these hrine seven diseases on man.
·. U|vgere, to whom pravers are ollered lor the curine ol toothache and ol earache.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡· · - -
8. Oijmeze ('Mother ol the lire').
B. The upper part ol the drum.
·. Sovbonjr. The Iom translated this 'aurora' (whether with the meanine ol dawn or the aurora
horealis is impossihle to decide lrom Potanin's description).
a. IIeIorogvs, two hlack hirds, llvine as messeneers lrom the shaman to the s|oxions.
¡. Aboixvs (the hear's tooth).
¡. SvgxznxmIorogoi. Accordine to the Iom, this means 'the horses ol Ulu-khan'.
6. Kxzx|IjI|Io|n. to whom one pravs when heeinnine anv undertakine.
The other lieures drawn in white paint are animals, which Kvzvl-kikh-khan is huntine.
|·. Mikhailowski, p. 68.
a. Txves o| Drvms o| i|e MjnjissjnsI Noijves, E. S. S. I. R. G. S., p. a6.|
Manv other authors also coniniont on this method ol dividine the pictures on the Neo-Siherian
drum. Wierhicki,|·| descrihine the iüngür ol the natives ol Altai, savs. 'On the outer side the hide
is painted with red ochre, on the upper part are represented the skv, a rainhow, sun, moon, stars,
horses, eeese, the Iom on a horse, and, on the lower part, the earth.'
Accordine to Dr. Iinsch's description |a| the drums ol the Samoved and ol the Oh-Ostvak are,
like the Altai drums, round in shape, hroad-rimined, covered on one side onlv, and have a
diameter ol lrom ¸c cm. to ¡c cm.
The Ostvak drums descrihed hv Potanin |¸| have the same division ol the drum into lower and
upper parts representine lower and tipper worlds, as amone the Tartars ol Chern.
T|e Bvrxoi. The Burvat shaman's costume was lirst descrihed hv Pallas.|¡| It heloneed to a lemale
shaman, who was accompanied hv her hushand and two other Burvat, each ol them holdine a
maeical drum.|¡| She hersell held in her hand two sticks, ornamented at the top end with a
carvine ol a horse's head surrounded hv small hells. |This implement is called hv recent travellers
'horse-staves'.| Irom the hack ol the shoulders reachine to the eround hune ahout thirtv snakes,
made ol white and hlack skin, in such a wav that the snakes seem to he composed ol white and
hlack rines. One ol the snakes was divided into three at the end, and was accounted indispensahle
to each Burvat lemale shaman. The cap was covered with an iron casque havine horns with three
hranches, projectine on hoth sides like those ol a deer.
Gmelin|¡|, saw a costume ol another old and revered lemale
|·. The Natives ol the Altai, p. ¡¡.
a. Iinsch, Pejse noc| VesiSjbjrjen, p. ¡¡c (Berlin, ·8·o), quoted hv ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI. p. ¡o.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡8 8 - -
¸. Op. cit., iv. 68c.
¡. Pejse Jvrc| versc|jeJene Provjnzen Jes rvssjc|en Pejc|es, ····, pp.·ca-¸.
¡. The more recent accounts denv the existence ol the drum amone the Burvat. Khanealoll saw it
onlv once, and this was in the case ol a voune and inexperienced shaman. Klementz states that
the drum is verv seldom in use amone the Burvat. Nevertheless he savs. 'At ereat shaman
ceremonies, in which a shaman and his nine sons take part (some ol which the writer witnessed
on the estuarv ol the river Selenea, amone the Kuda, Burvat), one ol the assistants holds in his
hands a small tamhourine, hut neither the meanine ol the tamhourine nor the róle ol the assistant
is quite clear.' Curiouslv enoueh, Pallas, writine in the eiehteenth centurv, aerees with the
contemporarv witness in descrihine the assistants' use ol the drum.
6. ii. ··-·¸.|
shaman near Seleneinsk. Her costume was haneine in her xvrio, hut, accordine to her account,
was not complete. Amone other thines he mentions a hox, lull ol strips ol cloth, small stones,
thunderholts, 8c., which she used lor maeical purposes.|·| There was also a lelt hae lull ol various
lelt idols.
In the exhaustive work ol Aeapitoll and Khanealoll there is a description ol the old shaman
costume amone the Burvat-a costume ol a kind which, however, is verv rarelv to he met with at
present. Accordine to them, the coat (orgox), the cap, and the horse-staves (morini-khörhö are
the chiel appurtenances ol a shaman.
·. The orgox is ol white material lor the white shaman, and ol hlue lor the hlack shaman. Its shape
does not diller lrom that ol the ordinarv coat.'
Klementz|a|savs that the old-lashioned orgox was shorter than that ol the present dav.
The lront ol the coat is covered with metal lieures ol horses, lishes, hirds, 8c. The hack is covered
with twisted iron representine snakes, -with rattles haneine lrom them (s|oms|orgo),|¡| toeether
with a whole row ol little hells and tamhourine hells.
On the chest ahove the thin plates used to hane little shinine copper disks, and on the sleeves
were also hune thin iron plates, in imitation ol the hones ol the shoulder and lorearm. This eave
Gmelin the eround lor his assertion that two shamans who came to him lrom Nijine-Udinsk
resemhled chained devils.|¡|
a. The cap, which is peaked, is made ol lvnx skin, with a hunch ol rihhons on the top. Alter the
lilth consecration the shaman can wear the iron cap, it is composed ol a crown-like iron hoop
with two hall-hoops crossine each other, ahove which is an iron plate with two horn-like
In the place where the intersectine hoops are tied to the hoop round the head there are three
eroups ol I|ovboI|o,|6| or I|o|bogo, conical weiehts ol iron. Irom the hack ol the hoop hanes an
|·. Aeapitoll and Khanealoll (pp. ¡a-¡) call an identical hox s|jre.
a. Aeapitoll and Khanealoll, p. ¡a.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡o o - -
¸. E. P. E., p. ·6.
¡. Klementz uses the same native word s|oms|orxo lor (i) the rattles attached to the snakes on
the shaman's coat, and (ii) lor the conical iron weiehts lixed to the upper part ol the horse-staves,
hut he does not intimate whether this word has two meanines or not.
¡. Klementz states that the orgox is in some places now onlv put on alter death, lor hurial.
6. Klementz calls them s|oms|orgo, E. R E., p. ·6.|
chain composed ol lour links and endine in small ohjects resemhline a spoon and an awl.|·|
Klementz |a| calls this cap the metal diadem, 'consistine ol an iron rine with two convex arches,
also ol iron, crossine one another at rieht aneles, and with a lone jointed chain which hanes down
lrom the nape ol the neck to the heels-we know ol them onlv lrom the descriptions ol travellers
and lrom specimens preserved in a lew museums'.
¸. The horse-staves (morjnjI|orbo) are to he met with amone all the Burvat ol Baikal, hut amone
the Burvat ol Balaean thev are not used. Each Baikal shaman possesses two. Thev are made ol
wood or ol iron, hut the iron stall is onlv eiven to the shaman alter the lilth consecration, when
he also receives the iron cap. The wooden horse-staves are cut lor the novice the dav helore his
lirst consecration, lrom a hirch-tree erowine in the lorest where the shamans are huried. The
wood lor the horse-staves must he cut in such a wav that the tree shall not perish, otherwise it
would he a had omen lor the shaman.
This implement is 8c cm. lone, the upper part is hent and has a horse-head carved on it, the
middle part ol the stick lorms the knee-joints ol the horse, and the lower end is lashioned into a
Little hells, one ol which is lareer than the rest, are tied to the horse-staves. Likewise small
conical weiehts ol iron, I|ovboI|o, or I|o|bogo, hlue, white, vellow and red-coloured rihhons, and
strips ol ermine and squirrel lur. To make it look more realistic miniature stirrups are also
The iron horse-staves are not verv dillerent lrom the wooden ones. Thev represent the horses on
which the shaman rides to the upper and lower worlds.
Accordine to Khanealoll, it is in the drum that the horse, on which the shaman makes his llieht,
is svmholized. Khanealoll, however, also speaks ol the raritv ol the drum amone the Burvat. The
onlv drum which he saw amone them was ol the lorm and size ol a small sieve, and was covered
with horse-hide lastened to the hack with leather straps. He did not notice anv pictures either on
the outside or on the inside, hut the outside surlace, he savs, was dauhed with some white
|·. Aeapitoll and Khanealoll, op. cit., pp. ¡¸-¡.
a. E. P E., p. ·6.
¸. Aeapitoll and Khanealoll, op. cit., pp. ¡a-¡.|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡c c - -
Klenientz savs that the drum, I|ese, is verv little known amone the Burvat, who suhstitute the
horse-staves lor it, and that the little hell is sometimes also called I|ese, nevertheless, amone the
Moneol Shamanists and the Moneolized Uriankhai, the drum is in use.|·|
The Burvat Buddhists use in their divine services either drums covered on hoth sides with hide,
like those lound amone the North-American Indians, or those with hide on one side onlv. These
drums are round, and have leather handles attached to the outer edee ol the rim.|a|
Klementz mentions as the next accessorv ol the shaman the I|vr, a 'tunine-lork'('jews' liarp':),
with a wire toneue hetween the two side-pins, an implement lareelv in use amone shamanists. It
mav he met with, he savs, lrom the sources ol the Amur to the Ural, and lrom the Arctic Ocean
down to Tashkent. Here and there it is merelv a musical instrurnent.|¸|
On the shaman's hoots there were lormerlv sewed iron plates, hut these are no loneer in use.
The Olkhon Burvat, sav Aeapitoll and Khanealoll, have one other propertv, called s|jre. It is a
hox three and a hall leet lone and one loot deep, standine on lour lees, each two leet hieh. On the
hox are hune rihhons, hells, strips ol skin, and on one ol the lone sides dillerent lieures are carved
or painted in red. Usuallv on the rieht side is represented the sun, and on the lelt, the moon. The
sun is depicted as a wheel, and in the middle ol the moon there is a human lieure holdine a tree
in one hand. In the middle ol the lone side there are three imaees ol secondarv eods, one woman
and two men, in whose honour wine is sprinkled several times a vear. There are also war
implements-how and quiver and sword, and under each human lieure there is a horse. The s|jre
is used to hold horse-staves, drums, and other ritual implements. The shaman acquires the rieht
ol carrvine the s|jre alter the lilth consecration .|¡| It is asserted, savs Klementz,|¡| that with
everv new consecration up to the ninth, the heieht and other dimensions ol the s|jre increase.
Nil|6| mentions two thines more. obogo|Jex, a monstrous mask ol skin, wood, and metal, painted,
and ornamented with a ereat
|·. E. P. E., iii. p. ·6.
a. ¹ochellson, T|e KorxoI, p. ¡o.
¸. E. P. E., ihid.
¡. Aeavitoll and Khanealoll, pp. ¡¸-¡.
¡. E. P. E., ihid.
¡. Archhishop ol Yaroslav (BvJJ|jsm jn Sjberjo, ·8¡8),|
heard, and io|j, a metal lookine-elass with representations ol twelve animals on it, this is hune
round the neck and worn on the hreast, sometimes it is sewed on the shaman's coat.
Occasionallv the Burvat shaman has also a whip with hells, hut eenerallv all these implements
tend to disappear in modern times.
Two other ethical and lineuistic eroups, which, althoueh thev live onlv partlv in Siheria, vet
helone to the Neo-Siherians, are the Samoved and the Iinnic trihes, and a survev ol their shaman
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡· · - -
accessories is ol special interest in connexion with those ol the Moneolic, Turkic, and Tuneusic
The most important heloneine ol a ioJjbex (Samoved shaman) is his venzer (drum), which he
prepares accordine to a special set ol rules. He must kill a male reindeer-call with his own hands,
and prepare the skin in such a wav that no veins are lelt on it. In these preparations jnIo (i. e. a
woman), heine considered unclean, cannot assist.|·|
The drums, which are ornamented with metal disks and plates, and covered with transparent
reindeer hide, are round in shape and ol various sizes. The lareest drum seen hv Castren was
nearlv two leet in diameter and two and a hall inches in heieht.|a|
Accordine to Dr. Iinsch's description, the drums ol the Samoved and ol the Oh-Ostvak are like
the Altai drums, round, hroadrimmed, covered on one side onlv, and with a diameter ol lrom ¸c
cm. to ¡c cm.
The shaman's costume consists ol a chamois-leather coat called sombvrzjo, ornamented with red
cloth. Eves and lace are covered with a piece ol cloth, since the ioJjbex is supposed to penetrate
into the spirit-world with his inner sieht. Instead ol a cap there are two hands round his head to
keep the cloth over the lace in position. An iron disk hanes on his hreast.|¸|
In certain places the ioJjbex uses a cap with a visor, and over the leather coat jineline trinkets and
little hells and strips ol cloth ol various shades are hune. In this ornamentation the numher seven
plavs an important róle.|¡|
Amone the Lapps, the drum, Ionnvs or IvobJos, which is now hut an antiquarian curiositv,
plaved a most important part.|¡| It
|·. V. Islavin, T|e SomoxeJ, ·8¡·, pp. ··a-·¸.
a. Castren, Pejseerjnnervgen ovs Jen 1o|ren :8¡8:8¡¡ (Petershure, ·8¡¸), p. ·oa.
¸. Op. cit., pp. ·oa-¸.
¡. Islavin, op. cit., p. ··¸.
¡. Schellerus, Lovv|onJ (Könieshere, ·6·¡), p. ·¸·, 8c.|
was made ol hirch or pine wood, erown il possihle in a sunnv spot, since such a tree would he
acceptahle to the sun and the eood spirits. There are two kinds ol drum. One is composed ol a
wooden hoop, with two cross-pieces ol wood inside covered with hide, the other is an eee-
shaped llat hox, hollowed out ol the trunk ol a tree, and also covered with hide. The most
sienilicant ornaments are the drawines in red. Thev represent eood and had spirits, the sun, the
stars, various animals, lakes, lorests, and men. The division hetween this world and the upper is
clearlv shown. Amone manv other svmholic lieures there is also the imaee ol a noxJo (shaman).
Each drum has its metal rine with small pendants and a drum-stick ol reindeer horn.
The Lapps take ereat care ol their drums, and when not in use thev and the drum-sticks are
wrapped in lurs. No woman dares to touch the drum.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡a a - -
SINCE the perlormances ol shamans as prolessionals called in to treat diseases, to answer
inquiries, lor soothsavine and other similar purposes, are verv much the same amone the dillerent
trihes ol Palaeo-Siherians, we shall conline ourselves to eivine a lew tvpical examples ol these
perlormances. The same procedure will he lollowed with reeard to the Neo-Siherians.
T|e KorxoI. Prolessional shamanism amone the Korvak is at a most primitive staee ol
development, vet at the same time, thanks to the inlluence ol European culture, it is also
¹ochelson speaks|·| ol the shamanistic perlormances which he saw as lollows. 'Durine the entire
period ol mv sojourn amone the Korvak I had opportunitv to see onlv two shamans. Both were
voune men, and neither enjoved special respect on the part ol his relatives. Both were poor men
who worked as lahourers lor the rich memhers ol their trihe. One ol them was a Maritime
Korvak lrom Alutor. He used to come to the villaee ol Kamenskove in companv with a Korvak
trader. He was a hashlul vouth, his leatures, thoueh somewhat wild, were llexihle and pleasant,
and his eves were hrieht. I asked him to show me prool ol his shamanistic art. Unlike other
shamans, he consented without waitine to he coaxed. The people put out the oil-lamps in the
undereround house in which he stopped with his master. Onlv a lew coals were elowine on the
hearth, and it was almost dark in the house. On the laree platlorm which is put up in the lront
part ol the house as the seat and sleepine-place lor visitors, and not lar lrom where mv wile and I
were sittine, we could discern the shaman in an ordinarv shaeev shirt ol reindeer skin, squattine
on the reindeer skins that covered the platlorm. His lace was covered with a laree oval drum.
|·. ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI p. ¡o.|
'Suddenlv he commenced to heat the drum soltlv and to sine in a plaintive voice, then the heatine
ol the drum erow stroneer and stroneer, and his sone-in which could he heard sounds imitatine
the howline ol the woll, the eroanine ol the careoose, and the voices ol other animals, his
euardian spirits-appeared to come, sometimes lrom the corner nearest to mv seat, then lrom the
opposite end, then aeain lrom the middle ol the house, and then it seemed to proceed lrom the
ceiline. He was a ventriloquist. Shamans versed in this art are helieved to possess particular
power. His drum also seemed to sound, now over mv head, now at mv leet, now hehind, now in
lront ol me. I could see nothine, hut it seemed to me that the shaman was movine around,
noiselesslv steppine upon the platlorm with his lur shoes, then retirine to some distance, then
comine nearer, liehtlv jumpine, and then squattine down on his heels.
'All ol a sudden the sound ol the drum and the sineine ceased. When the women had reliehted
their lamps, he was lvine, completelv exhausted, on a white reindeer skin on which he had heen
sittine helore the shamanistic perlormance. The concludine words ol the shaman, which he
pronounced in a recitative, were uttered as thoueh spoken hv the spirit whom he had summoned
lip, and who declared that the ¨disease¨ had lelt the villaee, and would not return.'
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡¸ ¸ - -
The other shamanistic ceremonv was perlormed hv a shaman at ¹ochelson's request lor the
purpose ol divinine whether he would reach home salelv.
Durine this ceremonv|·| the shaman suddenlv asked ¹ochelson lor his knile, savine, 'The spirits
sav that I should cut mvsell with a knile. You will not he alraid:|a|
¹ochelson eave him, not without some scruples, his travelline knile, which was sharp and looked
like a daeeer. 'The lieht in the tent was put out, hut the dim lieht ol the Arctic sprine nieht
(it was in April), which penetrated the canvas ol the tent, was sullicient to allow me to lollow
the movements ol the shaman. He took the knile, heat the drum, and sane, telline the spirits
that he was readv to carrv out their wishes. Alter a little -while he put awav the drum, and,
emittine a rattline sound lrom his threat, he thrust the knile into his hreast up to the hilt. I
noticed, however, that alter havine cut his jacket, he turned the
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡·.
a, Ihid.|
knile downwards. He drew out the knile with the same rattline in his throat, and resumed
heatine the drum.'|·|
Then he said to ¹ochelson that he would have a eood journev, and, returnine the knile to him,
showed throueh the hole in his coat the hlood on his hodv. 'Ol course, these spots had heen made
helore', savs ¹ochelson.|a| 'However, this cannot he looked upon as mere deception. Thines visihle
and imaeinarv are conlounded to such an extent in primitive consciousness that the shaman
himsell mav have thoueht that there was, invisihle to others, a real eash in his hodv, as had heen
demanded hv the spirits. The common Korvak, however, are sure that the shaman actuallv cuts
himsell, and that the wound heals up immediatelv.'
T|e C|vIc|ee. Amone the Chukchee, savs Boeors,|¸| a tvpical shamanistic perlormance is carried
on in the inner room ol the house, when it is closed lor the nieht. This room, especiallv amone
the Reindeer Chukchee, is verv small. Sometimes the perlormance here descrihed is preceded hv
another, held in the outer room, in davlieht, and usuallv connected with a communal ceremonial.
When the drum is tiehtened and moistened, and the lieht is put out, the shaman, who is olten
quite naked down to the waist, heeins to operate.
In modern times Chukchee shamans imitate the Tuneus shamans in smokine a pipe lilled with
strone narcotic tohacco.
The shaman heats the drum and sines tunes, at lirst slowlv, then more rapidlv. His sones have no
words, and there is no order in their succession. Thoueh the audience take no actual part in the
ceremonv, thev are in lact ol some assistance, as lormine a verv primitive 'chorus'. Their lrequent
exclamations encouraee the shaman's actions.
Without an ocjiIo|jn ('to eive answerine calls,' participle) a Chukchee shaman considers himsell
unahle to perlorm his ollice littinelv, novices, therelore, while trvine to learn the shamanistic
practices, usuallv induce a hrother or a sister to respond, thus encouraeine the zeal ol the
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡¡ ¡ - -
'Amone the Asiatic Eskimo, the wile and other memhers ol the lamilv lorm a kind ol chorus,
which lrom time to time catches up the tune and sines with the shaman. Amone the Russianized
Yukaehir ol the lower Kolvma, the wile is also the assistant ol
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡a.
a. Ihid.
¸. T|e C|vIc|ee, p. ¡¸¸.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡¸¡.|
her shaman hushand, and durine the perlormance she eives him encouraeine answers, and he
addresses her as his ¨supportine stall¨.'|·|
When the Ie|ei come to the shaman, he acts in a dillerent wav, accordine to whether he has or
has not a ventriloquistic eilt.
Il the shaman is onlv 'sinele-hodied', the Ie|ei will sine and heat the drum throueh his hodv, the
sound onlv ol the shaman's voice heine chaneed. When he is a ventriloquist, the Ie|ei appear
as separate voices'.
Boeoras savs that shamans could, with credit to themselves, carrv on a contest with the hest
practitioners ol similar arts in civilized countries. The voices are successlul imitations ol dillerent
sounds. human, superhuman, animal, even ol tempests and winds, or ol an echo, and come lrom
all sides ol the room, lrom without, lrom ahove, and lrom undereround. The whole ol Nature
mav sometimes he represented in the small inner room ol the Chukchee.
Then the spirit either heeins to talk or departs with a sound like the huzzine ol a llv. While it
stavs, it heats the drum violentlv, speakine in its own laneuaee, il it happens to he anv animal
except the woll, lox, and raven, which can speak in the laneuaee ol men, hut there is a peculiar
timhre in their voices.
Usuallv it is not onlv one spirit which appears, and this part ol the perlormance mieht he called a
dialoeue. Sometimes the shaman does not himsell understand the laneuaee he is usine, and an
interpreter is necessarv. There are cases when spirit-laneuaee, comprisine a mixture ol Korvak,
Yakut, and Yukaehir, has to he translated into Russian lor the Russianized shamans and natives,
especiallv those ol the Kolvma district.
¹ochelson tells ol a Tuneus shaman nicknamed Mashka, whose 'spirits', heine ol Korvak oriein,
spoke throueh him in that laneuaee. 'I asked him several times to dictate to me what his spirits
were savine, and he would invarihlv replv that he did not rememher, that he loreot evervthine
alter the seance was over, and that, hesides, he did not understand the laneuaee ol his spirits. At
lirst I thoueht that he was deceivine me, hut I had several opportunities ol convincine mvsell that
he reallv did not understand anv Korvak. Evidentlv he had learned hv heart Korvak incantations
which he could pronounce onlv in a state ol excitement., |a|
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡¸¡.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡¡ ¡ - -
a. ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI, p. ¡a.|
There is no reeular shamanist laneuaee amone the Chukchee, merelv a lew special expressions.
'Amone the north-western hranch ol the Korvak, the ¨ spirits are said to use a special mode ol
pronunciation, similar to that used hv the south-eastern Korvak and the Chukchee. A lew words
are also said to he peculiar to them. Amone the Asiatic Eskimo the ¨ spirits ¨ are said to have a
special laneuaee. Manv words ol it were eiven me hv the shamans, and most ol them are
analoeous to the ¨spirit¨ laneuaee known to various Eskimo trihes ol America, hoth in Alaska and
on the Atlantic side.'|·|
Sometimes the spirits are verv mischievous. In the movahle tents ol the Reindeer people an
invisihle hand will sometimes turn evervthine upside down, and throw dillerent ohjects ahout,
such as snow, pieces ol ice, 8c.
'I must mention', savs Boeoras,|a| 'that the audience is strictlv lorhidden to make anv attempts
whatever to touch the ¨spirits¨. These latter hiehlv resent anv intrusion ol this kind, and retaliate
either on the shaman, whom thev mav kill on the spot, or on the trespassine listener, who runs
the risk ol havine his head hroken, or even a knile thrust throueh his rihs in the dark. I received
warnines ol this kind at almost everv shamanistic perlormance.'
Alter the preliminarv intercourse with the 'spirits', the shaman, still in the dark, eives advice and
utters prophecies. Ior example, at one ceremonv, where Boeoras was present, the shaman
Galmuurein prophesied to his host that manv wild reindeer would he at his eate the lollowine
autumn. 'One huck', he said, 'will stop on the rieht side ol the entrance, and pluck at the erass,
attracted hv a certain doe ol dark-erev hair. This attraction must he strenethened with a special
incantation. The reindeer-huck, while standine there, must he killed with the how, and the arrow
to he used must have a llat rhomhoid point. This will secure the successlul killine ol all the other
wild reindeer.' |¸|
Alter his introductorv interview with the spirits, the shaman sometimes 'sinks', he lalls to the
eround unconscious, while his soul is wanderine in the other worlds, talkine with the 'spirits' and
askine them lor advice. The modern shamans actuallv 'sink' verv seldom, hut thev know that it
was done in the old davs.
When shamanistic perlormances are connected with ceremonials, thev are carried on in the outer
room. Ventriloquism is not
|·. Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, p. ¡¸8.
a. Op. cit., p. ¡¸o.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¡¡c.|
practised on these occasions, and the Ie|e 'is hent on mischiel, and amone other thines, seeks to
destrov the lile which is under his temporarv power.¨ Manv tricks are perlormed hv shamans
even in davlieht.
Upune, the wile ol a dead Chukchee shaman, possessed wonderlul shamanistic power, she hersell
declared that she had onlv a small part ol her hushand's ahilitv. In a shamanistic perlormance 'she
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡6 6 - -
took a laree round pehhle ol the size ol a man's list, set it upon the drum, and, hlowine upon it
lrom all sides, heean to mumhle and snort in the same Ie|e-like manner. She called our attention
hv siens-heine in the possession ol the Ie|e, she had lost the lacultv ol human speech-and then
heean to wrine the pehhle with hoth hands. Then a continuous row ol verv small pehhles heean
to lall lrom her hands. This lasted lor lullv live minutes, till quite a heap ol small pehhles had
collected helow, on the skin. The lareer pehhle, however, remained smooth and intact.¨
At the request ol Boeoras the lemale shaman repeated this leat with the same success, and all the
upper part ol the hodv heine naked, it was easv to ohserve her movements. The practice ol
stahhine onesell throueh the ahdomen with a knile is universal in shamanistic perlormances,
Kamchadal and Eskimo, Chukchee and Yukaehir, even the Neo-Siherian shamans ol northern
Asia, are lamiliar with this trick.
It would he dillicult to descrihe all the tricks perlormed hv the shamans. some ol the commonest
are the swallowine ol hurnine coals,|¸| settine onesell lree lrom a cord hv which one is hound, 8c.
T|e YoIvi. Ior comparison with the Palaeo-Siherian methods ol shamanizine, we shall take a
Yakut shaman in action, as descrihed hv Sieroszwski.|¡| 'Outwardlv, shamanistic ceremonies are
verv unilorm,' savs Sieroszewski. The ceremonv now descrihed 'is the part ol the shamanistic
ceremonv which remains alwavs and evervwhere unchaneed, and, sanctioned hv custom, lorms,
so to speak, the hasis ol the rite.'
When the shaman who has heen called to a sick person enters the xvrio, he at once takes the
place destined lor him on the
|·.Op. cit., p. ¡¡a.
a. Op. cit., p. ¡¡¡.
¸. Soirxic|e||, T|e Voxoge o| Covi. Sorxic|e||'s F|eei o|ong i|e N.E. Coosi o| Sjberjo, i|rovg| T|e
Po|or Seo onJ i|e Pocj|jc, p. ¸c.
¡. Sieroszewski, :: Loi w Krojv YoIviow, ·oca, p. 6¸o.|
bj||jrxI ogon. He lies on his white mare's skin and waits lor the nieht, the time when it is possihle
to shamanize. Meanwhile he is entertained with lood and drink.
'When the sun sets and the dusk ol evenine approaches, all preparations lor the ceremonv in the
xvrio are hurriedlv completed. the eround is swept, the wood is cut, and lood is provided in
lareer quantitv and ol hetter qualitv than usual. One hv one the neiehhours arrive and seat
themselves alone the wall, the men on the rieht, and the women on the lelt, the conversation is
peculiarlv serious and reserved,, the movements eentle.
'In the northern part ol the Yakut district the host chooses the hest latchets and lorms them into
a loop, which is placed round the shaman's shoulders and hold hv one ol those present durine the
dance, in order to prevent the spirits lrom carrvine him oll. At leneth everv one has supper, and
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡· · - -
the household takes some rest. The shaman, sittine on the edee ol the bj||jrxI, slowlv untwists his
tresses, mutterine and eivine orders. He sometimes has a nervous and artilicial hiccoueh which
makes his whole hodv shake, his eaze does not wander, his eves heine lixed on one point, usuallv
on the lire.
'The lire is allowed to die out. More and more deeplv the dusk descends on the room, voices are
hushed, and the companv talks in whispers, notice is eiven that anvhodv -wishine to eo out must
do so at once, hecause soon the door will he closed, alter which nohodv can either eo out or
come in.
'The shaman slowlv takes oll his shirt and puts on his wizard's coat, or, lailine that, he takes the
woman's coat called songxnjo|.|·| Then he is eiven a pipe, which he smokes lor a lone time,
swallowine the smoke, his hiccoueh hecomes louder, he shivers more violentlv. When he - has
linished smokine, his lace is pale, his head lalls on his hreast, his eves are hall-closed.
'At this point the white mare's skin is placed in the middle ol the room. The shaman asks lor cold
water, and when he has drunk it he slowlv holds out his hand lor the drum prepared lor him, he
then walks to the middle ol the room, and, kneeline lor a time on his rieht knee, hows solemnlv
to all the lour corners ol the world, at the same time sprinkline the eround ahout him with the
water lrom his mouth.
|·. Gmelin speaks ol special emhroidered stockines which the shaman, dons in the xvrio. (Pejse
Jvrc| Sjbjrjen, pp. ¸¡·-6.)|
'Now evervthine is silent. A handlul ol white horsehair is thrown on the lire, puttine it quite out,
in the laint eleam ol the red coals the hlack motionless lieure ol the shaman is still to he seen lor
a while, with droopine head, hie drum on hreast, and lace turned towards the south, as is also the
head ol the mare's skin upon which he is sittine.
Complete darkness lollows the dusk, the audience scarcelv hreathes, and onlv the unintellieihle
mutterines and hiccouehs ol the shaman can he heard, eraduallv even this sinks into a prolound
silence. Eventuallv a sinele ereat vawn like the clane ol iron hreaks the stillness, lollowed hv the
loud piercine crv ol a lalcon, or the plaintive weepine ol a seamew-then silence aeain.
'Onlv the eentle sound ol the voice ol the drum, like the hummine ol a enat, announces that the
shaman has heeun to plav.
'This music is at lirst solt. delicate, tender, then roueh and irrepressihle like the roar ol an
oncomine storm. It erows louder and louder and, like peals ol thunder, wild shouts rend the air,
the crow calls, the erehe lauehs, the seamews complain, snipes whistle, eaeles and hawks scream.'
'The |·| music swells and rises to the hiehest pitch, the heatine ol the drum hecomes more and
more vieorous, until the two sounds comhine in one lone-drawn crescendo. The numherless small
hells rine and clane, it is not a storm-it is a whole cascade ol sounds, enoueh to overwhelm all the
listeners.... All at once it hreaks oll-there are one or two strone heats on the drum, which,
hitherto held alolt, now lalls to the shaman's knees. Suddenlv the sound ol the drum and the
small hells ceases. Then silence lor a lone moment, while the eentle enat-like murmur ol the
drum heeins aeain.'
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡8 8 - -
|·. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6¡·.|
This mav he repeated several times, accordine to the deeree ol the shaman's inspiration, at last,
when the music takes on a certain new rhvthm and melodv, somhrelv the voice ol the shaman
chants the lollowine ohscure lraements.
·. 'Miehtv hull ol the earth . . . Horse ol the steppes''
a. 'I, the miehtv hull . . . hellow''
¸. 'I, the horse ol the steppes . . . neieh''
¡. 'I, the man set ahove all other heines''
¡. 'I, the man most eilted ol all''
6. 'I, the man created hv the master all-powerlul'
·. 'Horse ol the steppes, appear' teach me''
8. 'Enchanted hull ol the earth, appear' speak to me''
o. 'Powerlul master, command me''
·c. 'All ol vou, who will eo with me, eive heed with vour ears' Those whom I command not.
lollow me not''
··. 'Approach not nearer than is permitted' Look intentlv' Give heed ' Have a care''
·a. 'Look heedlullv' Do this, all ol vou . all toeether . . . all, however manv vou mav he''
·¸. 'Thou ol the lelt side, O ladv with thv stall, il anvthine he done amiss, il I take not the rieht
wav, I entreat vou - correct me' Command' . . .'
·¡. 'Mv errors and mv path show to me' O mother ol mine' Wine thv lree llieht' Pave mv wide
·¡. 'Souls ol the sun, mothers ol the sun, livine in the south, in the nine wooded hills, ve who shall
he jealous . . . I adjure vou all . . . let them stav . . . let vour three shadows stand hieh''
·6. 'In the East, on vour mountain, lord, erandsire ol mine. ereat ol power and thick ol neck-he
thou with me''
··. 'And thou, erev-hearded wizard (lire), I ask thee. with all mv dreams, 'with all complv' To all
mv desires consent . . . Heed all' Iullil all' . . . All heed . . . All lullil''|·|
At this point the sounds ol the drum are heard once more, once more wild shouts and
meanineless words-then all is silent.
Adjurations similar to the ahove are used in all the Yakut districts and all ceremonies heein with
them. There is, however, another lormula still loneer and more complicated, which Sieroszewski
savs he could not procure. The ritual which lollows this lormula consists ol an improvisation
appropriate to each person and occasion.
In the ensuine pravers the shaman addresses his ömögxoi and other protective 'spirits', he talks
with the Io|jonx, asks them questions, and eives answers in their names. Sometimes the shaman
must prav and heat the drum a lone time helore the spirits come, olten their appearance is so
sudden and so impetuous that the shaman is overcome and lalls down. It is a eood sien il he lalls
on his lace, and a had sien il he lalls on his hack.
'When the ömögxoi comes down to a shaman, he arises and
|·. Sieroszewski, op. cit., pp. 6¡·-a.|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - ¡ ¡o o - -
heeins to leap and dance, at lirst on the skin, and then, his movements hecomine more rapid, he
elides into the middle ol the room. Wood is quicklv piled on the lire, and the lieht spreads
throueh the xvrio, which is now lull ol noise and movement. The shaman dances, sines, and heats
the drum uninterruptedlv, jumps ahout luriouslv, turnine his lace to the south, then to the -west,
then to the east. Those who hold him hv the leather thones sometimes have ereat dillicultv in
controlline his movements. In the south Yakut district, however, the shaman dances unlettered.
Indeed, he olten eives up his drum so as to he ahle to dance more unrestrainedlv.
'The head ol the shaman is howed, his eves are hall-closed his hair is tumhled and in wild disorder
lies on his sweatine lace, his mouth is twisted straneelv, saliva streams down his chin, olten he
loames at the mouth.
'He moves round the room, advancine and retreatine, heatine the drum, which resounds no less
wildlv than the roarine ol the shaman himsell, he shakes his jineline coat, and seems to hecome
more and more maniacal, intoxicated with the noise and movement.
'His lurv ehhs and rises like a wave, sometimes it leaves him lor a while, and then, holdine his
drum hieh ahove his head, solemnlv and calmlv he chants a praver and summons the ¨spirit¨.
'At last he knows all he desires, he is acquainted with the cause ol the mislortune or disease with
which he has heen strivine, he is sure ol the help ol the heines whose aid he needs. Circline ahout
in his dance, sineine and plavine, he approaches the patient.
'With new ohjureations he drives awav the cause ol the illness hv lriehtenine it, or hv suckine it
out with his mouth lrom the painlul place. then, returnine to the middle ol the room, he drives it
awav hv spittine and hlowine. Then he learns what sacrilice is to he made to the ¨powerlul
spirits¨, lor this harsh treatment ol the spirit's servant, who was sent to the patient.
'Then the shaman, shadine his eves lrom the lieht with his hands, looks attentivelv into each
corner ol the room, and il he notices anvthine suspicious, he aeain heats the drum, dances, wakes
terrilvine eestures, and entreats the ¨ spirits ¨.
'At leneth all is made clean, the suspicious ¨cloud¨ is no more to he seen, which sienilies that the
cause ol the trouhle has heen driven out, the sacrilice is accepted, the pravers have heen heard-
the ceremonv is over.
'The shaman still retains lor some time alter this the eilt ol prophecv, he loretells various
happenines, answers the questions ol the curious, or relates what he saw on his journev awav
lrom the earth.
'Iinallv he is carried with his mare's skin hack to his place ol honour on the bj||jrxI'.|·|
The sacrilice ollered to the 'spirits' varies accordine to the importance ol the occasion. Sometimes
the disease is translerred to the cattle, and the stricken cattle are then sacriliced, i. e. ascend to the
skv.|a| It is this journev to the skv, toeether with the spirits and the sacriliced animal, which the
dance svmholizes. In the old davs (accordine to the native accounts) there were, in lact, shamans
who reallv did ascend into the skv while the spectators saw how 'on the clouds there lloated the
sacriliced animal, alter it sped the drum ol the shaman, and this was lollowed hv the shaman
himsell in his wizard's coat'.|¸|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 6c c - -
There were also wicked and powerlul shamans who, instead ol a real animal, carried up into the
skv a mare lormed ol cloud, hut the evidence lor the existence ol these shamans is indelinite.
Durine this dillicult and daneerous journev everv shaman has his places ol rest, called ovoI|
(o|oI|), when he takes a seat durine the dance, this sienilies that he has come to an ovoI|,|¡|
when he rises, he is ascendine lurther tip into the skv, il he lalls down, he is descendine under the
Everv shaman, however lar he mav have proceeded on his journev, knows where he is, on which
ovo|o|, and also the route taken hv everv other shaman who is shamanizine at that moment.
Sometimes the leadine ol the ' spirit' and the sacriliced cattle into the skv lorms a separate
ceremonv perlormed a lew months alter the lirst, in which thev had promised this sacrilice. The
sacrilices are either hloodv, when the shaman tears to pieces the
|·. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6¡¡.
a. Troshchanski savs (p. ·c¡). 'Instead ol the human Ivi which the obossx had captured, he
receives an animal Ivi. Usuallv, hetween the spirit who took awav the Ivi ol the man and the
representative ol the latter, there takes place (throueh the shaman) a keen hareainine, in which
the spirit eives up some ol its demands.'
¸. Sieroszewski, op. cit., p. 6¡¡.
¡. These ovoI| occur in a series ol nine, in conlormitv with the usual arraneement ol ohjects in
nines which characterizes the whole relieious and social svstem ol the Yakut. (Sieroszewski, op.
cit., p. ¡·a.)|
hodv ol the animal with raee and lurv, or hloodless, e. e. when some erease or meat, or other
material, such as hair, 8c., is ollered up.
T|e SomoxeJ. The shamanistic ceremonial amone the Samoved ol the Tomsk Government has
heen descrihed hv Castren,|·| lrom whose account we take the lollowine picture.
On arrivine at the xvrio the shaman takes his seat on a hench, or on a chest which must contain
no implement capahle ol inllictine a wound. Near him, hut not in lront, the occupants ol the
xvrio eroup themselves. The shaman laces the door, and pretends to he unconscious ol all siehts
and sounds. In his rieht hand he holds a short stall which is inscrihed on one side with mvstic
svmhols, and in his lelt, two arrows with the points held upwards. To each point is allixed a
small hell. His dress has nothine distinctive ol a shaman, he usuallv wears the coat either ol the
inquirer or ol the sick person. The perlormance heeins with a sone summonine the spirits. Then
the shaman strikes the arrows with his stall, so that the hells chime in a reeular rhvthm, while all
the spectators sit in awed silence. When the spirits appear, the shaman rises and commences to
dance. The dance is lollowed hv a series ol complicated and dillicult hodv-movements. While all
this is eoine on the rhvthmical chimine ol the hells never ceases. His sone consists ol a sort ol
dialoeue with the spirits, and is sune with chanees ol intonation denotine dillerent deerees ol
excitement or enthusiasm. When his enthusiasm rises to a hieh pitch, those present join in the
sineine. Alter the shaman has learnt all he wishes lrom the spirits, the latter communicate the
will ol the eod to the people. Il he is to loretell the luture, he emplovs his stall. He throws it on
the eround, and il it lalls with the side inscrihed with mvstical siens turned upward, this is a eood
omen, il the hlank side shows, ill-lortune mav he looked lor.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 6· · - -
To prove his trustworthiness to those present, the shaman uses the lollowine means. He sits on a
reindeer skin, and his hands and leet are hound, The room is completelv darkened. Then, as il in
answer to his call to the spirits, various noises are heard hoth Within and without the xvrio. the
heatine ol a drum, the eruntine ol a hear, the hissine ol a serpent, the squeak ol a squirrel, and
mvsterious scratchines on the reindeer-skin where he sits. Then
|·. Castren, Pejseberjc|ie vnJ Brje|e, :8¡:g. pp. ··a-¡.|
the shaman's honds are untied, he is set lree, and everv one is convinced that what thev heard was
the work ol the spirits.
T|e A|iojons. The Ioms (shamans) ol the Turkic trihes ol the Altai have preserved with ereat
strictness the ancient shamanistic ceremonial lorms. Potanin|·| eives a curious description ol the
perlormance ol a voune shaman, Enchu, who lived hv the River Talda, ahout six versts lrom
Aneudav. Iour staees, each marked hv a dillerent posture ol the shaman, characterized his
perlormance. in the lirst, he was sittine and lacine the lire, second, standine, with his hack to the
lire, third, a sort ol interlude, durine which the shaman rested lrom his lahour, supportine himsell
with his elhow on the drum, which he halanced on its rim, while he related what he had learned
in his intercourse with the spirits, and lourth, a linal shamanizine, with his hack to the lire, and
lacine the place where the drum usuallv hanes. Enchu declared alterwards that he had no
recollection ol what happened while he was shamanizine with his hack turned to the lire. While
he was in that position he had heen whirline ahout madlv in circles on one spot, and without anv
considerahle movement ol his leet, crouchine down on his haunches, and risine aeain to a
standine posture, without interruptine the rotatine movement. As he alternatelv hent and
straiehtened his hodv lrom the hips, hackwards and lorwards and lrom side to side, with livelv
movements or jerks, the monxoI (metal pendants) lastened to his coat danced and daneled
luriouslv in ill directions, descrihine shinine circles in the air. At the same time the shaman kept
heatine his drum, holdine it in various positions so that it eave out dillerent sounds. Irom time to
time Enchu held the drum hieh ahove his head in a horizontal position and heat upon it lrom
helow. The natives ol Aneudav explained to Potanin that when the shaman held the drum in that
wav, he was collectine spirits in it. At times he would talk and laueh with some one apparentlv
near hv, hut invisihle to others, showine in this manner that he was in the companv ol spirits. At
one time Enchu lell to sineine more, quietlv and evenlv, simultaneouslv imitatine on his drum the
hool-heats ol a horse. This was to indicate that the shaman, with his accompanvine spirits, was
departine to the underworld ol Erlik, the eod ol darkness.
Mr. Potanin eives a description ol this vovaee which he heard lrom a Russian missionarv, Mr.
|·. Potanin, Sketches ol N. W. Moneolia, vol. iv, pp. 6c-a.|
The Iom directs his wav towards the south. The has to cross the Altai Mountains and the red
sands ol the Chinese deserts. Then he crosses a vellow steppe, such as no maepie can traverse.
''Sineine, we shall cross it', savs the Iom in his Sone. Alter the vellow steppe there is a 'pale' one,
such as no crow can pass over, and the Iom in his imaeinarv passaee once more sines a sone lull ol
hopelul couraee. Then comes the iron mountain ol Tamir Shavha, which 'leans aeainst the skv'.
Now the Iom exhorts his train to he all ol one mind, that thev mav pass this harrier hv the united
lorce ol their will. He descrihes the dillicultv ol surmountine the passes and, in doine so, hreathes
heavilv. On the top he linds the hones ol manv Ioms who have lallen here and died throueh
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 6a a - -
lailure ol power. Aeain he sines sones ol hope, declares he will leap over the mountain, and suits
the action to the word. At last he comes towards the openine which leads to the underworld.
Here he linds a sea, hrideed onlv hv a hair. To show the dillicultv ol crossine this hridee, the Iom
totters, almost lalls, and with dillicultv recovers himsell. In the depths ol the sea he heholds the
hodies ol manv sinlul Ioms who have perished there, lor onlv those who are hlameless can cross
this hridee. On the other side he meets sinners who are receivine punishment suited to their
laults, e.e. an eavesdropper is pinned hv his ear to a stake. On reachine the dwelline-place ol Erlik,
he is conlronted hv does, who will not let him pass, hut at last, heine appeased hv eilts, thev erow
milder. Belore the heeinnine ol the shamanistic ceremonv eilts have heen prepared lor this
emereencv. Havine successlullv passed these warders, the Iom, as il approachine the Yarta ol
Erlik and comine into his presence, hows, hrines his drum up to his lorehead, and savs, 'Mergv¹
mergv¹' Then he declares whence and whv he comes. Suddenlv he shouts, this is meant to indicate
that Erlik is anerv that a mortal should dare to enter his vurta. The lriehtened Iom leaps
hackward towards the door, hut eathers lresh couraee and aeain approaches Erlik's throne. Alter
this perlormance has heen eone throueh three times, Erlik speaks. 'Wineed creatures cannot llv
hither, heines with hones cannot come. how have vou, ill-smelline hlackheetle, made vour wav to
mv ahode:'
Then the kam stoops and with his drum makes certain movements il dippine up wine. He
presents the wine to Erlik, and makes a shudderine movement like that ol one who drinks strone
wine, to indicate, that Erlik has drunk. When he perceives that Erlik's humour is somewhat
milder tinder the inlluence ol his draueht he makes him ollerines ol eilts. The ereat spirit (Erlik)
is moved hv the ollerines ol the Iom, and promises increase ol cattle, declares which mare will
loal, and even specilies what markine the voune one will have. The Iom returns in hieh spirits,
not on his horse as he went, hut on a eoose-a chanee ol steeds which he indicates hv movine
ahout the xvrio on tiptoe, to represent llvine.
IN this chapter I propose to deal not onlv with the male and lemale shamans and their relation to
each other, hut also with it curious phenomenon-the mvstical chanee ol sex amone shamans, hv
which a male shaman is 'translormed' into a lemale, and vice versa.
Nearlv all writers on Siheria aeree that the position ol the lemale shaman in modern davs is
sometimes even more important than that occupied hv the male.
Krasheninnikoll ascrihes the shamanistic eilt amone the Kamchadal almost exclusivelv to women,
Steller, who travelled throueh Kamchatka alter him, states, however, that there were also men-
shamans amone the Yukaehir, Korvak, and Chukchee. Boeoras, ¹ochelson, and others saw as manv
notahle women shamans as men. Tretvakoll (op. cit., p. a·¸) allirms the existence ol women-
shamans side hv side with men-shamans amone the Samoved ol Turukhan, and the same,
accordine to Bielavewski,|·| is true ol the Ostvak. Amone the Tuneus ol Baikal |a| the woman can
he a shaman as well as the man, and Gmelin |¸| met amone them a woman eiehteen vears ol aee
who was held superior to anv man-shaman. Amone the Yakut and Burvat there are shamans ol
hoth sexes.|¡| Soloviell |¡| thinks that amone the Yakut the lemale shamans are considered less
important than the male, and the people ask their help onlv when there is no man-shaman in the
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 6¸ ¸ - -
neiehhourhood. The shamanesses, accordine to him, are especiallv eood in loretelline the luture,
lookine lor thines that are lost, and curine mental diseases,
Amone the Palaeo-Siherians, women receive the eilt ol shamanizine more olten than men. The
woman is hv nature a shaman,'
|·. A 1ovrnex io i|e C|ocjo| Seo, p. ··¡.
a. Sjberjon News, ·8aa, pp. ·o-¸o.
¸. ii. 8a-¡.
¡. Sieroszewski, Potanin.
¡. Pemojns o| Pogonjsm omong i|e YoIvi, 'Siheria' (Annual), i. ¡·¡.|
declared a Chukchee shaman to Boeoras. She does not need to he speciallv prepared lor the
calline and so her novitiate is much shorter and less trvine. Ventrioloquism, however, is not
practised amone lemale shamans.
Takine into account the present prominent position ol lemale shamans amone manv Siherian
trihes and their place in traditions,' toeether with certain leminine attrihutes ol the male shaman
(such as dress, hahits, privileees) and certain lineuistic similarities hetween the names lor male
and lemale shamans,|a| manv scientists (Troshchanski, Boeoras, Stadline) have heen led to express
the opinion that in lormer davs, onlv lemale shamans existed, and that the male. shaman is a later
development which has to some extent supplanted them.
Concernine the supposed evolution ol the shaman lrom lemale to male There is no certain
knowledee, one can onlv surmise. The dillerent views ol the oriein ol shamanism naturallv allect
the theorv that shamans were orieinallv lemale.
|·. Amone several trihes traditions exist that the shaman's eilt was lirst hestowed on woman. In Moneolian mvths
eoddesses were hoth shamans themselves-like the Dauehter ol the Moon-and the hestowers ol the shamanistic eilt
on mankind.
a. Neo-Siherians nearlv all have a common name lor the -woman-shaman, while each ol these
trihes has a special name lor the man-shaman. The Yakut call him oxvn, the Moneols, bvge, the
Burvat, bvge and bo, the Tuneus, sommon and I|ommon, the Tartars, Iom, the Altaians, Iom and
gom, the Kireis, boIsx, the Samoved, ioJjbex. The Yakut, it is curious to note, thoueh thev have
the word I|ommo, nevertheless do not call the shaman hv a name similar to that in use amone
other Neo-Siherians, hut eive him a special appellation. This, accordine to Troshchanski (p. ··8),
mav he explained hv the lact that when the Yakut appeared in the present Yakut district thev
did not possess a man-shaman, hut thev had alreadv a woman-shaman, lor whom all these trihes
have a name in common. Amone Moneols, Burvat , Yakut, Altaians, Tureout, and Kireis, the
lollowine names lor the woman-shaman occur, viogon, vJogon, vboIon, vixgon, viügvn, jJvon,
Jvono. All these words come lrom a root the meanine ol which has not heen certainlv
determined. In some Tartaric dialects üJege, 'lemale shaman', means also 'housewile' and 'wile'. In
Tuneus, vioIon means 'sorcerer' and 'cannihal', hut viogon seems to he a Moneol word in oriein
Accordine to Potanin and Banzaroll, the term in question is etvmoloeicallv connected with the
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 6¡ ¡ - -
Moneol word Eivgen, hearth-eoddess' (EivgeneIe 'mother-earth'). Potanin lurther connects the
word lor Earth-Goddess amone dillerent Altaic and Iinno-Ueric trihes with the names ol
constellations, especiallv with the two hear constellations. In one Tartaric dialect vixgon means
'hear'. Accordine to ancient Moneol and Chineses mvths, the eods ol certain constellations are
connected with the. protective spirits or the lamilv hearth, just as thev are connected with the
eoddess ol the earth. Thus these terms lor lemale shamans are related to the eenesis ol certain
¹ochelson |·| expresses the opinion that there is no douht that prolessional shamanism has
developed lrom the ceremonials ol lamilv shamanism. The same author |a| also states that in
lamilv shamanism amone the Korvak some women possess a knowledee not onlv ol those
incantations which are a lamilv secret, hut ol manv others hesides, ol which thev make use
outside the lamilv circle on request. Irom this we can see verv clearlv how lamilv shamanism
amone the Korvak has developed into prolessional shamanism.
Some one with unusual eilts, olten a woman, is requested to use them on hehall ol a lareer circle
outside the lamilv, and thus hecomes a prolessional shaman. This is especiallv true ol the Korvak.
There is, however, no evidence that amone them the woman-shaman preceded the man. In the
old davs, as at the present time, the women-shamans were considered as powerlul as the men,
sometimes, indeed, an individual lemale shaman is even cleverer than a man. The 'translormed'
shamans are considered verv powerlul also, thoueh thev exist merelv in Korvak traditions. But
since the chanee ol sex is 'in ohedience to the commands ol Spirits',|¸| it seems to helone to
another cateeorv ol lacts and to have no connexion with the theorv ol an orieinallv universal
leminine shamanism.
Amone the Chukchee |¡| lamilv shamanism, heine quite simple and primitive, prohahlv preceded
individual shamanism, and the latter seems to have erown out ol the lormer. The mother shares
with the lather the róle ol shaman in the lamilv ceremonials, she has charee ol the drum and
amulets, and in exceptional cases it is she, and not the lather, who perlorms the lamilv sacrilice.
Thus shamanism is not restricted to either sex, hut 'the eilt ol inspiration is thoueht to he
hestowed more lrequentlv upon women, thoueh it is reputed to he ol a rather inlerior kind, the
hieher erades heloneine rather to men. The reason eiven lor this is that the hearine ol children is
eenerallv adverse to shamanistic inspirations, so that a voune woman with considerahle
shamanistic power mav lose the ereater part ol it alter the hirth ol her lirst child.'|¡|
The ahove statenients ol the two hest authorities on the Korvak and the Chukchee make it clear
that amone these people there are visihle traces that lainilv shamanism preceded the individual,
|·. T|e KorxoI, i. ·8.
a. Op. cit., p. ¡·.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¡a.
¡. Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, ii. ¡·c.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡·¡.|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 6¡ ¡ - -
or prolessional, kind, and althoueh woman plavs an important róle in hoth, there is no sullicient
reason to suppose that in lormer times she alone could shamanize. Ol course, the adherents to the
theorv ol universal mother-rieht would trv to see in this case a prool ol the lormer hieher
position ol woman in societv, her moral supremacv, 8c. As lar as our materials eo, we do not see
evidence either ol a superior position in the social structure or ol the moral supremacv ol women
in these societies, hut onlv ol the superioritv ol jnJjvjJvo|s ol either sex.
A similar state ol thines mav he ohserved amone other Palaeo-Siherians and Neo-Siherians,
althoueh amone the latter a woman shaman is not verv olten met with.
In spite ol the low social position ol women amone these natives, it is personal ahilitv,
irrespective ol sex, which is the decisive lactor in the case ol the shamanistic vocation.
As prool that women were the orieinal shamans, certain authors adduce the lact that the
prolessional shaman does not possess his own drum. But neither is this the case with women or
men-shamans amone those peoples where prolessional shamanism is not vet clearlv dillerentiated
lrom lamilv shamanism. As reeards the lemale dress and hahits ol the shaman, I shall have
opportunitv to discuss this point when dealine with trihes whose shaman's earment is more
elahorate, i.e. the Neo-Siherians.
Troshchanski |·| and, lollowine him, Stadline |a| helieve prolessional shamanism to he a special
institution which has no direct connexion with the communal cult, thoueh in the latter there are
also shamanistic elements. In the later staees ol its development the ollice ol shaman is connected
in certain cases with the communal cult, and thus 'white' shamanism came into existence.
Troshchanski develops his theorv chiellv on Yakut evidence, and thoueh he tries to applv it to
the whole ol Siheria, we shall conline ourselves to what he savs ahout the Yakut.|¸|
Amone them, where there are two cateeories ol shamans, the white', representine creative, and
the 'hlack', destructive lorces, the latter tend to hehave like women, since it is lrom women-
shamans that thev derive their oriein. In support ol this theorv ol their oriein Troshchanski puts
lorward the lollowine areuments.
|·. T|e Evo|vijon o| i|e B|ocI Foji|, ·oca, pp. ·a¸-·.
a. S|omonjsmen j Norv Asjen, ·o·a, pp. 8a-oa.
¸. Op. cit., pp. ·a¸-·.|
·. The shaman has on his coat two iron circles representine the hreasts.
a. He parts his hair in the middle like a woman, and hraids it, lettine it lall loose durine the
shamanistic ceremonv.
¸. In the Kolvma district neither a woman nor a shaman lies on the rieht side ol the horse-skin in
the xvrio, hecause, as thev sav, it is on this side that one heats a horse.
¡. It is onlv on verv important occasions that the shaman wears his own earment, on lesser
occasion's he wears a eirl's jacket made ol loal's hide.|·|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 66 6 - -
¡. Ior three davs alter the hirth ol a child, at which the eoddess ol lecunditv, Aiasvt, is present, no
man mav enter the room where the mother is lvine, hut onlv women and shamans.
Iinallv, accordine to Troshchanski, the lemale 'hlack' shaman was replaced hv the male 'hlack'
shaman. This transition was ellected hv means ol the smith, who, as the maker ol the woman-
shaman's earment, held an inlluential position, and whose power increased in proportion to the
leneth ol his ancestrv.|a| Throueh their contact with shamanistic implements thev acquired mono
and themselves hecame sorcerers and shamans.
The evolution ol the 'white' shaman took place, he opines, on dillerent lines. In lamilv ceremonial
the cleverest head ol a lamilv or memher ol a communitv was chosen, he was elected anew lor
each ceremonv until eventuallv his tenure ol the ollice hecame permanent.|¸|
This theorv ol a dual evolution ol shamans is not easv to suhstantiate. In the lirst place, we lind
that the 'white' shaman's earment is made hv a 'white' smith, which lact, hv Troshehanski's mode
ol areument, would seem to implv a line ol development lor 'white' shamanism parallel to, and
not divereent lrom, that ol 'hlack' shamanism.
Aeain, all the supposed leminine hahits ol the shaman ol todav would not eo to prove that the
earlier lemale-shaman was the servant ol obossx alone. We lind in the past as well as in the
present that the woman can he the priestess ol the lamilv cult and a prolessional shamaness, the
servant ol either oíx or obossx. Amone the Yakut, however, where the worship ol obossx is more
developed than that ol oíx, the 'hlack' shamans, hoth men and
|·. ¹ochelson (T|e KorxoI, i. ¡¸) was present at a ceremonv in the Kolvma district where the shaman wore such a
a Troshchanki, op. cit., p. ·a¡.
¸ Op. cit., p. ·a¡.|
women, predominate. On the other hand, amone the Votvaks, where the cult oíx ol is more
developed than that ol obossx, the 'white' shamans are much more numerous, and lorm the
whole hierarchv.|·|
All that has heen cited concernine the leminine hahits ol the present-dav shaman was taken hv
Troshchanski as prool ol his theorv ol the evolution ol the 'hlack' shaman lrom the 'hlack'
shamaness and hv ¹ochelson as 'traces ol the chanee ol a shaman's sex into that ol a woman'.|a|
¹ochelson thus hinds toeether the two questions dealt with in this chapter-the relation ol the
shamaness to the shaman', and the 'translormation ol shamans', called also 'the chanee ol sex'.
This latter phenomenon, lollowine ¹. G. Irazer,|¸| I should preler to call 'the chanee ol dress',
since (with the exception ol the Chukchee, perhaps) the chanee ol dress is not nowadavs, at least,
lollowed hv what the phvsioloeists would call 'chanee ol sex'.
Irazer |¡| savs that the interchanee ol dress hetween men and women is an ohscure and complex
prohlem, and thinks it unlikelv that anv sinele solution would he applicahle to all cases. In
enumeratine instances ol such cases amone the priests ol Khasis|¡| and the Pelew Islanders|6|-
instances, that is, ol men dressine and actine like women throuehout lile-he ascrihes these
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 6· · - -
phenomena to the inspiration ol a lemale spirit, which olten chooses a man rather than a woman
lor her minister and inspired mouthpiece.|·|
As to the people ol Siheria, the 'chanee ol sex' is lound chiellv amone Palaeo-Siherians, namelv
the Chukchee, Korvak, Kamchadal, and Asiatic Eskimo.'|8|
Even the earliest travellers record instances ol this phenomenon. Thus Krasheninnikoll in ··¡¡,|o|
Steller in ···¡,|·c| Wraneel
|·. Boeavewski, p. ·a8.
a ¹ochelson op. cit., i. ¡¸.
¸. Irazer, AJonjs, Aiijs, Osjrjs, ed. ·oc·, pp. ¸8¡-¡¸¸.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡¸¸.
¡. Major Gurdon.
6. ¹. Kuharv.
·. Elleminate sorcerers and priests are lound amone the Sea-Dvak ol Borneo (Capt. Brooke,
Schwaner), the Bueis ol South Celehes (Capt. Mundv), Pataeonians ol South America (Ialkner),
the Aleutians, and manv Indian trihes ol North America (Dall, Lanesdorll, Powers, and Bancrolt).
Irazer, Adonis, 8c., p. ¡ao.
8. Similar chanees ol sex were ohserved hv Dr. Karsch (Uronjsmvs oJer PöJerosije mjJ TrjboJje
bej Jen Noivrvö|Iern, ·oc·, pp. ·a-ac·) all over the American continent lrom Alaska to Pataeonia.
o. Description ol the Countrv ol Kamchatka, ii. a¡.
·c. Besc|rejbvng von Jem LonJe Komisc|oiIo, p. a8o.|
in ·8ac,|·| Ludke in ·8¸·,|a| and others. Thev do not eive complete accounts, hut merelv mention
the lact. It dillers, however, in their description lrom ordinarv homosexualism in that there is
alwavs relerence to shamanistic inspiration or evil hiddines.
More detailed descriptions are to he lound in the excellent modern works ol Boeoras and
¹ochelson. Boeoras descrihes the lacts relatine to the Chukchee in a chapter on 'Sexual Perversion
and Translormed Shamans'.
'The sexual oreans plav a part in certain shamanistic ceremonies,' savs Boeoras.|¸| The shaman is
said to he verv olten naked durine his incantations, e.e. that used to invoke the moon, and to
mention his eenital parts.|¡| The chanee ol sex is called in Chukchee 'solt-man-heine', xjrIo|ov|
vojrgjn, 'solt man' (xjrIo|ov|) meanine a man translormed into a heine ol the weaker sex. A man
who has 'chaneed his sex' is also called 'similar to a woman' (ne vc|jco), and a woman in like
condition 'similar to a man' (qa cikcheca). These latter translormations are much rarer.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 68 8 - -
Boeoras distineuishes various deerees ol 'translormation' amone the Chukchee.
·. The shaman, or the sick person at the hiddine ol a shaman, arranees and hraids his hair like a
a. The chanee ol dress. Kimiqai, lor instance, were woman's clothes hv order ol the spirits. In his
vouth he had heen alllicted hv in illness and had heen ereatlv henelited hv the chanee ol dress. At
the time descrihed he was an elderlv man with a heard, and had a wile and lour children.|¡|
¸. The chanee in the hahits ol one sex is shown when the man 'throws awav the rille and the
lance, the lasso ol the reindeer herdman, and the harpoon ol the seal-hunter, and takes to the
needle and the skin-scraper '.|6| He learns the use ol these quicklv, hecause the 'spirits' help him
all the time. Even his pronunciation chanees lrom masculine to leminine. His hodv loses its
masculine appearance, and he hecomes shv.
¡. In rare cases the 'solt man' heeins to leel himsell a woman, he seeks lor a lover, and sometimes
|· Pejse |öngs Jer NorJIüsie von Sjbjrjen vnJ ov| Jem Ejsmeere, ed. ·8¡·, p. aa·.
a. 1ovrnex ArovnJ i|e Vor|J, ·8¸¡-6, p. ·¡¸.
¸. T|e C|vIc|ee, ii. ¡¡8.
¡ Op. cit. p. ¡¡o.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡¡c.
6. Op. cit., p. ¡¡·.|
The marriaee is perlormed with the usual rites, and the union is as durahle as anv other. The
'man' eoes huntine and lishine, the 'woman' does domestic work. Boeoras thinks thev cohahit
moJo Socroijs, thoueh thev are sometimes said to have mistresses in secret and to produce
children hv them.|·| The wile does not, however, chanee her name, thoueh the hushand
sometimes adds the name ol his wile to his own.
Pvb|jc ovjnjon js o|woxs ogojnsi i|em,|a| hut as the translormed shamans are verv daneerous, thev
are not opposed and no outward ohjections are raised. Each 'solt man' is supposed to have a
special protector amone the 'spirits', who is usuallv said to plav the part ol a supernatural
hushand, the 'Ie|e-hushand' ol the 'translormed' one. This hushand is supposed to he the real head
ol the lamilv and to communicate his orders hv means ol his 'translormed' wile. The human
hushand, ol course, has to execute these orders laithlullv under lear ol prompt punishment.|¸|
Sometimes the shaman ol untranslormed sex has a 'Ie|e-wile' in addition to his own.
Boeoras himsell was hest acquainted with a 'solt man' called Tiluwei, who, however, would not
allow himsell to he inspected lullv. His human hushand descrihed him as a normal male person.
In spite ol this, his hahits were those ol a woman. The hushand ol Tiluwei was an ordinarv man
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 6 6o o - -
and his cousin. The 'translormed shamans' eenerallv chose a hushand lrom amone their nearest
Boeoras never met a woman translormed into a man, hut he heard ol several cases. One
translormed shamaness was a widow, who had children ol her own. Iollowine the command ol
the 'spirits', she cut her hair, donned the dress ol a man, adopted the masculine pronunciation,
and even learned in a verv short time to handle the spear and to shoot with a rille. At last she
wanted to marrv and easilv lound a voune eirl who consented to hecome her wile.|¡|
¹ochelson |¡| states that he did not learn ol the translormation ol women-shamans into men
amone the Korvak ol to-dav, we lind, however, accounts ol such translormation in leeends.
Neither did he meet anv men-shamans translormed into women.
'The lather ol Yulta, a Korvak lrom the villaee ol Kainenskove, who died not lone aeo and who
had heen a shaman, had worn
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡¡·.
a. The italics are mine.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¡¡a.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡¡¡.
¡. T|e KorxoI p. ¡¸.|
women's clothes lor two vears hv order ol the spirits, hut since he had heen unahle to ohtain
complete translormation he implored his spirits to permit him to resume men's clothes. His
request was eranted, hut on condition that he should put on women's clothes durine shamanistic
This is, the onlv case lamiliar to ¹ochelson ol the chanee ol sex, or rather chanee ol dress. The
Korvak call the translormed shaman Iovov or Ievev, thev are supposed to he as powerlul as
The narratives concernine the Kamchadal IocIc|vc| are much conlused, lor Krasheninnikoll does
not riehtlv explain either who thev were, or whether thev were men or women. The IocIc|vc|
were women's dress, did women's work, and were treated with the same lack ol respect as is
shown to women. Thev could enter the house throueh the draueht-channel, which corresponds
to the openine in the rool ol the porch ol the Korvak undereround house,|a| in the same wav as
the women and the Korvak aovov. Piekarski|¸| linds that Krasheninnikoll contradicts himsell in
his statements concernine 'IoeIc|vc| women, who do not come into contact with men'.
Krasheninnikoll's descriptions ol IoeIc|vc| are as lollows. 'The Kamchadal have one, two, or
three wives, and hesides these some ol them keep IoeIc|vc| who wear women's clothes, do
women's work, and have nothine to do with men, in whose companv thev leel shv and not at
their ease' (p. a¡, ed. ··¡¡).
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c - -
'The Kamchadal women are tailors and shoemakers, which prolessions are considered useless to
men, who are immediatelv reearded as IocIc|vc| il thev enter these vocations' (p. ¡c, ed. ··¡¡).
'The women are not jealous, lor not onlv do two or three wives ol one man live toeether in
peace, hut thev do not even ohject to the IocIc|vc|, whom some Kamchadal keep instead ol
concuhines' (p. ·a¡, ed. ··¡¡). 'Everv woman, especiallv an old one, and everv IocIc|vc|, is a
sorcerer and interpreter ol dreams' (p. 8·, ed. ··¡¡).|¡|
Irom the ahove quotations the IoeIc|vc| seem rather to he ol
|·. Op. cit. p. ¡¸.
a. Krsheninnikoll, ii. ··¡, see Troshchanski, op. cit., p. ·ac.
¸. See Troshchanski, Op. cit., p. ·ac.
¡. 'Thc lemale sex heine more attractive and perhaps also cleverer, more shamans are chosen
amone women and IoeIc|iec| than lrom men' p. ·¡. 'The natives ol the Kuril Islands have two or
three wives each, . . . thev have also IoeIc|iec|, like the Korvak and Kamchadal' (p. ·8¸, ed.
the eunuch tvpe, thoueh sometimes thev plav the role ol concuhines.
The IocIc|vc| who was reearded hv the communitv as heine ol an unusual tvpe prohahlv
enjoved special privileees hieher than those ol a sorcerer or a shaman. The worship ol the
patholoeical mav have vereed here into the worship ol the supernatural.
The 'chanee ol sex' is met with onlv amone the Palaeo-Siherians,|·| whilst amone the Neo-
Siherians onlv does the shamanistic dress more olten resemhle lemale earments. It is true that
amone Yakut men-shamans traditions exist ol their hearine children,|a| hut this is connected
rather with the idea ol the power ol shamanistic spirits which makes such miracles possihle. As a
rule, child-hirth amone the Palaeo-Siherian shamanesses results in either a complete or at least a
temporarv loss ol the shamanistic eilt. In a Korvak tale |¸| the shanianistic power ol Ememqut,
son ol Bie-Raven, 'disappeared alter the mvthical Triton had hewitched him and caused him to
eive hirth to a hov. His power was restored to him alter his sister had killed the Triton's sister, hv
which deed the act ol eivine hirth was completelv eliminated.'
We ohserve also that in manv Siherian communities a woman shaman is not permitted to touch
the drum.
The question ol the chanee ol sex, especiallv as it concerns the most powerlul shamans, cannot
he explained on a purelv phvsical hasis. Several perversions occur amone these people, as thev do
in all primitive and even in more civilized societies, hut it does not lollow that everv patholoeical
individual is the suhject ol maeical worship. On the contrarv, when readine the detailed
description ol the translormed shamans in Boeoras and ¹ochelson, we see that in nearlv everv case
these shamans are at lirst normal people and onlv later, hv inspiration ol spirits, have to chanee
their sex. As descrihed in previous paees, some ol them have secretlv, alone with an ollicial
hushand ol the same sex, normal sexual relations with a person ol the other sex, and we mav
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· · - -
even assume that some ol them actuallv hecame sexless, althoueh in certain cases the outward
show required hv relieious considerations mav cover ahnormal passions.
It is scarcelv possihle to see in these cases a relieious conception
|·. The Yukaehir lorm an exception. ¹ochelson savs. 'I lound no indications ol such an institution amone the
Yukaehir, except in the dress ol the shamans, which includes articles ol lemale attire. (T|e YvIog|jr onJ
YvIog|jrjzeJ Tvngvs, p. ··a.)
a. Sieroszewski.
¸. ¹ochelson, op. cit., p. ¡¡.|
ol a divine two-sexed shaman emhodvine in one heine a perlect man- and woman-nature. We do
not lind such eods or spirits amone the Palaeo-Siherians, thoueh we encounter this idea amone
the more advanced Neo-Siherians. In the relieion ol the natives ol the Altai this idea is expressed
hv the name 'mother and lather ol the man', eiven to the Supreme Beine.
It mav he that the most satislactorv hasis lor an attempt at the solution ol this prohlem would he
the socioloeical one.
The extraordinarv riehts eranted hv the communitv to the shaman are clearlv evident in the
exceptional position he occupies. Shamans (male and lemale) mav do what is not permitted to
others, and indeed thev must act dillerentlv, hecause thev have a supernatural power recoenized
hv the communitv.|·|
Takine some ol the characteristics ascrihed to shamans in previous chapters, we see that, inspired
hv the spirits, 'thev mav cut and otherwise injure their hodies without sullerine harm.'|a| Thev
mav, durine shamanistic perlormances, 'ascend to the skv toeether with the shaman's drum and
sacrilicial animal.'|¸|
Thev mav eive hirth to a child, a hird, a lroe, 8c.,|¡| and thev mav chanee their sex il thev are 'real
shamans', with supernatural powers, with a true vocation.
Sociallv, the shaman does not helone either to the class ol males or to that ol lemales, hut to a
third class, that ol shamans. Sexuallv, he mav he sexless, or ascetic, or have inclinations ol
homosexualistic character, hut he mav also he quite normal. And so, lormine a special class,
shamans have special tahoos comprisine hoth male and lemale characters. The same mav he said
ol their costume, which comhines leatures peculiar to the dress ol hoth sexes.
The woman-shaman is not restricted to tahoos specilicallv lemale, lor her social position is much
hieher than that ol the ordinarv woman. whilst purelv male tahoos are not applied to the man-
shaman, who has, toeether with certain male tahoos, some privileees ol a woman, e.e. amone the
Yakut, access to the house ol lvine-in women durine the lirst three davs alter the hirth ol a child.
|·. Irom this point ol view it would appear that the hieh respect shown in individual cases to the lemale shaman is
due to the position which shaman, as such, ol whatever sex, occupies in societv, and does not implv an earlier eeneral
lemale shamanism.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·a a - -
a. ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI.
¸. Sieroszewski, :: Loi w Krojv YoIviow, p. ¡c¸.
¡. Op. cit., P. ¸oo.|
Shamanhood is separated lrom societv hv a houndarv-line ol manv tahoos. When the shaman
cannot keep these tahoos he or she ceases to he a shaman, e. e. the woman durine the period ol
child-hirth and menstruation, when she aeain helones to the communitv ol women.
The class ol shamans, in which the woman acquires certain attrihutes ol a man, and the man
certain attrihutes ol a woman, seems in Siheria to he independent ol lather- or mother-rieht. It
would he interestine to ascertain whether the 'spirits' inspirine the chanee ol sex are ol opposed
sexes, as was sueeested hv ¹. G. Irazer.' |·|
The shaman class, throueh the exclusion ol its memhers lrom hoth the male and the lemale
sections ol societv, mav in some cases he patholoeical, hut this is in no sense a sienilicant or
indispensahle characteristic, since in the onlv instances where the 'marriaee' ol translormed
shamans with persons ol the same sex has heen ohserved in our time (i.e. amone the Chukchee)
it is alwavs disapproved hv puhlic opinion.|a|
The maeico-relieious and socioloeical explanation ol the chanee ol dress amone shamans does not,
however, applv satislactorilv to the IoeIc|vc|, lor prolessional shamanism amone the Kamchadal
was not oreanized and developed to the point ol producine a distinct section ol societv inspired
hv shamanistic spirits. Neither does this explanation cover cases in which men are dressed in
women's costume without heine shamans at all. Perhaps we mav here lind aid in the sueeestions
put lorward hv Mr. Crawlev.|¸| in treatine ol the heliel, verv widespread amone primitive
peoples, in the possihilitv ol the transmission ol leminine qualities, especiallv weakness, hv
contaeion. He cites
|·. Op. cit., ·oc·, pp. ¸8¡-¡¸¸.
a. Since this chapter was written I have heen ahle to lamiliarize mvsell with a verv interestine
pamphlet hv the prominent Russian socioloeist, A. Maksimoll, dealine with the same suhject
under the title 'The Chanee ol Sex', Pvssjon Ani|rov. 1ovrn., xxix. I was elad to see that
Maksimoll also is not satislied with the phvsioloeical explanation ol this phenomenon. He eives
two reasons lor his douhts. (·) The phenomena, in common with the shamanistic practices, is in
decadence evervwhere in Siheria, and il it were onlv due to sexual perversions it would prohahlv
he rather on the increase durine the present period ol colonization, when we know that all sorts
ol diseases and everv kind ol sexual licence have increased amone the Siherian natives. (a) In
manv similar cases amone other peoples we can see that this phenomenon is purelv ritualistic, e.
e. in the case ol the Mujerados ol New Mexico (pp. ··-·8).
¸. 'Sexual Tahoo. a studv in the Relations ol the Sexes,' ¹ournal Ol the Anthrop. Inst., xxiv. ·a¡-¡.|
manv instances ol 'the custom ol deeradine the cowardlv, inlirm, and conquered to the position
ol lemales' hv puttine women's clothes on them. Ouotine lrom L. Morean (T|e Leogve o| T|e
Iroavojs, p. ·6) he savs. 'When the Delawares were denationalized hv the Iroquois and prohihited
lrom eoine out to war, thev were, accordine to the Indian notion, ¨made women¨, and were
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·¸ ¸ - -
hencelorth to conline themselves to the pursuits appropriate to women.' Is it not reasonahle to
suppose that we have in the IoeIvc| ol the Kamchadal simplv another instance ol a similar
practice, especiallv when we consider the accounts eiven hv ¹ochelson, Boeoras, and others ol the
treatment ol slaves amone some other Palaeo-Siherians: The ohject aimed at in the -treatment
relerred to hv Mr. Crawlev is the weakenine to the point ol emasculation ol the character ol
enemies held captive or in suhjection, so as to reduce their capacitv lor workine mischiel to the
conquerors to a minimum. ¹ochelown, speakine ol slaverv as it lormerlv existed amone the
Yukaehir, savs. 'The slave (captive) staved in the house with the women . . . and did the
housework on equal terms with the women.¨ He makes a similar statement ahout the status ol
the captive slaves lormerlv held hv the Korvak.|a| Close association with women, the primitive
areues, produces elleminacv in a man, hv contaeion. Keep him with the women, put their clothes
on him, and he is no loneer daneerous, il hostile, and mav he made uselul in occupations suited to
lemales. In the ahsence ol satislactorv evidence lor the other hvpothesis put lorward, and takine
into consideration the attitude towards captive slaves ol other Palaeo-Siherians as exhihited
ahove, it would seem at least prohahle that the IoeIc|vc| ol the Kamchadal were, or had
developed lrom, a class ol captive slaves.
Thoueh Boeoras, in his account ol the slave-class which existed until comparativelv recent times
amone the Chukchee, does not reler to anv delinite attempt made hv these people to leminize
their captives, his statement that the word ömv|jn applied to such slaves means primarilv
'weakline', and that all the other terms applied to captive slaves have an implication ol contempt,
supports the assumption that the Chukchee hold the same view as other Palaeo-Siherians,
includine the Kamchadal, ol what was the ideal condition ol a slave-class.
|·. ¹oeliolson, T|e YvIog|jr p. ·¸¸.
a T|e KorxoI, p. ·66.|
Chapter XIII
BENEVOLENT supernatural heines are called hv the Chukchee vojrgji, i. e. 'heines'. The most
important are the 'henevolent heines sacriliced to' (iooronxo vojrgji), those to whom the people
hrine sacrilices. Thev live in twentv-two dillerent 'directions' ol the Chukchee compass. The
chiel ol these heines is the one residine in the zenith, which is called 'heine-a-crown' (Ionojrgjn),
or 'middle-crown' (gjnonIonon). Mid-dav, the Sun, and the Polar Star are olten identilied with
the 'middle-crown '. The Dawn and the Twilieht are ' wile-companions', several ol the tales
descrihine them as heine married to one wile. The 'directions ' ol the evenine are toeether called
'Darkness'. Sacrilices are made to them onlv on special occasions, and are olten mineled with
those ollered to the Ie|ei ('evil spirits') ol the earth.'
The sun, moon, stars, and constellations are also known as vojrgji, hut the sun is a special vojrgjn,
represented as a man clad in a hrieht earment, drivine does or reindeer. He descends everv
evenine to his wile, the 'Walkine-around-Woman'. The moon is also represented as a man. He is
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·¡ ¡ - -
not a vojrgjn,|a| however, hut the son ol a Ie|e ol the lower worlds. He has a lasso, with which he
catches people who look too lixedlv at him. Shamans invoke the moon in incantations and spells.
Amone the stars, the pole-star is the principal vojrgjn, and is most olten relerred to as vnvener, |a|
the pole-stuck star', a name, .which, Mr. Boeoras asserts, is universal throuehout Asia.|¸|
There are several other vojrgji henelicent to man, which Boeoras supposes to he merelv vaeue
and impersonal names ol qualities. 'Thev represent a verv loose and indelinite personilication ol
the creative principle ol the world, and are similar to Vakanda or Great Manitou ol the Indians,'
he savs.|¡| Their names are
|·. Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, ·oc·, ¹.N.P.E., pp. ¸c¸-¡.
a. Vojrgjn, sineular, vojrgji, plural. Ke|e, sineular, Ie|ei, plural.
¸. Op. cit , pp. ¸c¡-·.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¸·¡.|
Tenan-tomein ('Creator', lit. 'One who induces thines to he created'), Gireol-vairein ('Upper-
Beine), Mareinen ('World', literallv 'The Outer-One')., Yaivac-vairein ('Mercilul-Beine'), Yaetac-
vairein ('Lile-eivine Beine'), Kinta-vairein ('Luck-eivine Beine'). These do not receive special
sacrilices, hut are all, except 'Creator', mentioned at the sacrilices to the Dawn, Zenith, and
Middav. The 'Luck-eivine Beine' is sometimes represented as a raven, hut the Creator is never so
represented hv the Chukchee (as he is amone the Korvak), althoueh he is sometimes known as
'the outer earment ol the Creator'. The Chukchee, however, have manv tales ahout Bie-Raven,
whom thev call Tenan-tomein.
Besides these 'Beines', the Reindeer Chukchee have also a 'Reindeer-Beine' (Oorenvojrgjn), who
watches over the herds, and the Maritime people have their 'Beines ol the Sea' (Anaovojrgji), ol
whom the most important are Keretkun and his wile, sometimes called Cinei-new. 'Thev live on
the sea-hottom or in the open sea, where thev have a laree lloatine house. Thev are lareer than
men, have hlack laces, and head-hands ol peculiar lorm, and are clad in lone white earments
made ol walrus-eut adorned with manv small tassels.'|·| Another sea-spirit is the 'Mother ol the
Walrus', livine at the hottom ol the sea, and armed with two tusks like a walrus. Besides her,
there is still another sea-spirit like a walrus, which is helieved to work harm to people, crawline
into their houses at nieht. These walrus-heines do not receive reeular sacrilices, and sometimes
assist the Shaman in the capacitv ol Ie|ei. Keretkun, however, is the recipient ol sacrilices at the
autumn ceremonials. The Asiatic Eskimo have sea-deities similar to those ol the Maritime
Chukchee. |a|
The Chukchee classilv the winds also as 'Beines', whose names are mentioned in incantations, the
local prevailine wind heine alwavs reearded in a eiven localitv as the chiel ol these 'Beines'.|¸|
Spirits ol tents and houses are called 'House-Beines' (Yorovojrgji). Thev are attached to houses,
not to people, and il a house is destroved thev cease to exist with it. Il the inhahitants ol a house
ahandon it, the house-spirits turn into verv daneerous earth-spirits.|¡| A small share ol everv
important sacrilice is placed lor them on the eround in the corners ol the sleepine-room.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·¡ ¡ - -
Othcr spirits, which are neither Ie|ei nor vojrgji, also exist,
|·. Op. cit., p. ¸·6.
a. Op. cit., pp. ¸·6-·8.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¸ac.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¸·8.|
e. e. the spirits ol intoxicatine mushrooms, which lorm a 'Separate Trihe' (xonrovoroi).|·|
Some 'Beines' have so called 'assistants' (vjxo|ei) which receive a share ol the sacrilices. The
'assistant' is verv olten represented as a raven or as hall a raven. Even the Ie|ei have 'assistants'. |a|
All the lorests, rivers, lakes, and the classes ol animals are animated hv 'masters' (ovnro|ji) or
'owners' (eijnvji). Some. times the Chukchee call these Ie|ei-a word which, thoueh it usuallv
means 'evil spirits', sometimes is used in the simple sense ol 'spirits '.|¸| Wild animals are said to
have the same sort ol households as the Chnkchee themselves and to imitate men in their actions.
Ior instance, 'one lamilv ol eaeles has a slave, Rirultet, whom thev stole lrom the earth a lone
time aeo. He prepares lood lor all ol them, and his lace has hecome hlackened with Soot.'|¡|
Animals, like spirits, can take the lorm ol men. The ermine and the owl hecome warriors on
certain occasions, the mice hecome hunters. 'In most cases, animals, while impersonatine human
heines, retain some ol their lormer qualities, which identilv them as heines ol a special class,
actine in a human wav, hut dillerent lrom mankind.' So the lox-woman retains her strone smell,
and the eoose-woman does not take animal lood.|¡|
Lileless ohjects, especiallv il thev have orieinallv heen parts ol livine oreanisms, mav hecome
endowed with lile, e. e. skins readv lor sale mav turn at nieht into reindeer, and walk ahout.|6|
These various 'owners' are verv olten ol the Ie|ei class, hut, accordine to Boeoras, no Chukchee
will conless to havine made sacrilices to evil spirits, except under extraordinarv circumstances.|·|
Boeoras divides the Ie|ei ol the Chukchee into three classes. (a) invisihle spirits, hrineine disease
and death, (h) hloodthirstv cannihal spirits, the enemies ol Chukchee warriors especiallv, (c)
spirits which assist the shaman durine shamanistic perlormances.
Kelet ol the class (a) are said to live undereround, and to have also an ahode ahove the earth, hut
thev never come lrom the sea, lor, accordine to a Chukchee proverh 'nothine evil can come lrom
the sea'.|8|
|·. Op. cit., p. ¸¸¸.
a. Op. cit., ¸·o.
¸. Op. cit., p. a86.
¡. Op. cit., p. a8¸.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·6 6 - -
¡. Op. cit., p. a8¡.
6. Op. cit., p. a8·.
·. Op. cit., p. aoc.
8. Op. cit., p. aoa.
o. In apparent contradiction to the heliel expressed in this proverh is the existence ol the Ie|e in
the lorm ol a walrus, mentioned hv Mr. Boeoras on p. ¸·6, which is harmlul to men.|
The Ie|ei do not remain in their homes, hut wander ahroad and seek lor victims. Thev are too
numerous to he distineuished hv special names. Some ol them are one-eved, thev have all sorts ol
stranee laces and lorms, most ol them heine verv small. Thev are oreanized in communities
resemhline those ol men. On the Pacilic shores thev are olten known as reIIenji (sine. reIIen).
These have various monstrous lorms, and animals which are horn with anv delormitv are
sacriliced to them. The Ie|ei have an especial londness lor the human liver. This heliel is the
oriein ol the Chukchee custom ol openine a corpse to discover lrom the liver which spirit has
killed the deceased.|·| The class (h), which is especiallv inimical to warriors, is spoken ol chiellv
in the tales. While incantations and charms are emploved aeainst spirits ol the lirst class, aeainst
the eiant cannihal Ie|ei ol the second cateeorv ordinarv weapons ol war are used. These spirits
once lormed a trihe ol eiants livine on the Arctic shore, hut heine much harassed hv the
Chukchee, thev chaneed themselves into invisihle spirits.|a|
The third class (c) is that ol shamanistic spirits, sometimes called 'separate spirits' or 'separate
voices'. Thev take the lorms ol animals, plants, iceheres, 8c., and can chanee their lorm verv
quicklv-and also their temper, on account ol this last peculiaritv the shaman must he verv
punctilious in keepine his compact with them. The shaman savs ol them, 'These are mv people,
mv own little spirits.'|¸| We do not lind in Boeoras anv relerence to henevolent shamanistic
spirits or assistants ol the shaman.
Besides these tvpical evil spirits, there is also a class ol 'monsters'. Amone these the chiel is the
killer-whale , which is surrounded hv a tahoo amone all Arctic peoples. anv one who kills a killer-
whale is sure to die verv soon. These monsters in Winter are translormed into wolves and prev
upon the reindeer ol the Chukchee. An exaeeerated representation ol a polar hear also appears as
one ol the 'monsters'. The mammoth plavs an important part in Chukchee heliels. It is said to he
the reindeer ol the Ie|ei. Il the tusks are seen ahove eround, this is a had omen, and unless an
incantation is uttered somethine untoward will happen.
'Accordine to one storv, some Chukchee men lound two mammoth-tusks protrudine lrom the
earth. Thev heean to heat the
|·. Op. cit., pp. aoa-8.
a. Op. cit., pp. ao8-¸cc.
¸. Op. cit., pp. ¸cc-a.|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· · - -
drum and perlormed several incantations. Then the whole carcass ol the mammoth came to sieht.
The people ate the meat. It was verv nutritious and thev lived on it all winter. When the hones
were stripped ol all the meat, thev put them toeether aeain, and in the mornine thev were aeain
covered with meat. Perhaps this storv has lor its loundation the lindine ol a mammoth-carcass
eood lor eatine, as happened on the Ohi in the eiehteenth centurv, and also more recentlv in the
Kolvma countrv.
'Because ol these heliels, the search lor ivorv ol the mammoth was tahooed in lormer times. Even
now, a man who linds a mammoth-tusk has to pav lor it to the ¨spirit¨ ol the place hv various
sacrilices. The search lor such tusks is considered a poor pursuit lor a man, notwithstandine the
hieh price which the ivorv hrines.¨
In the pictorial representations ol these 'monsters', or, rather, exaeeerated animals, all which have
a reindeer as the loremost lieure are intended to represent henevolent spirits, while others in
which a doe, horse, or mammoth stands in lront, represent Ie|ei.
Monstrous worms, hlackheetles, hirds, and lish are the other exaeeerated animal lorms which
Boeoras calls 'monsters'. |a|
Sov|. The soul is called wjrji or vveIIjrgjn ('heloneine to the hodv'). Another term is ieiIexvn,
meanine 'vital lorce ol livine heine'. The soul resides in the heart or the liver, and animals and
plants as well as men possess it. One hears, however, more ahout other 'souls'-those which helone
to various parts ol the hodv. e.e. there is a limh-soul, nose-soul, 8c. And so a man whose nose is
easilv lrost-hitten is said to he 'short ol souls'. Verv olten the soul assumes the lorm ol a heetle,
and hums like a hee in its llieht. When a man loses one ol his souls, he mav ohtain its return
throueh a shaman, who, il he cannot discover the whereahouts ol the inissine soul, can send a
portion ol his own into the person who has sullered this loss. Il a Ie|e steals a soul, he carries it
into his own dark ahode, and there hinds its limhs to prevent its escapine. In one ol the tales 'a
Ie|e lorces a stolen soul to watch his lamp and trim it'. Boeoras knew ol a case ol a man who
struck his wile with a lirehrand, and when the woman died alter two davs, and her relatives had
examined her hodv and lound no injurv to anv orean, thev said that the hushand's hlow had
injured her soul.
|·. Op. cit., p. ¸a6.
a. Op. cit., pp. ¸a¸-¸c.|
'Ke|ei also have souls ol their own, which mav he lost or spirited awav hv shamans.'|·|
C|vIc|ee Vjew o| i|e Unjverse. Accordine to the Chukchee heliel there are several worlds, one
ahove another. Some reckon live such worlds, others seven or nine. A hole, under the pole-star,
lorms a passaee lrom one world to the other, and throueh this hole shamans and spirits pass lrom
one to another ol the worlds. Another wav to reach the other world is to take a step downwards
in the direction ol the dawn. There are also other worlds' in the 'directions' ol the compass, one
under the sea, another small dark 'world' vaeuelv descrihed as heine ahove, which is the ahode ol
the lemale Ie|e-hirds. Some ol the stars also are distinct 'worlds' with their own inhahitants. The
skv, thev sav, is a 'world ' too, and touches our earth at the horizon, where at lour points there are
eates. When the wind hlows these eates are helieved to he openine.|a|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·8 8 - -
In contrast to the Chukchee and the Eskimo, who have whole classes ol Supreme Beines (vojrgji,
Chukchee, IjxornoroI, Asiatic Eskimo), the Korvak, as ¹ochelson thinks, have a tendencv to
monotheism, althoueh he considers it 'possihle that all names now applied hv them to one deitv
mav have lormerlv heen applied to various heines or phenomena ol nature, and that, owine to
their intercourse with the Russians, a monotheistic tendencv ol unitine all names ol the various
deities into one mav have developed'.|¸| That the Korvak conception ol one Supreme Beine is not
indieenous, or at least not verv old, mav he judeed lrom the verv vaeue account ol his nature and
qualities which was all that ¹ochelson was ahle to ohtain lrom these people, and also lrom the
lact that he takes no active part in shapine the allairs ol men. He is, ol course, a henevolent
anthropomorphic heine, an old man with a wile and children, dwelline in the skv. He can send
lamine or ahundance, hut seldom uses his power to do either eood or evil to men.
¹ochelson savs that the ahstract names eiven to him are hardlv consistent with the conception-
distinctlv material, as lar as it eoes-which the Korvak seem to have ol his nature. Some ol
|·. Op cit., pp. ¸¸a-¸.
a. Op. cit., pp. ¸¸c -a.
¸. ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI, p. a¡.|
these names are. 'Naininen (Universe, World, Outer one), Inahitelan or Ginaeitelan (Supervisor),
Yaqhicnin or Caqhicnin (Somethine-Existine), called hv the Paren people Vahicnin, hv those ol
Kamenskove, Vahitnin, or hv the Reindeer Korvak, Vahivnin (Existence, also Streneth), Gicholan
(The-One-on-Hieh), Gicholetinvilan (The-Master-on-Hieh) or simplv Etin (Master), Thairein
(Dawn). In Tale ··¸ we meet with the name Kihieilan (Thunder-Man) lor the Supreme Beine.'|·|
The Supreme Beine is propitiated lor purelv material reasons, such as the procurine ol a lood-
supplv hv huntine land and sea animals, the pickine ol herries and roots, and the tendine ol the
reindeer herds. Il the Supreme Beine ceases to look upon the earth disorder at once heeins, e.e.
Bie-Raven is unsuccesslul in his huntine when Universe (Naininen) has eone to sleep (Tale o). In
like manner, lailure, to oller sacrilices mav hrine some such mislortune on a mail. In one ol the
tales (···), when voune Earth-Maker (Tanuta), the hushand ol Yineaneut, Bie-Raven's dauehter,
lails to make the customarv sacrilice to Inahitelan's (Supervisor's) son Cloud-Man (Yahalan) at
his weddine, Supervisor lorces Yineaneut, or rather her soul, to the edee ol the hearth, where her
soul is scorched hv the lire, and she wastes awav.
Thoueh the Supreme Beine does not interlere activelv in the allairs ol men, their souls (vxjcji or
vxjrji) eo to him alter death and hane in his dwelline on posts or heams, until the time comes
when thev are to he re-horn. The duration ol the luture lile ol each soul is marked on a thone
lastened to it, a short thone indicatine a short lile. Supervisor dwells in the clouds or the skv or
the heaven-villaee. His wile is known variouslv as Supervisor-Woman, Rain-Woman, or Sea-
Woman. His son, Cloud-Man (Yahal, or Yahalan), is the patron ol voune couples, and il a lover,
voune man or woman, desires to conquer the heart ol the one heloved, this is accomplished hv
heatine the drum, and the propitiation ol this patron is also the reason whv the hrideeroom
sacrilices a reindeer to Cloud-Man alter marriaee.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·o o - -
¹ochelson lound onlv one tale (o) relatine directlv to the Supreme Beine, thoueh there are
relerences to him in some others. In this tale, which is lull ol coarse details, Universe sends heavv
rain upon the earth lrom the vulva ol his wile. Bie-Raven and his son are ohlieed to chanee
themselves into ravens,
|·. Op. cit., p. a¡.|
llv up to heaven, and put a stop to the incessant rain hv a trick. This tale must not he told in line
weather, hut onlv to put an end to rain or a snow-storm.
As stated ahove, the Supreme Beine sends Bie-Raven to order human allairs. The native name lor
Bie-Raven is Ouikinnaqu or Kutkinnaku, which are auementative lorms ol the words lor 'raven'.
He is also known as Acicenaqu (Bie-Grandlather), or Tenantomwan (Creator). The tales ahout
Bie-Raven lorm part ol the Pacilic Coast cvcle ol raven mvths, lor we lind this lieure in the
mvtholoev ol the north-western Amerinds as well as in that ol the Siherians ol north-eastern
Asia. But, amone the Korvak, Bie-Raven plavs a part also in the ritual ol their relieious
ceremonies. 'Creator' is reallv a misnomer, lor this heine did not exercise anv trulv creative
lunction. he was sent hv the Supreme Beine to carrv out certain relorms in the alreadv oreanized
universe, and was therelore, so to speak, a reoreanizer and the lirst man. He is also a supernatural
heine and a powerlul shaman, and his name is mentioned in almost everv incantation in
shamanistic perlormances. 'When the shamans ol the Maritime Korvak commence their
incantations thev sav, ¨There, Bie-Raven is comine'¨ The Reindeer Korvak told me that durine
shamanistic ceremonies a raven or a sea-eull comes llvine into the house, and that the host will
then sav, ¨Slauehter vour reindeer, Bie-Raven is comine'¨'|·|
The personaee known hv this Dame turns into a hird onlv when he puts on a raven's coat. The
ordinarv raven also lieures in the mvtholoev as a droll and contemptihle character, a scaveneer ol
does' carcasses and ol excrement. One ol the tales (8a), ahout the swallowine ol the sun hv Raven
(not Bie-Raven) and the rescue ol the luminarv hv Bie-Raven's dauehter, recalls a tale ol the
settine lree ol the sun told hv the Indians ol the North Pacilic coast. The Korvak do not count it a
sin to kill a raven.
Various contradictorv accounts are eiven ol the oriein ol Bie-Raven. Some sav that he was created
hv the Supreme Beine, others that thev do not know whence he came, althoueh 'the old people'
knew it.
Most ol the Korvak tales deal with the lile, travels, and adventures ol Bie-Raven, his wile Miti,
and their children, ol whom the eldest, their son Ememqut, is the hest known. In
|·. Op. cit., p. ·8.|
these tales, Bie-Raven sometimes appears as a heine ol verv low intellieence, who is olten
outmatched in cunnine, not onlv hv his wile, hut even hv mice. loxes, and other animals.
Translormations, especiallv ol the sexual oreans ol Bie-Raven and his wile (allusions to which
lieure verv lareelv throuehout), supernatural deeds, and indecent adventures, lorm the suhject ol
the ereater part ol the tales. 'The coarseness ol the incidents does not prevent the Korvak lrom
considerine the heroes ol these tales as their protectors.'|·| Manv ol the tales serve no other
purpose than the amusement ol the people.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 8c c - -
In spite ol the lrivolous character ascrihed to Bie-Raven in some ol the tales, he is said to have
heen the lirst to teach the people how to catch sea and land animals, the use ol the lire-drill, and
how to protect themselves aeainst evil spirits. He lived on earth in the manner ol the Maritime
Chukchee, hut some ol his sons were reindeer-hreeders. It is not certain how he disappeared
lrom amone men. Accordine to some, he and his lamilv turned into stones, others sav that he
wandered awav lrom the Korvak. Traces ol his havine lived amone them are still pointed out hv
the Korvak. on a sea-clill in the Taieonos Peninsula are some laree stones which are said to have
heen his house and utensils. His loot-prints and the hool-marks ol his reindeer are to he seen, sav
the Korvak, in the villaee ol Kamenskove.|a|
The Korvak, in common with other Siherian peoples, helieve in another class ol supernatural
heines, known as owners or 'masters' (eijn) ol certain ohjects in which thev are supposed to
reside. ¹ochelson thinks that this conception amone the Korvak is 'not vet dillerentiated lrom a
lower animistic view ol nature'. He linds the idea more hiehlv developed in the jnvo ol the
Eskimo, the vogj| ol the Yukaehir, and especiallv so amone the Neo-Siherians, e. e. in the Yakut
jccj and the Burvat ecen or jsjn. That the conception ol a spirit-owner residine in 'everv important
natural ohject' is not so clear and well delined amone the Korvak as amone the other trihes
mentioned, ¹ochelson considers to he proved hv the vaeue and incoherent replies he received in
answer to questions ahout the nature ol these 'owners'.
The Korvak word lor 'master ol the sea' is onaoIcneijnvj|on (onao, sea). A Reindeer Korvak who
had eone to the sea lor summer lishine, and had ollered a reindeer as a sacrilice to the sea,
|·. Op. cit., p. ac.
a. Op. cit., pp. ac-¸.|
on heine asked hv ¹ochelson whether his ollerine was made to the sea or to the master ol the sea,
replied, 'I don't know. We sav ¨sea¨ and ¨owner ol the sea¨, it's just the same.' Similarlv Some ol
the Korvak sav that the 'owner' ol the sea is a woman, and others consider the sea itsell as a
woman. Certain hills, capes, and clills are called ovvvc| (ovo, 'lather' in Kamenskove dialect,
'erandlatlier' in that ol Paren). These are protectors ol hunters and travellers, hut it is douhtlul
whether the term is applied to the hill itsell or to the spirit residine in it.'
The skv is considered as a land inhahited hv a stellar people. The sun ('sometimes identilied with
The-Master-on-Hieh'), the moon, and the stars are animated heines, and sacrilicial ollerines are
made to the sun. 'Sun-Man (Teikemtilan) has a wile and children, and his own countrv, which is
inhahited hv Sun people.'|a| Marriaees are contracted hetween his children and those ol Bie-
Raven (Tales ·a, ·o, a·).
Mention is also made in the tales ol a Moon-Man (or woman), and a Star-Man. |¸|
The Korvak 'euardians' and 'charms' serve as protectors to individuals, lamilies, or villaees,
whereas such ereater supernatural heines as The-Master-on -Hieh, Bie-Raven, and the malevolent
Io|ov are deities or spirits ol the entire trihe-exceptine those Io|ov that serve individual shamans.
'Guardians' lorm a class ol ohjects that avert evil lrom men. Those ahout which ¹ochelson was
ahle to ohtain inlormation include the sacred implements lor lire-makine, which comprise a lire-
hoard (gjcgjc or gecgej), a how (exei), a wooden drill (moaem, 'arrow'), and a headpiece ol stone or
hone (cenexjne).|¡|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 8· · - -
The lire-hoard is ol drv aspen wood, which ienites easilv, and has holes in it lor receivine the drill.
It is shaped rouehlv to resemhle a human heine. The consecration ol a new lire-hoard to the
ollice ol protector ol the hearth and herd is accompanied with the sacrilicine ol a reindeer to
The-Master-on-Hieh, the anointine ol the lire-hoard with the sacrilicial hlood and lat, and the
pronouncine ol an incantation over it. It would thus appear, ¹ochelson thinks, that the power to
direct some vaeuelv conceived vital principle residine in a crude inanimate ohject to an activitv
henelicial to man lies in the incantation pronounced over it. ¨The headpiece has a hollow socket,
which is placed upon the
|·. Op. cit., pp. ¸c-·.
a. Op. cit., Tales ·a and a·.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¸·.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¸¸.
¡. lhid.|
thin upper end ol the drill. 'The headpiece is held hv one person, the hoard hv another, while the
how is turned hv a third person,' the drill rotatine on its thick lower end in one ol the holes ol the
lire-hoard. The charcoal dust produced hv drilline is collected in a small leathern hae, lor 'it is
considered a sin to scatter' this dust.|·|
Evil Spirits.|a| Evil spirits are called Io|ov (sine. Io|o), correspondine to the Chukchee Ie|ei.|¸| In
the time ol Bie-Raven thev were visihle to men, hut now thev are usuallv invisihle. In most ol the
mvths which reler to them thev are represented as livine in communities like human heines.
Thev are verv numerous, and have the power ol chaneine their size, so that sometimes thev are
verv laree and then aeain verv small. Sometimes thev seem to he ordinarv cannihals and not
supernatural heines at all.|¡| When the Io|ov are visihle thev appear sometimes in the lorm ol
animals, or as does with human heads, or as human heines with pointed heads. 'Their arrows are
supplied with mouths, and thev can he shot without the use ol a how, and llv wherever thev are
sent.'|¡| Some ol the Io|ov live undereround and enter the houses ol men throueh the lire on the
hearth, others dwell on the earth, in the west. Althoueh invisihle, thev can make their approach
lelt. 'Thus, when Bie-Raven's children heein to ail, he savs. ¨The Io|ov must he close hv.¨'|6|
Ko|ov are divided into Maritime and Reindeer Io|ov. Some live in the lorests, others in the
tundra. Human heines are the spoils ol their chase, as reindeer and seals are those ol human
hunters. The Io|ov ol diseases lorm a special class, and the most prominent ol these evil spirits
have special names.
We do not lind amone the Korvak a class ol spirits well disposed towards men, who will lieht
with the Io|ov. There is no eeneric name lor eood spirits. But the natural enemies ol the Io|ov
appear to he Bie-Raven and his children. Some mvths represent Bie-Raven and his children as
heine destroved hv the Wait, or, aeain, the kalan are destroved or made harmless hv Bie-
|·. Ihid.
a. Op. cit., pp. a·-¸c.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 8a a - -
¸. The people ol Paren call them also Io|oI, or IomoI, and amone the Reindeer Korvak thev are
lrequentlv called nenveijcnjn or njnvji.' (Op.cit., p. a·.)
¡. ¹ochelson thinks that in this respect thev resemhle certain malevolent heines ol the Yukaehir,
called Mvthical-Old-Men and Mvthical-Old-Women. (Op. cit., p. a8.)
¡. ¹ochelson, op. cit., p. a8. Ihid.|
Raven. 'He causes them to lall asleep, he takes out their cannihal stomachs durine their sleep. and
puts other ones in their places, usuallv those ol some rodents. At still other times he devises some
other means ol protectine himsell and his children aeainst the invasion ol the cannihals. In one
storv it is told that he heated stones in his house until thev were red-hot, invited the Io|ov to sit
on them, and thus hurned them. At another time he eot rid ol them hv makine a steam hath lor
them, in which thev were smothered. At times an incantation serves him as a means ol rescue. In
another storv Bie-Raven appealed to the Master-on-Hieh lor help aeainst the mouthed arrows ol
the Io|ov with whom he had heen at war, and the deitv eave him an iron mouth, which caueht
all the arrows sent hv the Io|ov.'|·| It will he seen, however, lrom the ahove that Bie-Raven
delends himsell and his lamilv rather than men lrom the attacks ol Io|ov, and, as ¹ochelson savs
in one place, 'Men seem to he lelt to their own resources in their strueele with evil spirits,
diseases, and death'.|a| Ior, as we have seen, even the Supreme Beine plavs no active part in the
protection ol men.¨ On the contrarv, he sends Io|ov to men 'that thev mav die, and that he mav
create other people'.|¡| An old man called Yulta, lrom the villaee ol Kamenskove, told ¹ochelson
that the Io|ov lormerlv lived with The-Master-on-Hieh, hut he quarrelled with them and sent
them down to our world.|¡| Another version has it that Bie-Raven sent the Io|ov down to the
people to eive the latter a chance to test the power ol the incantations he had taueht them
aeainst the Io|ov. One ol the tales relates that 'the dead ancestors send the Io|ov lrom the
undereround world into the villaee ol their descendants to punish the voune people lor plavine
eames at nieht and thus disturhine the rest ol the old people'.|6|
Ko|ov are, however, not alwavs onlv harmlul to men. 'Althoueh', savs ¹ochelson, 'on the whole
the word Io|o denotes all powers harmlul to man, and all that is evil in nature, there are numhers
ol ohjects and heines known under the name ol Io|oI or IowoI that do not helone to the class ol
evil spirits. Thus, the euardian spirits ol the Korvak shamans, and some varieties ol euardians ol
the villaee, ol the lamilv, or ol individuals, are called hv this name.'|·|
In the Korvak cosmoeonv there are live worlds-two ahove
|·. Op. cit., p. ao.
a. Op. cit., p. a¡.
¸. Op. cit., pp. a¡-6.
¡. Op. cit., p. a·.
¡. Ihid.
6. Ihid.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 8¸ ¸ - -
·. Op. cit., p. ¸c.|
and two helow the earth. The uppermost is the seat ol the Supreme Beine, the next is inhahited
hv Cloud-People (Yahalanu), next comes our earth, ol the two worlds helow, that nearest ours is
the dwelline ol the Io|ov, and, lowest ol all (Ennanenak or Nenenqal-'on the opposite side'), is
the ahode ol the shades ol the dead (Peninelau, 'ancient people').|·|
At the present dav onlv the shamans can pass lrom one world to another, hut in the ancient davs
ol Bie-Raven (comparahle to the Arunta aee ol Alcherinea) this was possihle lor ordinarv
The luminaries, the wind, loe, and other phenomena ol nature, as well as imaeinarv phenomena,
are supposed to he endowed with anthropomorphic souls, hence, all the wooden imaees ol spirits
have human laces. In the time ol Bie-Raven men could translorm themselves either into the lorm
ol animals, or into that ol inanimate ohjects|¸| hv donnine an animal's skin or some coverine ol
the shape ol the ohject into which thev desired to he translormed.|¡|
'In the time ol Bie-Raven there was no sharp distinction hetween men, animals, and other ohjects,
hut what used to he the ordinarv, visihle state in his time hecame invisihle alterwards. The nature
ol thines remained the same, hut the translormation ol ohjects lrom one state into another ceased
to he visihle to men, just as the Io|ov hecame invisihle to them. Onlv shamans, that is, people
inspired hv spirits, are ahle to see the Io|ov, and to ohserve the translormation ol ohjects. Thev
are also ahle to translorm themselves hv order ol the spirits, or in accordance with their own
wishes. There is still a livine, anthropomorphic essence concealed under the visihle inanimate
appearance ol ohjects. Household utensils, implements, parts ol the house, the chamher-vessel,
and even excrement, have an existence ol their own. All the household ellects act as euardians ol
the lamilv to which thev helone. Thev mav warn their masters ol daneer, and attack their
enemies. Even such thines as the voice ol an animal, sounds ol the drum, and human speech, have
an existence independent ol the ohjects that produce them.¨
|·. Op. cit., p. ·a·.
a. Ihid.
¸. Op. cit., pp. ··¡-·6.
¡. ¹ochelson thinks that the translormation ol men into women alter puttine on women's clothes,
and vice versa, is closelv related to this eroup ol ideas. (Op. cit., p. ··6.)
¡ ¹ochelson, op. cit., p. ···.|
The Korvak word lor the soul is vxjcji. Thev appear to have a conception also ol 'some other vital
principle or a secondarv soul',|·| whose name ¹ochelson was not ahle to learn, nor could he
ascertain anvthine delinite relatine to it. 'Some vital principle', he thinks, 'is implied in the words
wjixjvj (¨hreathine') and wvxj|wvxj| (¨shadow¨).'|a| Thev draw no verv sharp line ol demarcation
hetween lile and death. A corpse is not 'deprived ol the ahilitv to move. The deceased mav arise,
il he is not -watched'.|¸| How death occurs, accordine to their heliel, is explained hv ¹ochelson as
lollows. 'The soul (vxjcji), or, to he more exact, the chiel soul ol the man, lriehtened hv the
attack ol Io|ov upon it, deserts the hodv, and rises to the Supreme Beine. Accordine to some
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 8¡ ¡ - -
tales, the Io|o himsell pulls the soul out ol the hodv, and sets it lree to eo oll to the skv, in order
to possess himsell ol the hodv, or ol the other souls|¡| ol the deceased.'|¡|
The soul ol a deceased person does not leave the earth at once, hut hovers hieh ahove the corpse.
It is like a llame. Durine illness it is outside the hodv, hoverine low over it il the illness is slieht,
hieher il it is severe. A powerlul shaman is helieved to he ahle to hrine hack the soul to the hodv
ol a person recentlv dead. When the soul ol the deceased rises to the Supreme Beine, the
deceased himsell and his other soul, or his shadow, descend undereround to dwell with the
Peninelau-'the ancient people, people ol lormer times'.|6|
At the time ol Krasheninnikoll and Steller the Kamchadal had several names lor the Supreme
Beine, hut these writers do not eive anv detailed descriptions ol the Kamchadal's relations to their
deities. On the contrarv, Krasheninnikoll thoueht that thev paid no relieious worship to their eod
Kutchu or Kutkhu, and Steller, takine into account their rude and indecent mvtholoev, calls the
Kamchadal geborene Coiies|ösierer.|·| The lollowine
|·. Op. cit., p. ·c·.
a Op. cit., p. ·ca.
¸ Ihid.
¡. Boeoras (C|vIc|ee Moierjo|s, p. ··) savs that the Chukchee attrihute to a man the possession ol
live or six souls (vwjrji). Manv North American Indians have a similar heliel. The Yukaehir heliel
that a man has three souls is said to he horrowed lrom the Yakut, who eive a separate name to
each ol the three (ihid., lootnote).
6. Op. cit., p. ·c·,
·. Op. cit., pp. ·ca-¸.
8. Steller, Pejse von Komisc|oiIo noc| AmerjIo, p. a¡¸.|
names ol deities are recorded hv Krasheninnikoll.|·| Kutkhu (Kutchu), his wile Ilkxum, his sister
Xutlizic, his sons Simskalin and Tizil-Kutkhu, and his dauehter Siduku. Tizil-Kutkhu married
Siduku. Thev had a son Amlei, and a dauehter, who also married each other, and the Kamchadal
are the descendants ol this last pair. Neither Steller nor Krasheninnikoll descrihes the lunctions ol
these eods. Kutkhu is called hv Steller 'the ereatest deitv ol the Kamchadal, who created the
world and everv livine heine'.|a| He mentions also another name lor the Supreme Beine,
Dvsiec|isc|jisc|, and ¹ochelson thinks that this deitv mav have corresponded to the henevolent
Supreme Beine ol the Korvak. The Kamchadal ol the present dav call the Christian God hv a
similar name.|¸|
Accordine to other Kamchadal traditions, the earth was created hv Kutq (Raven). In one such
leeend he makes it out ol his son Simskalin. another has it that he hroueht the earth down lrom
the skv with the help ol his sister and lixed it immovahlv in the sea.|¡|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 8¡ ¡ - -
The Korvak sav that Bie-Raven went awav lrom them. The Kamchadal have a similar tradition,
hut accordine to them, Raven (Kutq) lelt them to eo to the Korvak and Chukehee.|¡|
Volcanoes and hot sprines were reearded as the hahitations ol evil spirits called kamuli. Heaven
and earth were denselv populated hv spirits, some ol whom were eood, hut most were evil,
sacrilices which are not ollered to the eods were made to the spirits.|6|
When the Kamchadal leared heine attacked hv the whale or the walrus, thev used special
incantations to appease them and induce them to spare the hoat and its crew. Thev venerated
also the hear and the woll, and never pronounced the names ol these animals.|·| Thev ollered
sacrilices ol lire at the holes ol sahles and loxes.|8|
Thev helieved that animals and men lived on alter death in another world.|o|
|·. Krasheninnikoll, T|e Descrjvijon o| i|e Covnirx o| Komc|oiIo, ed. ··¡¡, p. ·cc.
a. Op. cit., p. a¡¸.
¸. ¹ochelson, The Korvak, p. ·8.
¡. Op. cit., p. ·a·.
¡. Op. cit., pp. a¸-¡.
6. Krasheninnikoll, op. cit., pp. ·¸-¡.
·. Op. cit., p. 8c.
8. Ihid.
o. Ihid.|
The hiehest henevolent deitv ol the Gilvak is known as Ytsiev, accordine to Schrenck.|·| But
Sternhere|a| savs that thev call the universe Kurn, and applv the same name to their hiehest
anthropomorphic deitv. The 'owner' spirit ol the mountain, and the mountain itsell, is named Pal,
and the sea and its 'owner' thev call Tol. Their name lor the island ol Sakhalin is Mil, literallv
'earth', and thev helieve that the island is a sort ol coverine lor a certain immense eod.|¸| Natural
ohjects all have a lile ol their own, and il one commits violence ol anv kind upon them sacrilice
must he made to the injured 'owners'. Thus, when cuttine down a tree, the Gilvak, lest thev
mieht hurt its 'owner', place upon it an jnov |¡| (c|eI|nIvnjnov), into which the spirit can pass
and retain its lile.
Visihle ohjects in eeneral are merelv masks or coverines lor various anthropomorphic spirits
which reside in them, and this is especiallv the case with ohjects such as stones or roots which
have an outward resemhlance to the human lorm.|¡| Animals, thoueh outwardlv dillerine in lorm
lrom man, are in realitv human heines, with human leelines and souls, and human institutions,
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 86 6 - -
such as the clan. Some ol them, indeed, are superior to man, with hieher qualities ol mind and
hodv. Such are the hear, on land, and a certain laree hird at sea. Both these cause all other animals
to avoid their neiehhourhood. The hear is not daneerous to man in the wilderness, except lor a
short time in the sprine, and the hird is not onlv not harmlul to men, hut henelicent, lor when he
appears the terrilied lishes, lleeine helore him, are an easv prev lor the lishermen. It is not the
animal, however, which is the ohject ol their cult, hut onlv its 'owner', xs. The 'owners' ol the
ioxgo, ol the mountain, ol the sea, and ol the lire, are, ol course, the most important lor men
lrom the economic point ol view. The eods ol the skv are reearded as less important, lor men do
not come into direct contact with them. These live in the skv in clans, and are called i|x njvvI|.
Ol less importance, too, are the eods ol the sun and moon, and nearlv all sacrilices are ollered to
the 'owners' ol the ioxgo, mountains, sea, and lire.|6|
|·. Noijves o| i|e Amvr Covnirx, vol. iii, p. ·c·.
a. T|e Cj|xoI, p. ¡a.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¡¸.
¡. Sternhere savs that the cult ol jnov is horrowed lrom the Ainu (ihid.).
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡¡.
6. Op. cit., pp. ¡¡-o.|
Sacrilices, savs Sternhere, are not usuallv accompanied hv anv elahorate ceremonials. Thev are
hased on the principle ol exchanee, i. e. one does not oller lish to the eod ol the sea, oreanie
animals to the eod ol the ioxgo. When a Gilvak at sea lears the oncomine ol a storm, he throws
some tea-leaves into the water, and savs. 'I prav thee see to it that the sea he not anerv and that I
return home sale and sound.'|·| Wherever a Gilvak eoes he carries with him certain ohjects
intended lor sacrilices, such, lor example, as roots and leaves ol certain plants, especiallv ol the
moriogon. Thev also make hloodv sacrilices. In this case the victim is a doe. Ollerines ol does are
made chiellv at the heeinnine ol the season lor the trappine ol sahles and at the hear-lestival. On
these occasions the victims are killed hv straneline, and as the does are dispatched thev ask them
to make intercession to the eods lor them.|a|
Clan-eods lorm a special cateeorv. Thev are the spirits ol clansmen who have died hv drownine
or lire, or have heen killed hv hears. To them periodical sacrilices are made hv the clan. The hear-
lestival helones to this class ol sacrilices.
Besides all these henevolent deities there are classes ol less important eood spirits-bo|, |oi, and vrj|.
The malevolent heines are called mj|I or Ijnr (Injn). Thev are verv numerous, have various
lorms, and cause all sorts ol mislortune, illness, and death. Manv incantations and shamanistic
ceremonies are practised to ward oll their attacks, hut even a shaman cannot deal with them hv
his own unaided power. He has to call to his assistance two spirit-helpers, IeI|n and Ienc|I|.
These assistants ol the shaman are exceedinelv clever and sometimes verv wicked.|¸|
The Gilvak helieve that an ordinarv man has one soul, a rich man two, while a shaman mav have
as manv as lour. Thus the shaman Chamkh had lour souls, one ol which he received lrom the
mountain, another lrom the sea, the third lrom the skv, and the lourth lrom the underworld. His
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 8· · - -
son Koinit, who had heen chosen hv the spirits to he a shaman, had alreadv two souls, althoueh
he was onlv twelve vears old, and Chamkh was a verv poor man. Besides these principal souls,
everv one has a lesser soul, which thev imaeine as heine like an eee, residine in the head ol the
principal soul. All that a man sees in dreams is the work ol this lesser soul. Alter a man's death,
which thev helieve to he
|·. Op. Cit., p. ¡c.
a. Op. cit., pp. ¡c-a.
¸. Op. cit., p. ·c.|
caused hv his hodv heine devoured hv evil spirits, the soul, also attacked hv the same spirits, mav
escape lrom them, and eoes to the land ol the dead called mx|vo. Here it has the lorm ol a man,
and leads the same kind ol lile as on earth, except that a poor man hecomes rich, and a rich man
poor. Irom this place the soul eoes to another land, and so on lrom land to land, turnine into
smaller and smaller heines in transit-a hird, a enat, and at last a speck ol dust. Some souls return
to earth and are horn aeain. The lesser soul continues to live lor some time in the hest-heloved
doe ol the deceased, which is especiallv cherished and cared lor (see chapter on 'Death').|·|
Batchelor savs that the Ainu helieve in one Supreme Beine, Creator ol all worlds, whom thev call
Kotan Kara Kamui, Moshiri Kara Kamui, Kando Koro Kami- 'the maker ol places and worlds, and
possessor ol heaven'. Komvj means, in the lirst place, 'he who' or 'that which is ereatest' or 'hest'
or 'worst', a secondarv (or more modern) meanine is 'he who' or 'that which covers' or
'overshadows'. In hoth meanines the word is akin to that lor 'heaven', which itsell has lor its root
a word sienilvine 'top' or 'ahove'. When applied to eood powers Iomvj is a title ol respect, and
when the evil eods are called hv this name it implies the lear or dread inspired hv them. Besides
these names, the Ainu sometimes reler to their Supreme Beine under the title Tuntu, which
means 'pillar', 'support', 'upholder'. He is the Creator, 'the summit, centre, and loundation (ol the
world), its orieinator and miehtv ¨Support¨.'|a|
Batchelor thinks that the Ainu. reeard this heine is (i) the creator and preserver ol the world, (ii)
the sustainer ol men in eeneral, (iii) the special protector ol everv individual, with whom men
can communicate in praver.|¸|
There is, accordine to the Ainu heliel, also a multitude ol less important deities, who are suhject
to the hiehest, and carrv out his decrees. Bv their means he created and still sustains the world
and mankind. Some ol these eods are henevolent and have a douhle who is malienant. E.e. there
are two eods ol the sea called Pev vn Iomvj. Thev are hrothers. The vouneer,
|·. Op. cit., pp. ·¡-·.
a. Batchelor, T|e Ajnv o| 1ovon, pp. a¡8-¡·, a¡8.
¸. Op. cit., p. a6·.|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 88 8 - -
Mo oc|o, 'uncle ol peace', is henelicent to man, hrineine lair weather lor lishine. while his elder
hrother, S|j oc|o, is an evil deitv who chases A|o oc|o lrom the seaside, and hrines had weather
to spoil the lishine and wreck the hoats.' Similarlv with other deities ol the waters, VoIIovs|
Iomvj. These are lemale, and have charee ol sprines, streams, waterlalls, lakes, and ponds.
C|jwos| eIoi moi, 'lemale possessor ol places where lresh and salt waters minele', watches over
river-mouths and allows the lish to eo in and out. Nusa, i. e. clusters ol Iemovs|jnoo, or 'leeeed
jnoo' (i. e. jnoo tied to stakes thrust into the eround), are set up hv the water as sacrilices to these
eods. Peirvvs| moi, 'lemales ol the waterwavs', have oversieht ol all streams lrom the source to
the sea. Thev, too, are worshipped with ollerines ol nvso, and appealed to lor protection in
descendine the rapids, and lor eood lortune in lishine.|a| SoroI Iomvj, on the other hand, is the
evil eod ol the rivers. The word soroI denotes accidental death, and this eod is said to hrine ahout
death not onlv hv drownine, hut also hv mishap ol anv kind.|¸|
The eoddess ol the sun is eenerallv reearded as the chiel ol the secondarv eods, lor she is
considered to he the special ruler ol all eood thines in the universe. There is also a eod ol the
moon. Some consider the moon a lemale, and the sun a male, hut the majoritv speak ol the sun as
heine lemale. These luminaries would seem to he reearded rather as the dwellines ol deities than
as heine deities themselves. Il the eod ol the sun or ol the moon depart lrom their dwellines, the
dav or the nieht is darkened. Hence the lear which the Ainu have ol eclipses.|¡|
The stars are not worshipped, thoueh the term Iomvj ('eod') is sometimes applied to them. The
Milkv Wav, or 'river ol the eods', crooked river', is a lavourite resort ol the eods lor lishine.|¡|
Next in importance to the deitv ol the sun is the eoddess ol lire. She warms the hodv, heals
sickness, enahles man to cook his lood. She is especiallv to he leared hecause she is a witness to
note the acts and words ol men. Herealter thev are punished or rewarded, savs Batchelor,
accordine to her testimonv concernine their actions in lile. It appears that it is not the lire which
is worshipped, hut the eoddess residine in the lire.|6|
'Everv Ainu hut is supposed to have its special euardian eod who is thoueht to rest upon the rool
when the master is at home,
|·. Op. cit., p. oa.
a. Op. cit., pp. o¸-¡.
¸. Ihid.
¡. Op. cit., pp. a·¸-¡.
¡. Op. cit., p. a·6.
6. Op. cit., p. a··.|
and eive warnine ol approachine daneer, and who accompanies the head ol a lamilv when he eoes
lorth to his wars and on his huntine expeditions.'|·| Batchelor savs also that thev helieve that
everv person has his own protectine spirit.|a|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - 8 8o o - -
Traditions inlorm us that the eods eather themselves toeether and consult with one another as to
wavs and means helore thev act, the Creator, ol course, actine as president, just in the same
wav as the Ainu chiels used to meet toeether lor consultation helore thev acted.'|¸|
Il an Ainu linds that the particular eod worshipped does not answer his praver, he appeals to the
Creator, sometimes even accusine the lesser eod to him ol neelectine his dutv.|¡|
Thev helieve that their lirst ancestor, whom thev call Ajojno Iomvj, hecame divine, and, as
Batchelor savs,. 'has now the superintendence ol the Ainu race'.|¡|
The Ainu helieve in evil as well as in eood spirits. The chiel evil spirit is Njine Iomvj, and there
are also other malienant heines who preside over accidents and diseases ol the hodv and mind.|6|
The souls hoth ol animals and men are helieved to survive hodilv death, and, accordine to
Batchelor, the Ainu heliel in a judeement ol souls is strone and well delined.|·|
The Ainu helieve that the soul will inhahit alter death a hodv almost exactlv resemhline that
which it has occupied in lile, and that the communitv ol souls in the luture lile, in its pursuits
and enjovments, is practicallv the same as the Ainu communitv on earth. Souls can revisit this
earth as ehosts whenever thev desire to do so and some ol the livine also have the power to eo
amone the ehosts in their dwelline-place. In neither case can the visitor make himsell heard, hut
he himsell can hoth see and hear.|6|
The ehosts ol deceased women are ereatlv leared, and that ol an old woman especiallv is helieved
to have an extraordinarv capacitv lor doine harm to the livine. Even while alive on earth old
women have ereat power over men, and children are much alraid ol them. Iormerlv the hut in
which the oldest woman ol a lamilv died was hurnt alter her death to prevent the spirit returnine
to work mischiel to her ollsprine and to her sons- and dauehters-in-law. The soul returnine lrom
the erave to exercise
|·. Op. cit., p. a6·.
a Ihid.
¸. Op. cit, p. a6¸.
¡. Op. cit., p. a6¡.
¡. Op. cit., p. a¡a.
6. Op. cit., p. a¡·.
·. Ihid.
8. Op. cit., p. aa¡.|
its spells upon the livine was thus unahle to lind its lormer home, and wandered ahout lor a time
in a lurious raee. Durine this period the erave was carelullv avoided.|·|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o oc c - -
All souls eo lirst to Pokna-Moshiri, the underworld. Here there are three roads, one leadine to
Kanna-Moshiri, 'the upper world', our world, another to Kamui-Kotan, 'the place ol eod', or
Kamui-Moshiri, 'the kinedom' or 'world ol eod', and the third to Teinei-Pokna-Shiri, 'the wet
undereround world'. On reachine Pokna-Moshiri, the soul is sent, on the testimonv ol the eoddess
ol lire, either to Kamui-Kotan or to Teinei-Pokna-Shiri, to he rewarded lor a eood lile, or
punished lor an evil one. Il the spirit denies havine done evil, he is conlronted hv a picture
representine his whole lile which is in the possession ol the lire-eoddess. 'Thus the spirit stands
sell-condemned' to punishment in Teinei-Pokna-Shiri.|a|
Some ol the Ainu hold that women, who are considered inlerior to men 'hoth spirituallv and
intellectuallv', have 'no souls, and this is sometimes stated as a reason whv women are never
allowed to prav'. But Batchelor thinks that the real reason lor this prohihition is that the Ainu are
alraid that the women will appeal to the eods aeainst their ill-treatment hv the men.|¸|
Such are the views attrihuted hv Batchelor to the Ainu ahout a luture judeement, heaven, and
hell. Accordine to Chamherlain,|¡| these conceptions are not orieinal with the Ainu. He savs.
'Some ol the Ainos sav that Paradise is helow the earth, and Hell helow that aeain. But as thev use
the modern ¹apanese Buddhist names lor those places, thev would appear to he, consciouslv or
unconsciouslv, eivine a loreien tinee to their old traditions. The lact that manv Aino lairv-tales
mention Hades under the name ol Pokna Moshiri, while none seeminelv mention Heaven or Hell,
lavours the view that no moral thread was woven into the idea ol the next world as orieinallv
conceived hv the Aino mind.'
|·. Op. cit., p. aa¸.
a. Op. cit., pp. a¸·-8.
¸. Op. cit., pp. a¸¡-¡. This statement ol Batchelor's implies that the Ainu women have a verv low
social position. On the other hand, hoth Sternhere and Pilsudski, who have an intimate
acquaintance with Ainu lile, sav that the social position ol women amone the Ainu is hetter than
in anv other ol the trihes ol Siheria, and consider that this is prohahlv due to the existence ol a
matriarchate amone the Ainu in comparativelv recent times.
¡. T|e Longvoge, Mxi|o|ogx, onJ Ceogrov|jco| Nomenc|oivre o| 1ovon revjeweJ jn i|e Ljg|i o|
Ajno SivJjes, V. ·o.|
Accordine to Troshchanski, the chiel henevolent eod ol the Yakut is Urun-Aïv-Tovon, the white
lord and creator ol the earth and inan. This writer thinks that Urun-Aïv-Tovon was reearded as
the lather ol lieht, and since amone all the Turkic trihes the sun is considered the lather ol lieht,
his opinion is that this eod was orieinallv the Yakut eod ol the sun. When the Yakut mierated
northward, where the sun is not so much in evidence as in the south, thev kept the name Urun-
Aïv-Tovon as that ol their principal 'white' eod, and eave a new name to the sun--Kun-Tovon,
'Sun-Lord', or simplv Kun, the latter heine the ordinarv word lor 'lieht', 'dav'. However, oíx and
Ivn are olten used svnonvmouslv.|·| While Troshchanski,|a| lollowine Piekarski, savs that Urnn-
Aïv-Tovon is sometimes called Art-Tovon-Aea, 'Iather-Ruler-ol-All', or Ar-Aïv-Tovon,
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o o· · - -
Sieroszewski|¸| and Priklonski think that Art-Tovon-Aea is the hiehest eod, livine in the Ninth
Skv, and that Urun-Aïv-Tovon, who lives in the Third Skv, is next to him in dienitv. Sieroszewski
savs that the Yakut Olvmpus is oreanized on the plan ol the clan-svstem ol the Yakut. The skv-
eods are divided into nine bjs or ogos, and the eods ol the lower world into eieht. The skv-eods
are arraneed in the lollowine order.
(i) Art-Tovon-Aea, the powerlul ruler ol lieht and lile, speakine in the storm and thunder,
somewhat indillerent to human allairs, and to he appealed to onlv in exceptional circumstances.
In his honour are celehrated the ereat clan ceremonies, xsxoI|, in which sacrilice ol Ivmxs is
made to him. Generallv speakine, hloodv sacrilices are not made to the henevolent deities. Onlv
to the eod ol huntine, Bav-Nav, is sacrilice involvine hloodshed ollered, and even in this case such
sacrilices are limited in the quantitv ol hlood that mav he shed.
(ii) Urun-Aïv-Tovon, 'White-Lord-Creator'.
(iii) Nalhan-Aïv, Kuhav-Khotun-Lä, 'Kind-Mother-Creatress'.
(iv) Nalvevr-Aïssvt-Khotun, the henevolent eoddess who presides over child-hirth.
|·. T|e Evo|vijon o| i|e B|ocI Foji| lS|omonjsm) omong i|e YoIvi, pp. ¸¸-·.
a. Op. cit., p. ¸·,
¸. Sieroszewski, :: Loi w Krojv YoIviow, pp. ¸88-o.|
(v) An-Alav-Khotun, the tutelarv eoddess ol the earth, lields, and vallevs, with her children, the
spirits ol öröIöJjöröIö.
(vi) SöiöIüröDjösogojAíx, seven hrothers, eods ol lieht, war, 8c.
(vii) Moeol-Tovon and his wile, the deities ol the cattle.
(viii.) Bav-Nav, eod ol huntine.
(ix) Gods who euard the roads to the skv.|·|
Sieroszewski savs that the natives are quite readv to eive inlormation ahout the clan arraneement
ol the skv-eods, hut that it is verv dillicult to eet similar inlormation ahout the eods ol the
underworld, since verv lew ol the ordinarv people know anvthine ahout them, and the shamans
are alraid ol hetravine the secrets ol these lormidahle heines. The chiel ol the 'dark' spirits is
Ulutuver-Ulu-Tovon, 'Onmipotent Lord'. He is alwavs descrihed as livine in the western skv, and,
in contrast to the inactive Art-Tovon-Aea, he is the personilication ol action and ol the passions.
Ulu-Tovon is not alwavs harmlul to men, lor he eives to them one ol his souls, sur, and delends
them lrom the attacks ol obossx|or. In some descriptions he appears as the hiehest ol the active
supernatural powers, and not necessarilv evil, hut in other accounts he is descrihed as a 'dark'
spirit, the ruler ol obossx|or, just as Art-Tovon-Aea is the ruler ol oíx, who inhahit the eastern
skv .|a|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o oa a - -
The obossx|or are divided into 'Upper', livine in the western skv, 'Middle', livine on the earth, and
'Lower', inhahitine the suhterranean world, hut, wherever thev live, thev are all harmlul to men
Ic|c|j, literallv 'owner', sienilies an ' owner'-spirit ol various ohjects. Everv river, lake, stone, and
sometimes even parts ol these, has its own jc|c|j, who controls it. Movahle ohjects and those
which can produce sounds also have their jc|c|j. Ic|c|j do not helone either to the oíx or to the
obossx|or, thoueh in manv cases, like the obossx|or, thev are harmlul to men. Thus, lor example,
Kurar-Ichchi, the 'owner' ol the wind, is hv manv writers considered as a 'hlack' spirit, since the
wind is verv olten daneerous and harmlul.|¡| In the wanderines ol the trihe throueh dillicult
countrv, hv daneerous roads, or throueh trackless reeions, accidents mav olten happen to a cart or
some part ol its equipment. Such mislortunes are attrihuted to the local jc|c|j, who must
therelore he placated hv sacrilices. The Yakut have a
|·. Op. cit., p. ¸oc.
a. Op. cit,, p. ¸o·.
¸. ¹ochelson, T|e KorxoI, p. ·oc.
¡. Troshchanski, op. cit., pp. a6-¸c.|
special laneuaee lor use durine these journevines. In this laneuaee, implements or other valuahle
ohjects are eiven certain nicknames instead ol names proper to them, in order that the jc|c|j mav
not know that the ohjects in question are relerred to lor il thev did, thev would destrov or harm
them. Ior the same reason the Yakut olten emplov Russian names lor thines thev value, heine
certain that the jc|c|j will not understand these.|·|
The Yakut division ol the universe is mainlv horizontal, comprisine two parts-east and south, the
hahitation ol eood spirits, and west and north, ol evil spirits. The ereat evil spirit, Allara-Oeonur,
'Undereround-Old-Man', lives in the lar north. There is also a vertical division into upper, middle,
and lower works, hut this is less precise and not so important as the horizontal division, since
obossx|or, or evil spirits, are lound in all three divisions, so that no one ol the vertical worlds is
restricted to the 'white' or eood spirits, oíx.
The Yakut helieve that man is composed ol (i) ixn, 'lile', 'hreath', (ii) Ivi, the phvsical soul, and
(iii) sür, the psvchic Soul. Txn is common to men, animals, and plants, as amone the Altaians. Kvi
is common to men and animals, and is composed ol three parts. (a) bvorIvi, literallv 'earth-soul',
i.e. soul composed ol earthlv elements, (h) so|gxnIvi, literallv 'air-soul', i.e. composed ol air, (c)
jxöIvi, 'mother-soul', the maternal element. It mieht seem, savs Troshchanski, that there are here
three souls, hut in lact Ivi is one soul composed ol these three elements. A Yakut woman is
alwavs delivered ol her child on the hare eround within the xvrio, lor the Yakut helieve that the
bvorIvi is communicated to the inlant lrom the earth at the moment ol hirth. So|gxnIvt it
receives lrom the air shortlv alterwards, while the third element, jxöIvi, comes to the child lrom
the mother.|¸| Troshchanski considers that the prool ol Ivi heine hut one soul composed ol three
parts is lound in the lact that the Yakut helieve that lishes have no Ivi, heine cut oll lrom hoth
air and earth and not heine viviparous.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o o¸ ¸ - -
The Altaians also have a conception ol a Ivi, hut theirs does not comprise three elements as does
that ol the Yakut.
Kvi is a phvsical conception ol the soul, while sür, althoueh in some deeree a material conception,
has more ol a psvchical
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡¡.
a Troshchanski, op. cit., p. ·a.
¸. Op. cit., p. ·¡.|
character than Ivi. The sür enters the mother hv wav ol her temples at the moment ol
conception. The Ivi is sent hv Art-Tovon-Aea, and the Sür hv Ulu-Tovon. Sür is connected with
the head, and has no shadow, Ivi with the ahdomen, and has three shadows. Alter death Ivi is
devoured hv the obossx|or, thoueh there is also a heliel that the Ivi remains lor some davs near
the hodv ol the deceased, and then departs to the other world.' Sür is common to man and the
animals, and is even possessed hv lishes.|a| Troshchanski|¸| savs that the word sür is also used to
denote unusual psvchic powers, such as are possessed hv shamans, and, indeed, accordine to the
leeend,|¡| shamans receive their heads (the seat ol sür) lrom heaven. Il, as Troshchanski thinks,
the sür is priniarilv connected with the shaman as his distinctive lamiliar spirit, and does not
perish alter death like the Ivi, nor eo to the other world like the Ivi,|¡| then it would seem clear
that the ömögxoi, which accordine to some is a shamanistic spirit passine lrom one shaman to
another, usuallv hv hereditv, is not in lact a spirit at all, hut simplv an impersonal power
invariahlv associated with shamans.|6|
Accordine to the heliel ol the Altaians, the eood spirits (orv neme) are all suhjects ol the eood
eod Yuleen, and the had spirits (Ioro neme) ol the evil eod Erlik. Yuleen is so kind and eenerous
that he never does harm to men. Sacrilices are ollered to him hv all, hut no one lears him. Everv
hrideeroom must sacrilice to him a horse (jjI) ol a lieht colour alter his marriaee. The jjI is
surrounded with everv mark ol respect, red rihhon is tied to its mane, and no woman must
mount upon its hack. This sacrilice is ollered in sprine, in a hirch thicket, no woman must he
present at the ceremonv, and even the shaman must ol necessitv he a man. The sacrilicial meat
mav he partaken ol hv women, hut onlv unmarried eirls mav share the least at the spot where the
sacrilice was ollered, married women must not approach nearer than sixtv leet lrom this spot.
|·. Accordine to Mikhailowski, the Samoved helieve that the souls ol ordinarv men perish some time alter the death
ol their possessors (S|omonjsm, p. ·), onlv the souls ol shamans survivine.
a. Op. cit., pp. ·¡-6.
¸. Op. cit., p. ·o.
¡. Op. cit, p. ·8.
¡. Op. cit., p. ··.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o o¡ ¡ - -
6. A similar hvpothesis concernine ömögxoi is put lorward in the chapter on 'The Shaman-his
· Wierhicki, T|e Noijves o| i|e A|ioj, p. ¡¸.|
Sacrilice is made to Erlik-usuallv ol some animal-when an evil spirit attacks some one. The
ceremonv is perlormed either in the xvrio, in the courtvard, or wherever the attack was made.
propitiatorv sacrilices are ollered, not onlv to Yuleen and Erlik, hut also to secondarv eood spirits,
such as orv neme and oI neme, and to secondarv evil spirits (Ioro neme), which are known to the
Tartars ol Chern as s|ojion, o|mxs, I|owo, Ivremes. The sun, the moon, as well as the mountains,
rivers, and lorest, are also propitiated, or rather the propitiation is ollered to their 'owner' (eczj).
Besides these superior heines, everv clan (seoI) has its own deitv, and everv lamilv its own lamilv
eod ol the xvrio, called bos|iviI|on (or amone the Tartars ol Chern, erIe).
Imaees ol eods are called hv the Yenisei Turks ixns, and hv the Altaians, Ivrmes. These are made
ol various materials, olten skin or wood.
There exists, apparentlv, some understandine hetween Yuleen and Erlik. As the Altaians sav,
'Yuleen and Erlik have one door.'.|·| Sometimes, when Yuleen has heen expectine a sacrilice and
lails to receive it, heine too kind-hearted to punish the culprit himsell, he inlorms Erlik, and then
sacrilices have to he made to hoth. In such cases Erlik commands Kaevr Khan to punish the
culprit until he makes the expected sacrilice. Kaevr Khan has power over everv xvrio, and hence
minor lihations are made to him at all lestivals.
The intermediarv hetween eods and men at all sacrilices, and the priest at these ceremonies, as
well as the prophet, is the Iom or shaman. His power is ereater or less accordine to the deeree ol
ies bozxnxoi|a| (prohahlv 'ancestor-spirit' or 'power ol ancestor-spirit') possessed hv him. |¸|
The local division ol the universe is partlv horizontal, partlv vertical, and the eood spirits live in
seventeen lloors ahove the earth, while the had occupv seven or nine under it. Erlik Khan, the
chiel ol the had spirits, lives on the lowest lloor, where the sun and moon are supposed to eive
onlv a verv leehle lieht. This Erlik Khan is held to have heen orieinallv a heavenlv spirit, which
shows that even in the past the 'white' spirits were predominant.|¡|
The Altaians helieve that the soul ol man is composed ol
|·. Ihid.
a. This conception is sirnilar to that ol ömögxoi anione the Yakut.
¸. Wierhicki, T|e Noijves o| i|e A|ioj, p. ¡¸.
¡ Ihid.|
several parts, or rather exists ill several conditions or staees. When a man is ill,|·| thev consider
that one ol his souls, svzx, is ahsent, hut that another soul, called ixn, still remains in the hodv, so
that the svzx can he recalled.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o o¡ ¡ - -
(a) Tvn |a| sienilies vitalitv, i.e. a soul common to plants, animals, and man. Il the svzx does not
return soon to the hodv, the ixn perishes. The soul ol a dead man is called vzjvvixn. The word
ixn comes lrom ixnjv, 'I hreathe', or ixnji, 'hreath'. The Altaians sav that one can hear a sound as
ol the snappine ol a strine when the ixn is departine. One must not approach too near to a dvine
man, lor the heliel is that in such a case the ixn ol a livine person can pass into the latter.
(h) Svzx is derived lrom sv, 'water', 'river', and uzak, 'lone'. The word svvzoI means 'lone-lived',
'healthv', and svzx sienilies primarilv the streneth necessarv lor a man or animal in order that he
mav he healthv and live lone.
(c) Kvi is almost the same as svzx, or is, so to speak, the next staee ol svzx. This word is derived
lrom IvJov, 'I vanish'. Kvi connotes, in lact, the destruction ol some vital principle. The
expression er IvJvv vorJx means 'the earth has lost its vitalitv' or 'has hecome harren'.
(d) Tv|o is prohahlv derived lrom iv|vv, 'I tear'. Animals have no iv|o, it helones onlv to men.
Durine a shaman's perlormance he represents this soul as a small white hullet continuallv in
motion like quicksilver.
(e) Sür, lrom sürvv, 'I pursue', 'I drive awav'. This soul separates lrom a man at death, and is
hanished lrom the dead man's hahitation lortv davs alter his death. Sürmei means a 'picture',
'representation'. The Altaians helieve that hoth men and animals, or their sürmei, continue to
exist alter hodilv death, and have the same relations to one another as on earth.
(l) Süne, denotine a phase ol the soul also peculiar to man, comes lrom sünev, 'I advise', 'discuss'.
The word relers to the intellectual powers ol man. It is this soul which assumes alter death the
livine likeness ol its possessor, and wanders in the dwelline ol the dead man, sometimes calline
out to his relatives.|¸|
|·. Op. cit., p. ··.
a. TxnJvogos|, lresh, erowine tree, ixnJve|en, lresh erass (ihid.),
¸. Op. cit., p. ·8.|
The Burvat relieion is a lorm ol polvtheism. Thev have classes ol supernal heines, each class
havine at its head one who is ahove the rest, hut thev have no conception ol a Supreme Beine
over all. The hiehest spirits are called iengerj or iengerjnx. Thev inhahit the skv.|·| There are
ninetv-nine iengerj each with a name ol its own, divided into two eroups-western, borvnj, and
eastern, zvnj. Those ol the west are kind, thev predominate in numhers, heine liltv-live, and are
called sogonj iengerj-White Teneeri. The eastern (lortv-lour in numher) are mischievous, and are
known as I|oron iengerj, or Black Teneeri.|a|
Bauzaroll|¸| speaks ol the old Moneols as heine heaven-worshippers, and this mav he true ol
lormer times, now, however, we lind amone them a curious conception ol heaven not as an
indivisihle whole, hut as a collection ol distinct hodies.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o o6 6 - -
Iollowine what Mr. Klementz |¡| calls the theorv ol the atmospheric explanation ol mvths,
Aeapitoll and Khanealoll, in their Moierjo|s |or i|e SivJx o| S|omonjsm jn Sjberjo, explain the
ninetv-nine iengerj as heine each a personilication ol some atmospheric state, dull, hrieht, cold,
stormv, 8c.
The chiel ol the west iengerj is Khan-Tiurmas Teneeri amone the Burvat ol Balaeansk, and Zavan-
Saean-Teneel amone the Burvat ol Kudinsk.|¡| Not onlv the west iengerj, hut also certain
secondarv spirits called bvrI|ons or I|ois, and eenerallv all the western or eood zoxons, are
suhordinate to this chiel.
The east iengerj,|6| in contrast to those ol the west, are hostile to men, amone whom thev send
mislortunes, quarrels, sickness, and death. In the heeinnine there was no dillerence hetween these
two classes ol iengerj, hut in consequence ol a quarrel which arose amone these spirits, some
separated themselves and went to the east, where thev have since remained as east iengerj,
permanentlv hostile to the others and to men. There is a tradition amone some ol the Burvat, e.e.
those ol the Kuda River, that the white
|·. The skv as seen hv davlieht is called iengerj, the nieht skv is oIiorgo.
a. Khanealoll, ·8o¡, pp. ·-a.
¸. Banzaroll, pp. 6, a6.
¡. 'The Buriat,' E. P. E., p. a.
¡. In Burvat the word zoxon means literallv 'creator', and sogon, white'. Colloquiallv the lormer
word has the ineanine 'eod', 'deitv'.
6. Khanealoll, op. cit., p. ·c.|
iengerj are older than the hlack-a tradition which mav not he unconnected with the other just
mentioned. The chiel ol the east iengerj is Ata-Ulan-Teneeri amone the Balaeansk Burvat, and
amone the Kudinsk Burvat, Khimkhir-Boedo-Teneeri. Not onlv the hlack iengerj hut also other
lesser zavans are suhordinate to him.
The Burvat helieve that the visihle skv has a door throueh which the -western iengerj look lrom
time to time, to see how human allairs are eoine. Il thev hehold some mislortune thev send to the
aid ol men certain ol their children, called I|ois. Il a man should happen to look up at the skv
when this door (iengerjnvJen) opens, he will he verv luckv, and all that he mav then ask lrom
heaven will he eranted him. Durine the hriel moment when this door is open, a elorv lalls Upon
the earth and translieures it to unwonted heautv.|·|
The most important ol the western khats are Khan-Sharean-Novon and Bukha-Novon-Bahai.
The other henevolent spirits are known amone the Kudinsk Burvat as soijnjbvrIoi. Thev are held
in ereat reverence, hecause, as their name shows (so, 'tea'), thev are tutelarv spirits ol tea-plantine,
and the ollerine made to them consists alwavs ol tea, never ol iorosvn.|a|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o o· · - -
The Balaeansk Burvat include amone their henevolent spirits a JoxJoJe|I|ojjjn, that is, the 'host
or owner ol the whole earth', who is represented as an old man with erev hair. His name is
Dahan-Saean-Novon. His wile is also old and white-haired, and her name is Delent-Saean-Khatun.
The Burvat arranee ioj|gons to this zoxon in the autumn alter the harvest.
The Burvat ol Olhonsk oller sacrilice to the 'hostess' ol the sea, Aha-Khatun.
The Burvat ol Balaeansk have also important deities called sogonjI|orJvi.|¸|
Speakine eenerallv, everv leature ol the whole landscape has its 'owner' (jjjn). E.e. in the lakes and
rivers there are spirits known as vI|vnI|oi, and in the lorest lives ojnjjjn, the 'Owner
ol the lorest, a spirit harmlul to men.|¡|
The attitude ol the Burvat towards the manv 'owners' whom thev see in nature is shown in the
lollowine praver. 'Ye keepers ol the echo in the hieh mountains, ve keepers ol the winds ol the
|·. Op. cit., p. ·8.
a Op. cit, p. ¸c.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¡¡.
¡. Shashkoll, ·86¡, p. ¡o.|
wide sea, mv lords who lodee in the hieh mountains, mv eods who live in the wilderness' Be our
support in our need' In the evil vears he eenerous, erant us lertilitv in the lean months' When
We sit within our xvrios ve are not a daneer to us, when we are without, there is no hindrance to
vour power. In the warm nieht ve eive us lieht, in the hot middav ve send us shade. Banish lrom
us evil, hrine near to us the eood' Since ve have made vourselves Creators, save us lrom all perils'
Ye suller not our plate-like laces to sweat, nor our hearts, like huttons, to llutter. Guardians ol
our heads, ve who prepare lood lor our mouths' Throueh the doors ol our xvrios send us ravs ol
lieht, throueh our smoke-holes let us see the sun'¨
A special class in the spiritual world is lormed ol 'smiths', who are also western, or white, and
eastern, or hlack. The lormer protect men and heal them ol ills. Thev are suhordinate to the
western iengerj, and thev have eiven to men knowledee ol their art. The lirst white smith was
Bojintov, a heavenlv zoxon. When, at the hehest ol the western iengerj, white smiths and hlack
descended to earth, Bojintov remained in the skv. He had one dauehter and nine sons, all ol
whom were smiths.|·|
The eastern I|ois are ol the same numher as the western. Their head is Erlen-Khan and his
lamilv. Althoueh thev do nothine hut mischiel to men, thev have communication sometimes
with the western I|ois, the intermediaries, who have no other lunction to perlorm, heine called
j|s|j or bxJeI. There are also nine 'cow' I|ois, who also helone to the eastern zoxons hut are not
suhject to their power.|¸|
In the reeion ol the evil spirits there are two duneeons, one ol which, the lareer, is known as
Khalea, and to this the ereatest hlack shamans eo alter death. It is tinder the rule ol Khara-Eren-
Novon, and a soul can onlv leave the duneeon il the eovernor is well disposed towards it. The
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o o8 8 - -
other duneeon is smaller, and is called Erlen-Tama. It is not accessihle to shamans, and is under
the direct control ol Erlen-Khan.|¡|
Eastern or hlack 'smiths' are called IoroJorI|oi.|¡| Thev are speciallv protected hv the eastern
iengerj, who taueht the smith's art to the lirst 'hlack' smith on earth, Khojir-Khara-Darkhan. The
latter has seven sons, all ol whom are ereat hlack 'smiths'.|6|
|·. Op. cit., p. ··.
a. Op. cit., pp. ¸8-o.
¸. Op. cit., p. ··.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¡·.
¡. Darkhan, sineualr-'a smith'. DorI|oi is plural.
6. Op. cit., p. ¡¸.|
The Burvat ol Balaean helieve that everv disease has its zogon. Thus the disease common in their
district, SjbjrsIoxo xozvo (called in Burvat bomo), has as its 'owner' Bolot-Saean-Novon.|·|
In the clan Olzovev, in the district ol Uneinsk, there are two laree white stones, Bumal-Saean-
Shulun (literallv, 'descendine white stones'), which are helieved to have lallen lrom the skv, and
are worshipped hv the natives.|a|
The souls ol the ereatest shamans alter death hecome zoxons and protectors ol men. Even the
souls ol hlack shamans are said to arranee human husiness with the hlack zoxons. Everv v|vs and
clan has its own zoxons-the souls ol deceased shamans and shamanesses. Their hodies are hurned
or placed in collins, which are put on trees in a neiehhourine lorest or on a mountain, whence
thev are called 'the old people ol the mountain', I|oJov|onöböI|öJ. In everv district there are
such 'old people ol the mountain', lor whom are made ioj|gons and IjrjIs, with other lesser
propitiatorv ollerines. These 'old people' are purelv local divinities, and are not worshipped
outside ol the particular localitv to which thev helone..|¸|
There are also two classes ol ongons or letishes-'hlack' and 'white'. Thev represent dillerent spirits
and are made ol various kinds ol material, usuallv ol skins, and are ol dillerent lorms, hut
eenerallv have human laces. One kind ol ongons serve onlv lor the amusement ol people. These
are known as noJonj ongon, noJonj heine the name eiven to an evenine's amusement. The
shaman calls upon the spirits represented hv these ongons to amuse the voune people durine an
evenine partv. When the spirit invoked arrives, the shaman himsell pretends to he its ongon, and
heeins to make jests at the expense ol the people present, who must not make anv ohjection, hut
allect to he amused, lor these ongons must he welcomed with merriment, and are annoved
Althoueh the Burvat have manv leeends ahout animals, which lieure lareelv in their mvtholoev,
animals never rise to the rank ol deities. Some are even said to have a luture lile, e.e. the horse,
eaele, hedeehoe, swan, lox, and even the worms in the lields. The snake is olten represented in
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - o oo o - -
ritual as well as in mvtholoev. It is a curious lact that the hear, which plavs such an important
part in the heliels and ceremonies ol other
|·. Op. cit., p. ¡¡.
a. Op. cit., p. ¡¡.
¸. Op. cit., pp. 8a
¡. Op. cit., p. ·6.|
shamanists, docs not enter into the mvths and ritual ol the Burvat.
The sun and the moon are amone the principal tutelarv spirits. In most ol the tales thev are
represented as heine ol the male sex, and as takine women lor wives. When there is an eclipse ol
the sun or moon, said a Balaeansk shaman, this is hecause thev have heen swallowed hv an o|I|o,
a monster without trunk or limhs, havine onlv a head. The sun, or the moon, then cries 'Save me''
and all the people shout and make a ereat noise to lriehten the monster.|·|
The Burvat helieve that man is composed ol three parts. oxexe, material hodv, omjn, lower soul,
hreath, and svnxesvn, soul heloneine to man onlv. Amjn is connected with death, when it leaves
the hodv, death occurs. Svnxesvn has a similar connexion with sleep, leavine the hodv when one
is sleepine. Batoroll |a| relates the historv ol the soul alter death as lollows. When the time comes
lor a man to die, er|jIs capture one ol his souls, and hrine it helore Erlik-Nomon-Khan lor
judeement. Alter this soul has heen captured, it sometimes happens that a man mav live on lor as
lone as nine vears, hut he never enjovs his lormer health and streneth.
The second part ol the soul does not leave the earth, hut chanees at the death ol the man into a
boI|o|Jox, which continues to live in a dwelline on earth and in a manner exactlv similar to that
which the man lormerlv lollowed. There are dillerent classes ol boI|o|Joxs.
The third part ol the soul is horn aeain in the lorm ol a human heine hut Batoroll |¸| does not tell
us when and how this reincarnation takes place.|¡|
BoI|o|Joxs are sometimes the souls ol deceased shamans, to whom the Burvat hrine sacrilices,
savs Batoroll,|¡| these boI|o|Joxs, then, lorm the class ol zoxons to which relerence was made
ahove. BoI|o|Joxs are more or less powerlul, accordine to the qualitv ol the shamans in lile. This
depends, Batoroll thinks,|6| on the viI|o ol the deceased shaman, which means literallv, his
descent or eenealoev, hut lrom other relerences to a shaman's viI|o it
|·. Aeapitoll and Khanealoll. p. ··.
a. 'Burvat heliel's on the boI|o|Joxs and onoI|oxs,' E. S. S. I. R. G. S., vol. ii, part ii, p. ·¸.
¸. Op. cit., p. ·¡.
¡. Ior lurther inlormation as to peculiar Burvat heliels ahout the soul, See the chapter on 'Death'.
¡. Op. cit., p. ·c. Ihid.|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c cc c
- -
seems clear that the word denotes supernatural, shamanistic power, like the Yakut ömögxoi.|·|
The less important boI|o|Joxs do not receive anv propitiatorv ollerines other than an occasional
lihation, which mav he perlormed hv anv one, not necessarilv hv a shaman.
AJo or onoI|ox are, accordine to some traditions, souls ol wicked persons or ol women who
have died childless. No sacrilices are made to them and thev are represented as one-eved, evil,
malicious spirits, who alwavs remain in the same v|vs or house. Thev sometimes take the lorm ol
a doe or cat, alwavs one-eved, thev wander at nieht, hut not everv one can see them, thoueh anv
one can smell their disaereeahle odour. Thev are alraid ol heine seen, ol anerv men, ol lire, ol
metals, ol weapons, and ol the smell ol heath. Thoueh easilv lriehtened, thev are not easilv
hanished lrom a house, and as thev are especiallv harmlul to voune children under the aee ol
seven, parents lrequentlv arranee, noxJjj|a| with the shamans lor their children's protection.|¸|
The less important kind ol boI|o|Joxs are called üI|erezx, these are the souls ol sinlul women
who have died a violent death. No sacrilices are made to them, and nohodv lears them. Thev can
he seen hv the same people as can see onoI|ox, hut other people can perceive their odour. Thev
come to wander on earth at the time when these women would have died in the ordinarv course
ol events hut lor the violence which in lact ended their lives.|¡| Klementz mentions also two
other kinds ol malicious spirits who orieinated lrom human souls, namelv, mvs|vbv -in the lorm
ol an evil-disposed hird-and JoI|v|s.|¡|
In his account ol the natives ol north-western Siheria, the Uerian Ostvak, Voeul, and Samoved,
Gondatti,|8| in speakine ol their relieion, pavs most attention to the Voeul mvtholoev. He savs
that the eods ol the Voeul are divided into two classes, viz. ol eood and had eods. The chiel ol
the henelicent deities is Yanvkli-Torilin (called also Numi-Toruni or Vovkan-Toruin).
|·. See chapter on 'Shaman's Vocation'.
a. This term is explained in the chapter on 'Birth'.
¸. Op. cit., pp. ·c-··.
¡ Op. cit., p. ·¸.
¡. 'The Buriats,' E. P. E., p. ¸.
6. Gondatti, Troces o| Pogonjsm omong i|e Aborjgjnes o| Nori|Vesiern Sjberjo, ·888, pp, 6-·.|
The principal evil deitv is Khul. Yanvkh-Torum. is, however, not the hiehest ol the eods, there is
another, hieher than he, Kors-Torum. (The Creator), the proeenitor ol all the eods. Kors-Torum
has never revealed himsell to man, and the Voeul sav that thev cannot picture to themselves
what he is like, that whatever thev know ol him is onlv known throueh the lesser eods.|·| He
never descends to earth, hut sometimes sends thither his eldest son, Yanvkh-Torum. Yanvkh-
Torum has the lorm ol a man, hut lrom the splendour ol his raiment he shines like eold. Like his
lather he never carries anv weapon. Ahout once a week he descends to earth to see how men's
allairs are eoine on. Il thev prav to him to send rain or lair weather he eives commands to his
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c· ·
- -
vouneer hrother, Sakhil-Torum, who dwells in the dark clouds, to do what is required. Sakhil-
Torum, like his hrother, has the lorm ol a man, and drives reindeer, which have tusks like a
mammoth, in the clouds. His reindeer are laden with casks ol water. When thev are slueeish he
whips them up, and as thev plunee under his strokes the water in the casks is spilled and lalls on
the earth as rain.
The lollowine tale is told ahout the sons ol Yanvkh-Torum. When thev were erown up their
lather sent them down to earth. On their arrival, thev heean to lieht with the heroes who lived
on earth in those davs. To hrine ahout peace, Yanvkh summoned his sells and said to them, 'He
amone vou who can lirst tie his hridle to-morrow to the silver post which stands helore mv
house, shall he made elder and ruler over his hrothers and over men.' The next dav the lirst to
appear was the vouneest son, Mir-Susne-Khum. Since that time he has heen the ruler ol his
hrothers and ol men, whom thev trv to keep in peace.|a|
|·. The Samoved chiel eod Nini, or Ileumharte (literallv, 'eiver ol lile'), althoueh he is ruler hoth ol earth and heaven,
never descends to the unclean earth lest he mieht soil himsell upon it, hut communicates with man onlv throueh the
ioJebisx (spirits), who lor this purpose choose ioJjbex (shamans) lrom amone men. (Islavin, T|e SomoxeJ, p. ·co.)
Lepekhi savs that the ioJebisx ol the Samoved are not divided into had and eood spirits, hut that thev can harm or
help men accordine to eircumstances. These ioJebisx are so numerous that there is no place on earth where thev are
not lound. (Lepekhin, Fv|| Co||ecijon o| Scjenij|jc Trove|s jn Pvssjo, I.R.A.S., ·8·8, pp. a6c-a.) ¹ackson savs that the
Samoved reeard atmospheric phenomena-storms, rain, snow-as the 'direct expressions, ol the 'ereat eod Num', and
that his attitude towards men is one ol complete indillerence. (Notes on the Samoveds ol the Great Tundra, 1ovmo|
o| i|e Ani|rovo|ogjco| Insijivie, vol. xxiv, p. ¸o8.)
a. Op. cit., pp. ··-·8|
Yanvkh-Torum has seven sons, hut neither he nor Kors-Torum has anv dauehters. Besides
Yanvkh and Kors-Torum and their sons there are manv other eods. These latter are ol secondarv
rank, and are speciallv connected with individuals, the lamilv, or the clan.
Each cateeorv ol eods has its own special sacrilicial places.|·|
Kul-Odvr, or Kul, is the chiel ol the spirits ol darkness, and the secondarv dark spirits are known
as menIvo. These resemhle the Korvak Ie|ei in havine the power ol chaneine their lorms. Thev
are represented as heine verv tall, with heads ol a conical shape. Thev sometimes kill and devour
human heines. Other malicious spirits, called vc|c|j, inhahit the lorest. Thev have the paws and
teeth ol a doe. In the lorest, too, lives Mis-Khuni. He has manv dauehters, who trv to entice men
to live with them as their hushands. Il thev succeed, this hrines eood lortune to the lathers ol the
men thus captured.|a|
In the water lives the eood eod Vit-Khon, as well as a dark spirit, Vit-Kul. The lirst was sent hv
Numi to have charee ol the lishes.
The mvtholoev ol the Iinnic trihes is verv rich in tales ahout heroes, called in Voeul voIoivr or
oJxr. These heroes were continuallv quarrelline and liehtine amone themselves, especiallv ahout
women, therelore Numi punished them hv sendine a deluee upon the earth.|¸|
Representations ol eods and letishes are made ol wood, metal, or hone. Thev are usuallv verv
rude in lorm, and now that these people can ohtain children's dolls verv cheaplv lrom Russian
traders thev are ceasine to make their own letishes.|¡|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c ca a
- -
A man, accordine to the heliel ol the Iinnic trihes, is composed ol three parts. hodv, shadow (jsj),
and soul (|j|j I|e|mI|o|os). LiIi khelmkholas passes, alter the death ol a man, to an inlant ol the
same clan, or, il the clan has hecome extinct, to one ol another clan, hut never to an animal. The
shadow eoes to a cold underworld, situated in the icv seas hevond the mouth ol the Ohi, and
ruled over hv Kul Odvr. Here it lives lor as lone as the term ol the dead man's lormer lile on
earth, and lollows the same pursuits-reindeer-hreedine, lishine, 8c. Then the shadow heeins to
erow smaller and smaller, until it is no lareer than a hlackheetle, IerI|om|oI| (accordine to
some, it actuallv does turn into a hlackheetle), and linallv disappears altoeether.|¡|
|·. Op. cit., p. ·.
a. Op. cit., p. ¸¡.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¸6.
¡. Op. cit., p. ·6.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¸o.|
CHUKCHEE ceremonials have as the onlv ohject ol their perlormance the material wellare ol
the communitv, and incantations are the main suhstance ol their rites.
The Reindeer Chukchee's onlv reeular ceremonials are those connected with the herd, these thev
call 'sacrilices' or 'eenuine sacrilices '. 'Strictlv speakine,' savs Boeoras, 'everv slauehterine ol
reindeer is a sacrilice and is perlormed accordine to certain rules. Alter the animal is stahhed the
Chukchee watch carelullv to see on whieh side it lalls. To lall on the wounded side is a less
lavourahle omen than to lall on the other, and to lall hackwards is still worse, and lorehodes
Besides reindeer, does are also slauehtered, and sometimes suhstitute sacrilices are ollered, ol
reindeer made ol willow-leaves or even ol snow. Most sacrilices are ollered to the eood spirits.
Evil spirits are also sacriliced to, hut the ollerines to these are made at midnieht, in darkness, and
are never spoken ol.|a|
The most reeular sacrilices are the Autumn Slauehterine,|¸| Winter Slauehterine,|¡| the
Ceremonial ol Antlers,|¡| the Sacrilice to the New Moon, the Sacrilice to the Iire, the Sacrilice
lor Luck in Huntine,¨ and a ceremonial connected with the killine ol wild reindeer hucks.|·|
Besides these seasonal ceremonials there is also a Thankseivine Ceremonial, which each lamilv
must perlorm once or twice a vear, on dillerent occasions.|8|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c¸ ¸
- -
Boeoras eives a summarv account ol the ceremonials ol the Maritime Chukchee as lollows. 'The
cvcle ol the ceremonials with the Maritime Chukchee opens with two short ceremonials in the
heeinnine ol the autumn, which are olten joined toeether. One ol them is a commemorative
sacrilice to the dead. The
|·. Boeoras, T|e C|vIc|ee, p. ¸68.
a. Op. cit., pp. ¸6o-·c.
¸. Op. cit., p. ¸·a.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¸·6.
¡. Op. cit., p. ¸··.
6. Op. cit., p. ¸·8.
·. Op. cit., p. ¸·o.
8. Op. cit., p. ¸8·.|
other is a sacrilice to the sea, in order to ensure eood lortune in suhsequent sealine on the sea-ice
in winter.
'Late in the autumn, or rather in the heeinnine ol the winter, the chiel ceremonial ol the vear is
perlormed. It is consecrated to Keretkim, or is made a thankseivine ceremonial to the spirits ol
sea-mammals killed since the lall. Earlv in sprine there lollows the ceremonial ol hoats, which are
made readv lor the approachine season. In the middle ol summer the ceremonial ol heads is
perlormed. This is lor thankseivine to the spirits ol sea-animals killed since earlv in the sprine.
'These lour ceremonials are perlormed with varvine similaritv hv hoth the Maritime Chukchee
and the Asiatic Eskimo. To these must he added some slieht ceremonials ellected while movine
lrom the winter lodeine to the summer tent.
'Most ol the Maritime Chukchee oller sacrilice also in midwinter to the star Pehittin, and
perlorm in the middle ol sprine a ceremonial analoeous to the ceremonial ol antlers ol the
reindeer. hreeders, which is called hv the same name, Kilvei. The sacrilice to the whale is
perlormed, in addition, each time alter a whale has heen killed or has drilted ashore.
'Bloodv and hloodless sacrilices are ollered durine these ceremonials. The Maritime Chukchee, ol
course, can slauehter onlv does lor their hloodv sacrilices. In comparison with the Korvak,
however, thev are mercilul to their does and kill them in no verv ereat numhers. In this, as in
other respects, thev occupv a middle eround hetween the American Eskimo, who do not sacrilice
does, and the Korvak, who olten kill almost all the animals ol their sinele team.'|·|
The ceremonial dedicated to Keretkun,|a| the sea-eod, is especiallv important amone the
Maritime Chukchee. When the seal-eut overcoats lor the lamilv (which are said to he similar to
those worn hv Keretkun and his lamilv), the ceremonial head-dresses and the incantation-paddle,
on which there are pictorial representations ol pravers, are readv, a net is suspended overhead,
and various imaees ol hirds and small paddles are hune lrom it. On each side ol the hearth is
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c¡ ¡
- -
placed a reindeer-skin, the two skins representine the inner rooms ol the house. Keretkun, who is
represented hv a small wooden imaee, enters the house and is placed on a lamp, which is put
either on one ol the skins or
|·. Op. cit., pp. ¸8¡-6.
a. Op. cit., pp. 8oa-¡c·.|
in a sleepine-room. Here he remains until the end ol the ceremonv. A lire is made helore him and
kept hurnine throuehout the three davs ol the ceremonial. Amone those people, like the Asiatic
Eskimo, who have no wood, a second lamp is kept hurnine helore that on which Keretkun is
placed. Puddines made ol various roots mixed with oil and liver are sacriliced to the eod. On the
lirst dav the household enjovs the lestival alone, sineine and dancine and heatine the drum.
'The second dav helones to the euests and particularlv to the shamans, who have to show, in turn,
their skill in drummine and sineine.'|·| It is on this dav that, in manv villaees, the so-called
'exchaneine ol presents' takes place. Usuallv, the euests assemhle at the entrance ol the sleepine-
room, hrineine various household articles, which thev thrust under the partition, loudlv
demandine what thev wish in exchanee. The mistress takes whatever is ollered and must eive in
exchanee whatever is demanded.
In some cases the exchanee is made hetween relatives onlv, and especiallv hetween those who are
partners in the marriaees called hv Boeoras 'eroup-marriaee'. A man will send his wile to one ol
his marriaee-partners to ask lor certain articles, and alterwards the donor sends his wile to ask lor
an equivalent.
Another varietv ol ceremonial exchanee, which also lorms a part ol the second dav's ceremonies,
is what is called hv Boeoras the 'tradine-dance'.|a| It takes place hetween the memhers ol a
'compound marriaee', heeinnine with a dance in which a male memher ol the eroup has one ol
the women lor his partner. 'Irequentlv the man looks on onlv, while the woman dances helore
him. He must provide a reindeer-skin, however, to spread on the eround under her leet while she
is dancine. While the dance is heine Perlormed the other dancers remain quiet, and look on
toeether with the other spectators. Alter the dance, the man must eive some present to the
woman, and the lollowine nieht thev sleep toeether, leavine their respective mates to arranee
matters hetween themselves. On the next dav the hushand ol the woman and the wile ol the
man perlorm a similar dance, in which the man eives an equivalent ol the present ol the dav
helore, and each newlv mated couple sleeps toeether lor another nieht. Such dances are
|· Ihid.
a A special meanine ol 'trade' in the U.S.A. is the exchanee ol commodities in husiness,
tradine=harterine, swappine'.|
arraneed chiellv amone cousins or other relatives, who, amone the Chukchee, lrequentlv assume
the hond ol compound marriaee. Converselv, a new hond ol compound marriaee mav he
concluded throueh a tradine-dance.'
The third dav ol the Keretkun ceremonial is the women's dav. This time it is thev who act as
drummers and dancers. 'A new|·| detail is that ol a nieht-watch, which must he kept lor the sake
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c¡ ¡
- -
ol Keretkun, who is supposed to stav in the house all the time, This watch is kept hv an old man
or woman', who is olten a shaman, invited speciallv lor this purpose. The shaman sits on
a stool made ol a whale's vertehra, and 'sines and heats the drum in a suhdued kev, in order not to
awaken the supernatural euest'. The keeper ol the watch on the last nieht must he a woman.
On the evenine ol the last dav a reindeer is cooked, and the meat distrihuted amone the euests,
who carrv their shares home with them on departine.
Iinallv, the imaee ol Keretkun is hurned over his lamp. Then all the reluse ol the sacriliced
reindeer is eathered up and cast into the sea, to svmholize the returnine to the sea ol all eame
killed since the last ceremonial. This same svmholic act is perlormed at almost all ol the Maritime
The Korvak oller sacrilices to their Supreme Beine to secure prosperitv lor the luture. At these
sacrilices, some hlood lrom the wounds ol the victim, doe or reindeer, are sprinkled on the
eround as an ollerine to the Io|o, with the words. 'This hlood is lor thee, kala''|a| Thus we see
that hloodv sacrilices amone these people are ollered to malevolent as well as to henevolent
Besides occasional sacrilices, the Korvak have several sacrilicial ceremonies which are reeular or
seasonal, and all connected with the cult ol the animals on -which their livelihood depends. Thus
the Maritime Korvak worship sea-animals, and the Reindeer
|·. Dillerine that is, lrom the custom ol the Reindeer Chukchee, whose procedure at the autumn ceremonial and the
'thankseivine' is in most other respects similar to that descrihed here.
a. ¹ochelson, The Korvak, p. o¸. 'Otherwise the Io|o mieht intercept the sacrilice and prevent its
reachine the Supreme Beine' (ihid.).|
Korvak their herd. This is illustrated hv the lollowine list ol lestivals.
Morjijme KorxoI.|·|
·. Whale-lestival.
a. The puttine awav ol the skin-hoat lor the winter.
¸. Launchine the skin-hoat.
¡. Wearine ol masks.
PejnJeer KorxoI. |a|
·. Ceremonv on the return ol the herd lrom summer pastures.
a. The lawn-lestival.
Ceremonjes common io boi|. |¸|
·. Bear-lestival.
a. Woll-lestival.
¸. Practices in connexion with lox-huntine.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c6 6
- -
¹ochelson's description|¡| ol the woll-lestival is here quoted as heine tvpical ol the ritual practices
common to hoth Reindeer and Maritime Korvak.
'Alter havine killed a woll, the Maritime Korvak take oll its skin, toeether with the head, just as
thev proceed with the hear, then thev place near the hearth a pointed stick, and tie an arrow,
called j||vn or e|goj, to it, or drive an arrow into the eround at its hutt end. One ol the men puts
on the woll-skin and walks around the hearth, while another memher ol the lamilv heats the
drum. The woll-lestival is called e||ogjcnjn, i. e. 'woll-stick lestival'.
'The meanine ol this ceremonv is ohscure. I have heen unahle to eet anv explanation lrom the
Korvak with relerence to it. ¨Our lorelathers did this wav¨, is all thev sav. I have lound no direct
indications ol the existence ol totemism amone the Korvak, hut the wearine ol the skin ol the
woll and ol the hear durine these lestivals mav he compared to certain leatures ol totemistic
lestivals, in which some memhers ol the lamilv or clan represent the totem hv puttine on its skin.
'The woll-lestival dillers lrom the hear-lestival in the ahsence ol the equipment lor the home
journev.' The reason is this, that
|·. ¹ochelson, op. cit., p. 6¡.
a. Op. cit., pp. 86-·.
¸. Op. cit., pp. 88-oc.
¡ op. Cit., pp. 8o-oc.
¡. The essential part ol the whale-lestival is hased on the conception that the whale killed has
come on a visit to the villaee, . . . that it will return to the sea to repeat its visit the lollowine
vear', and that, il hospitahlv received, it will hrine its relatives with it when it comes aeain. Hence
it is svmholicallv equipped with erass travelline haes lilled with puddines lor its return to the sea.
(Op. cit., pp. 66, ·¡, ·6'.) A similar procedure is lollowed at the hear lestival. (Op. cit., p. 8o.)|
the hear is sent home with much ceremonv, to secure successlul hear-huntine in the luture, hear's
meat heine considered a delicacv, while the lestival serves at the same time to protect the people
lrom the wrath ol the slain animal and its relatives. The woll, on the other hand, does not serve as
lood, hut is onlv a daneer to the traveller in the desert. He is daneerous, not in his visihle, animal
state-lor the northern wolves, as a rule, are alraid ol men -hut in his invisihle, anthropomorphic
lorm. Accordine to the Korvak conception, the woll is a rich reindeer-owner and the powerlul
master ol the tundra . . . |and| avenees |himsell| particularlv on those that hunt |wolves|.' The
Reindeer Korvak, who have special reason to lear the woll on account ol their herds, reeard this
animal as a powerlul shaman and an evil spirit.
'Alter havine killed a woll, the Reindeer Korvak slauehter a reindeer, cut oll its head, and put its
hodv, toeether with that ol the killed woll, on a platlorm raised on posts. The reindeer-head is
placed so as to lace eastward. It is a sacrilice to The-One-on-Hieh, who is thus asked not to
permit the woll to attack the herd. Special lood is prepared in the evenine, and the woll is led.
The nieht is spent without sleep, in heatine the drum, and dancine to entertain the woll, lest his
relatives come and take revenee. Beatine the drum and addressine themselves to the woll, the
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c· ·
- -
people sav, ¨Be well'¨ (Njme|ev goivonvoio¹), and addressine The-One-on-Hieh, thev sav, ¨Be
eood, do not make the woll had'¨'|·|
Althoueh the hear-lestival is common to all the Palaeo-Siherians and is celehrated also hv some ol
the Neo-Siherians, it has reached its hiehest development amone the Ainu. We eive here a short
description ol the principal leatures ol this lestival, lollowine Kharuzin's account.|a|
Towards the end ol winter the Ainu catch a hear-cuh and hrine it into the villaee, where it is
reared and led hv a woman. When it is sullicientlv erown to hreak out ol its wooden caee, which
usuallv happens some time in Septemher or Octoher, this marks
|·. Op. cit., p. 8o.
a. N. Kharuzin, Ei|nogrov|x, ·oc¡, vol. iv, pp. ¸··-a. Ior a more detailed description see B.
Pilsudski's NjeJzwjeJzje Swjeio v Ajnow (in Sv|jna, Warsaw, ·oc¡).|
the time lor the holdine ol the lestival. Belore the ceremonies, apoloeies are made to the spirits
lor the capture and detention ol the hear, assurances are eiven that the treatment ol the hear has
heen marked with the ereatest tenderness, and it is explained that, as thev cannot leed the animal
anv loneer, thev are ohlieed to kill it. The person entrusted with the conduct ol the lestival
invites all relations and lriends, usuallv practicallv the whole villaee. Belore the ceremonies are
heeun, lihations are made to the lamilv hearth-lire hv the host and all his euests. Sacrilices are
made to the spirit-'owner' ol the dwelline in a corner ol the house sacred to him. The woman
who has reared the hear weeps to show her sorrow at its approachine late. The companv
approach the caee ol the hear, lihations are made, and some wine is eiven to the animal in a
special cup. The women and eirls dance round the caee, clappine their hands and sineine. Then
the loster-mother ol the hear, and women who have reared other hears lor lormer lestivals,
perlorm a dance ol their own helore the caee, with tears in their eves, stretchine out their hands
towards the animal, and utterine endearine words. Alter some other ritual ohservances, the hear is
taken out ol its caee, a cord is lastened round its neck, and a stick is thrust down its throat hv the
united lorce ol several people, so that the animal is choked to death. With much solemnitv the
hodv is laid out, -and surrounded with various emhellishments, which are more numerous and
elahorate il the animal is a lemale. Iood and drink are ollered to the spirit ol the victim, and then
lollow much leastine and merriment, which is intended to render the hear spirit jovous and eav.
The hodv is llaved and disemhowelled, and the head cut oll, the hlood heine collected in a pot
and drunk hv the men onlv amone the euests. The liver is also consumed, and ol this each woman
and eirl present receives a small portion. The rest ol the meal is preserved lor the next dav's least,
and all the euests ol hoth sexes partake ol this.
There are amone the Yakut two kinds ol sacrilicial ceremonies -hloodv and hloodless. The lormer
is that made to obossx|ors, the latter to aïv and ichchi,|·| so that il one does not know helorehand
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c c8 8
- -
|·. Sieroszewski (:: Loi w Krojv YoIoiow, p. ¸8o) savs that to onlv one oíx, Bav-Bavnav, the eod ol
huntine are hloodv sacrilices ollered.|
whether the sacrilice is heine ollered to hlack or to white spirits, this can he ascertained lrom the
nature ol the ceremonv. Althoueh hloodv sacrilices are not made to Urun-Aïv-Tovon, vet it is
customarv to dedicate certain animals to him, i. e. such animals are not to he used lor work, and
mares so dedicated are not to he milked. Iormerlv it was the custom to dedicate in this manner
all mares which had loals. thev were let loose to wander on the steppes.
There are some oíx, which althoueh thev have this name, vet are ol the class ol obossx.|·|
Sacrilices ol the choicest meat and drink are made to them throueh the lire. The ollerines to
obossx|ors have the character ol a compromise or hareain. The evil spirit wishes to have the Ivi
(one ol the souls) ol a man, and the shaman eives instead the Ivi ol an animal.
There are two trihal lestivals ol the Yakut. a sprine lestival, oíxxsxoI|, and an autumn lestival,
obossxxsxoI|. As the name shows, the lirst is celehrated lor the eood spirits in eeneral, and lor
Urun-Aïv-Tovon in particular.|a| Alter the sacrilice, which is lollowed hv certain sports or eames,
a dramatic representation ol the strueele hetween sprine and winter is eiven. One man, called the
oíxvo|o, is dressed in white and mounted on a white horse to represent the sprine, while another,
obossxvo|o, represents winter hv heine dressed in hlack or reddish earments and mounted on a
horse ol correspondine colour.
The obossxxsgoI| is held in autumn, and in the open air like the lirst lestival, hut at nieht. It is
dedicated to the hlack spirits, and especiallv to Ulu-Tovon. While the lirst lestival is conducted
hv the clan-lather, the second is under the direction ol nine shamans and nine shamanesses.|¸|
Sacrilice to Bai-Yuleen. The description ol this ceremonv, as eiven hv Mikhailowski,|¡| is
compiled lrom the works ol the
|·. Troshchanski, T|e Evo|vijon o| i|e B|ocI Foji|, ·oca,p. ·c¸.
a. Op. cit., pp. ·c¡-6.
Sieroszewaski (op. cit., p. ¸88) calls the hiehest eood spirit, or eod, Art-Tovon-Aea (Uvun-
Artoven), which literallv means 'Master-Iather-Sovereien'. He lives in the ninth heaven, and is
ereat and powerlul, hut indillerent towards human allairs. The sprine xsxoI| is primarilv in his
honour, savs Sieroszewski, while Urun-Aïv-Tovon, 'White-Master-Creator', is next to him in
¸. Ihid.
¡ Mikhailowski, Shamanism, pp. 6¸-·.|
missionarv Wierhicki and the well-known lineuist and traveller, Radloll. The ceremonv lasts lor
two or three davs, or rather, evenines, the lirst evenine heine occupied hv the preparatorv ritual.
A spot is chosen in a thicket ol hirch-trees in a meadow, and there the Iom (shaman) erects a
decorative xvrio. In this is planted a voune hirch, crowned with a llae, and havine its lower
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·c co o
- -
hranches lopped oll, and nine notches cut in its trunk to represent steps (iovix). The xvrio is
surrounded hv a penlold, and hv the entramce to this is set a hirch-stick with a noose ol
horsehair. A holder ol the head (Bos|iviIonIjsIj) ol the sacrilicial horse is chosen lrom amone
those present. The kam llourishes a hirch-twie over the horse to indicate that its soul is heine
driven to Bai-Yuleen's ahode, whither the soul ol the Bos|iviIon accompanies it. He then
collects spirits in his tamhourine, calline each one hv name, and answerine lor each as it arrives. 'I
also am here, Kam'' As he speaks he makes motions with his tamhourine as il takine the spirits
into it. When he has secured his assistants, the Iom eoes out ol the xvrio, mounts upon a
scarecrow made to resemhle a eoose, and llappine his arms as il thev were wines, chants loudlv
and slowlv.'
Beneath the white skv,
Ahove the white cloud,
Beneath the hlue skv,
Ahove the hlue cloud,
Skvward ascend, O hird'
The eoose replies (throueh the shaman himsell, ol course) in a series ol quacks-'Uneaieak,
uneaieak, kaieaieak eak, kaieai eak.' The Iom, still on his leathered steed, pursues the vvro (soul)
ol the sacrilicial horse, neiehine in imitation ol the unwilline victim, until, with the help ol the
spectators, he drives it into the penlold to the stick with the horsehair noose, the euardian ol the
vvro. Alter violent ellorts, to the accompaniment ol neiehines and other noises produced hv the
shaman to imitate the strueeles ol the vvro, the latter lrees itsell and runs awav. It is at last
recaptured, and lumieated with juniper hv the shaman, who has now dismounted lrom his eoose.
Then the real sacrilicial horse is hroueht and hlessed hv the Iom, who therealter kills it hv
openine the aorta. The hones and skin lorm the actual sacrilice. The llesh is consumed hv those
present at the ceremonv, the choicest portion lalline to the Iom.
|·. Op. cit., p. 6¸.|
'The most important part ol the perlormance takes place oil the second dav alter sunset, it is then
that the Iom must displav all his power and all his dramatic art. A whole relieious drama is
perlormed, descriptive ol the Iom's pilerimaee to Bai-Yuleen in heaven. A lire hurns in the xvrio,
the shaman leeds the lords ol the tamhourine, i.e. the spirits personilvine the shamanistic power
ol his lamilv, with the meat ol the ollerine and sines.|·|
Accept this, O Kaira Khan'
Master ol the tamhourine with six horns,
Draw near with the sound ol the hell'
When I crv 'Chokk'' make oheisance'
When I crv 'Mé'' accept this'
The 'owner' ol the lire, representine the power ol the lamilv ol the master ol the xvrio, who has
oreanized the lestival, is addressed in a similar invocation. Then the Iom takes a cup and makes
noises with his lips to imitate the sounds ol drinkine made hv an assemhlaee ol invisihle euests.
He distrihutes morsels ol meat to the companv, who devour them as representatives ol the
unseen spirits. Nine earments, on a rope decked with rihhons, the ollerine ol the host to Yuleen,
are lumieated with juniper hv the shaman, who sines.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· ·c c
- -
Gilts that no horse can carrv
Alas' Alas' Alas'
Gilts that no man can lilt
Alas' Alas' Alas'
Garments with triple collar-
Turn them thrice helore thine eves,
Let them he a cover lor the steed,
Alas' Alas' Alas'
Prince Yuleen lull ol eladness'
Alas' Alas' Alas'
The Iom next invokes manv spirits, primarv and secondarv, havine lirst donned his shaman's
earment, and lumieated his tamhourine, which he strikes to summon the spirits, answerine lor
each, as it arrives, 'Here am I, Iom'' Merkvut, the Bird ol Heaven, is invoked as lollows.
Birds ol Heaven, the live Merkvuts'
Ye with miehtv talons ol hrass,
Ol copper is the moon's claw,
And ol ice its heak,
Miehtilv llap the spreadine wines,
Like to a lan is the lone tail.
The lelt wine veils the moon
And the rieht ohscures the sun,
Thou, mother ol nine eaeles,
Turnine not aside, thou lliest over Yaik,
Over Edil thou weariest not'
Draw nieh with sone'
Liehtlv draw nieh to mv rieht eve,
Ol mv rieht shoulder make thou thv restine-place
|·. Op. cit., p. 6¡.|
The answerine crv ol the hird comes lrom the lips ol the shaman. 'Kaeak, kak, kak' Kain, here I
come'' The Iom seems to hend heneath the weieht ol the huee hird. His tamhourine sounds
louder and louder, and he staeeers under the hurden ol the vast numher ol spirit-protectors
collected in it. Havine walked several times round the hirch placed in the xvrio, the shaman
kneels at the door and asks the porter-spirit lor a euide. His request eranted, he comes out to the
middle ol the xvrio, and with convulsive movements ol the upper part ol his hodv and
inarticulate mutterines, heats violentlv upon the tamhourine. Now he purilies the host, hostess,
their children, and relatives hv emhracine them in such a wav that the tamhourine with the
spirits collected in it touches the hreast and the drum-stick the hack ol each. This is done alter he
has scraped lrom the hack ol the host with the drum-stick all that is unclean, lor the hack is the
seat ol the soul. Thus all are liherated lrom the malien inlluence ol the wicked Erlik. Then the
people return to their places and the shaman 'drives all potential mislortunes out ol doors',|·| and,
heatine his tamhourine close to the ear ol his host, drives into him the spirit and power ol his
ancestors that he mav understand the prophecies ol the shaman. In pantomime he invests each
memher ol the lamilv with hreastplates and hats, and then lalls into an ecstasv. He heats his
tamhourine luriouslv, rushes ahout as il possessed, and, alter mountine the lirst step cut in the
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· ·· ·
- -
hirch-trunk, runs round the lire and the hirch, imitatine the sound ol thunder. Next he mounts a
hench covered with a horse-cloth, which represents the pitra, and cries. |a|
One step have I ascended,
Aikhai' Aikhai'
One zone I have attained.
To the topmost iovix |the hirch steps| I have mounted.
I have risen to the lull moon.
|·. Ihid.
a. Op. cit, p. 6¡.|
Hurrvine on the Bos|iviIon, the Iom passes lrom one zone ol heaven to another. The eoose once
more takes the place ol the wearied vvro, allordine temporarv reliel to the Bos|iviIon, who
relates his woes vicariouslv hv means ol the shaman. In the third zone a halt is made, the shaman
prophesies impendine mislortunes, and declares what sacrilices are to he ollered hv the district. Il
he loretells rainv weather he sines.
Kara Shurlu ol the six rods
Drips on the low eround,
No hooled heast can protect itsell,
No creature with claws can uphold itsell.
Similar prophecies mav he made in other reeions ol the skv.
When the Bos|iviIon is rested the journev is continued, proeress heine indicated hv mountine
one step hieher on the hirch lor everv new zone attained. Varietv is eiven to the perlormance hv
the introduction ol various episodes. 'In the sixth sphere ol heaven takes place the last episodical
scene, and this has a comic tinee. The shaman sends his servant Kuruldak to track and catch a
hare that has hidden itsell. Ior a time the chase is unsuccesslul, now personaees are introduced,
and one ol them, Kereldei, mocks Kuruldak, who, however, at last succeeds in catchine the
Previouslv, in the lilth heaven, the Iom has interviewed Yavuchi ('Supreme-Creator'), and
learned manv secrets ol the luture, some ol which he communicates aloud. In the sixth heaven he
makes oheisance to the moon, and in the seventh to the sun, lor these heavens are the ahodes ol
these luminaries. Onlv a lew shamans are powerlul enoueh to mount hevond the ninth heaven.
Havine reached the hiehest zone attainahle hv his powers, the Iom drops his tamhourine, and
heatine eentlv with the drum-stick, makes a humhle petition to Yuleen.
Lord, to whom three stairwavs lead,
Bai-Yuleen, possessor ol three llocks,
The hlue vault which has appeared,
The hlue skv that shows itsell,
The hlue cloud that whirls alone,
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· ·a a
- -
The hlue skv so hard to reach,
Land a vear's journev distant lrom water,
Iather Yuleen thrice exalted,
Shunned hv the edee ol the moon's axe,
Thou who usest the hool ol the horse
O Yuleen, thou hast created all men
Who are stirrine round ahout us.
Thou, Yuleen, hast hestowed all cattle upon us,
Let us not lall into sorrow'
Grant that we mav withstand the evil one'
Let us not hehold Kermes |the evil spirit that attends man|,
Deliver us not into his hands'
Thou who a thousand thousand times
The starrv shv hast turned,
Condemn me not lor sin'
|·. Op. cit., p. 6¡
a. Op. cit., p. 66.|
'Irom Yuleen the shaman learns whether the sacrilice is accepted or not, and receives the most
authentic inlormation concernine the wealth and the character ol the comine harvest, he also
linds out what sacrilices are expected hv the deitv. On such an occasion the shaman desienates
the neiehhour who is hound to lurnish a sacrilice, and even descrihes the colour and appearance
ol the animal. Alter his conversation with Yuleen, the ecstasv ol the shaman reaches its hiehest
point, and he lalls down completelv exhausted. Then the Bash-tutkan eoes up to him, and takes
the tamhourine and drum-stick out ol his hands. Alter a short time, durine which quiet reiens in
the xvrio, the shaman seems to awake, ruhs his eves, stretches himsell, wrines out the
perspiration lrom his shirt, and salutes all those present as il alter a lone ahsence.'|·|
This sometimes concludes the lestival, hut more olten, especiallv amone the wealthv, a third dav
is spent in leastine and lihations to the eods|a|
Sacrilices amone the Moneols are either. (a) reeular or puhlic (ioj|gon), or (h) occasional or
private (IjrjI).
Banzaroll savs that Georei, as lone aeo as the latter part ol the eiehteenth centurv, ohserved three
reeular sacrilicial ceremonies amone the Moneols. the sprine, summer, and autumn lestivals.
Banzarolls traces the oriein ol these lestivals to a period lone
|·. Ihid.
a. Ihid.
¸. Banzaroll, T|e B|ocI Foji|, p. ¸8.|
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· ·¸ ¸
- -
antedatine the Christian era. The lestival which has heen hest descrihed in recent times is that
called vrvssoro ('the month ol sara'), which is intended to celehrate and svmholize the renewine
ol all thines. When the earth is ereen aeain, the llocks increase, and milk is ahundant, the Kalmuk
make sacrilice ol all these eilts in the lorm ol Ivmxs, herhs, and horses. The sacrilicial horses are
tied to a rope, which is stretched hetween two poles. A man on horsehack, accompanied hv
another ridine a colt, passes alone the row ol victims, pours over them Ivmxs, and lastens to their
manes pieces ol pink cloth. Then the sacrilice is ollered.|·|
The autumn lestival ol the Moneols, like the vrvssoro, is verv ancient. Banzaroll linds mention ol
it in writers ol pre-Christian times, and in the Middle Aees it is relerred to hv Marco Polo, who
savs it was celehrated on Aueust a8th. This ceremonv is known as sogonsoro ('white month'),
and the Moneols used to date their New Year lrom the time ol its celehration. The majoritv ol
these people nowadavs celehrate the heeinnine ol the vear in winter, hut thev, like the lew who
adhere to the old date, still call the New Year and the lestival which is held then sogonsoro.|a|
An Enelish traveller ol the middle ol the nineteenth centurv, who witnessed the celehration ol
the sprine lestival in the vallev ol Ichurish in the Altai, descrihes it as lollows.
'In the sprine the Kalmucks oller up sacrilices to their deitv, the rich eive horses, those who are
poor sacrilice sheep or eoats. I was present at one ol the ceremonies. A ram was led up hv the
owner, who wished lor a laree increase to his herds and llocks. It was handed to an assistant ol the
priest, who killed it in the usual manner. His superior stood near, lookine to the east, and heean
chantine a praver, and heatine on his laree tamhourine to rouse up his eod, and then made his
request lor multitudes ol sheep and cattle. The ram was heine llaved, and when the operation
was completed, the skin was put on a pole, raised ahove the, lramework, and placed with its head
to the east. The tamhourine thundered lorth its sound, and the perlormer continued his wild
chant. The llesh was cooked in a laree cauldron, and the trihe held a ereat lestival.'|¸|
Speakine onlv ol the ereater Burvat ceremonials, Khanealoll
|·. Op. cit., p. ¸o.
a. Op. cit., pp. ¸o-¡c.
¸. T. W. Atkinson, Orjenio| onJ Vesiern Sjberjo, ·8¡8, pp. ¸8a-¸.
¡. New Moierjo|s resvecijng S|omonjsm omong i|e Bvrxoi, ·8oc, p. o·.|
mentions ahout thirtv such, and savs that these are hv no means all, and that vears ol lurther
investieation would he necessarv to render it possihle to eive a complete list.
Amone the Balaeansk Burvat everv male child must oller certain sacrilices to the western I|ois to
ensure their protection while the children are still in inlancv as well as durine their luture adult
lile. These sacrilices, viz. (i) moriov|onI|vrgon, (ii) erI|jnJI|jv|onI|vrgon, (iii) C|orgoieI|e,
(iv) xomonI|onjnI|oer, must, without lail, he ollered hv all hovs, hut upon eirls thev are not
ohlieatorv. Besides these sacrilices there are others which are made on hehall ol all voune
children, irrespective ol their sex, to certain zoxons and zoxonesses, termed vI|onI|oio. These
are called vI|onbvJ|o, os|IjnbvJ|o. We shall quote here Khanealoll's description ol the
ceremonv vI|onbvJ|o.
v vv vv v, , s s a ac c e e c c á á- -m ma aa a l l c c s s , , c c o om m ¯ ¯» » c c T Ts s o ot t c c e e l l c c A Al l o o e e a ae e » »
- - · ·· ·¡ ¡
- -
'Some time alter havine a child horn to him, a Burvat, either lit the instance ol a shaman or on his
own initiative, will make preparation lor the perlormance ol the ceremonv called vI|onbvJ|o. A
shaman is invited to perlorm the ceremonv. When the shaman appears, water is hroueht lrom a
sprine, or sometimes lrom a lake or river. Belore drawine the water, some copper coins are
dropped into the place lrom which it is taken. A hundle ol coarse erass ol the steppes, another ol
rushes, and nine silken threads are prepared. When evervthine is readv, the shaman makes
lihation to the zoxons and zoxonesses, pronouncine the lollowine words.
The hovs, like the rushes,
The maids, like mushrooms,
Irom the erass ol the steppe
Thev have made a scouree,
With the water ol the sprine
Thev have made bvJ|o (ahlution),
With the nine silken threads
Thev have made a scouree.
Alter this the water is poured into a pot and heated. Then thev put into the pot the erass also,
and a hroom is made ol the rushes. The child is placed in a shallow vessel surrounded hv nine
stones, and the shaman savs. ¨The hlack stone is the door, the tawnv stone is the courtvard.¨ He
then takes the hroom, dips it into the water, and strikine the child liehtlv with it, tells him tells
him that he must not crv, hut erow quicklv. Now nine knots are made in the nine threads, and
thev are placed around the child's neck. The water is spilled on the lloor ol the xvrio, and the
hroom is placed over the door to prevent the entrance ol evil spirits. Thus ends the vI|on
As a rule Burvat ceremonies are perlormed hv the shamans, hut some ol the minor ones, such, lor
instance, as the 'leedine' ol the ongons, are conducted hv the master ol the house. Women's
ongons are made and led hv women. Irequentlv animals are dedicated to ongons, either lor some
shorter or loneer period or lor lile. Such an animal must not he used lor anv heavv, work, and no
married woman must touch it. The Moneols call this custom seieriex, which denotes hoth the
dedication and the tahoo.|a|
Another case ol the dedication ol animals is that which is some times practised with reeard to a
horse whose master has died. The animal -is tahoo, and must not he used lor heavv work. Under
ordinarv circumstances, when a Burvat dies, his horse is either killed or set loose to wander at
laree upon the steppes.|¸|
|·. Op. cit., p. o·.
a. Shashkoll, S|omonjsm jn Sjberjo, p. ¡8.
¸. Graelin, Pejse Jvrc| Sjbjrjen, ··¡·-a, iii. ¸¸.|