Anthroweek8 - The Soviet persecution of these Siberian...

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Reading Summary: Week 8 This week, we had to read from page 259-395 of The Reindeer People , by Piers Vitebsky. First, the section begins by delving into the religious and spiritual views held by the Reindeer People. They believe in a deity called Hovki who is their creator. This creator sees over its creations but has no impact on their daily lives. His memory lives on only in legends of how things came to be. The primary focus seems to be the spirits of the forest and life-forces. They believe objects and animals are all conscious and therefore have intentions, which can either help or hinder. A Shaman is a specialist or spiritual leader who is highly attuned to these moods and alerts of animals and objects and interprets them as small signs or omens which emerge into the world of appearances from hidden realms beneath. Their costumes are made up of skins, furs, feather, and beaks.
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Unformatted text preview: The Soviet persecution of these Siberian shamans at some point almost eliminated them completely. This section of the book continues with discussing various dream interpretation and the sacrificial rituals performed at the graves’ of their fallen comrades. I had no idea that these Reindeer People were so in tuned with their spiritual sides and that they relied so much on the world around them not only for survival but for spiritual guidance as well. I found it surprising however that there was no all knowing and all powerful deity as their usually is amongst so many cultures and religions. The main deity takes a “backseat” to nature, which I guess makes sense as they are a nomadic people. I found it refreshing to explore a different kind of religion that I honestly knew nothing about previously....
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