Shamans as a group are thought to be chosen by the spirits to initiate

Shamans as a group are thought to be chosen by the

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Shamans as a group are thought to be chosen by the spirits to initiate communication with the spirit realm, engage in healing or spiritual combat to interpret - Shamans use their interactions to dispell the deamons of disease given by the spirits tp humans - They use non-ordinary states of consciousness to talk to the spirits (consumption of psychotropic substances, drumming etc.) to engage in forms of mediation - The idea that there are spirits within the world and these spiritual interpreters can communicate with – the spirits are represented in a form a human can communicate with Tupalik carving - ivory carving- seems to be depicting and animal based on the head but the body is much more humanistic - These are images meant to represent the spirits that are under the control of the local shaman that can be used to explore the spirit world or fight the demons of disease - Tupalik- means ancestor soul or spirit
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(Basilov) Traits of Indigenous Religions - oversimplifications - 1. “Animation or spiritualization of the whole surrounding world in which human beings exist”;- doesn’t mean everything in the world has a spirit but those things special to humans have spirits within them (number of gods/ spirits, where they dwell and how they communicate change) - 2. “Belief in mutual all-embracing connections in nature”;- the spirit world is not something that is out there or ontologically discrete or separate from humans – instead there are connections between humans and spirits and humans and the natural world (extrahuman to describe spirits- the spirits existed in the natural world and the spirits were not super so supernatural didn’t fit so extrahuman was created ) - 3. “No separation from the surrounding world”;- human needs (biological/ survival needs) – our ability to live true and natural lives and dependent upon the surrounding world that includes spirits - 4. “The cosmos is accessible”;- not true in all cases- various spirit realms can be accessed by human beings or at least some human beings (those most able are shaman through altered states of consciousness) - 5. “Religion is a form of social consciousness.”- religion reinforces social bonds and connection between human beings and gives them value and meaning in the bond we have with each other (Summarized in Sumegi, 27-28). Perspectives on soul(s ) - very often when we hear the world soul we make western assumptions with ideas of a world or individual soul that represent the totality of our beings- in many indigenous religions there are multiple souls that exist Multiplicity – souls can exist in different parts of the body - (ancient china there were two souls – Hun soul related to the breathe that animated the body and left after death- Po soul was in the bones and the physical matter of the body- remained in body after death - Inuit soul in larynx and left side of the body that look like little people and help to animate the body- souls that live in the limbs -
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  • Winter '17
  • Angela Sumegi
  • The Land

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