I. S. Sh. R., 2nd Conference, Vol. II (north As) =

Shamanism in Performing Arts – northern Asiatic (Manc^urian & Siberian)





Manchu Shamanic Dance

Guo Shuyun


Musical Instruments, Manchurian

Liu Gui-teng


Nanai Shaman Chant

Tatyana Bulgakova


Shaman in Myths & Tales

Oake Hultkrantz


Poe:try of Shamanism

Marjorie Balzer


Performing Shamanism

Miha`ly Hoppa`l



pp. 57-62 Guo Shuyun : "On the Main Characteristics of the Manchu Shamanic Dance".

p. 58 goddesses repraesented in dances

"The main spirit of the willow worship is Foduo Mama and ... she is the real incarnation of the celestial tree and she is the divinity who gave birth to the humanity at the origin of the world : she is considered the Mother of things and human beings."

"The main spirit of the Sea worship is the female divinity Deligeaimu Mama : she is the goddess ... with the head of a fish and body of a woman."

pp. 58-9 the 4 types of dances






"half-naked dance : tree leaves ... covered the private parts of shaman."



"blood worship dance ... inside the sea worship ceremony ... : ...



Shamans ... climb up a pole to place ... a cup full of whale’s blood."



" ‘breast dance’ ... . Keeping with hands the breast and moving it up and down".



"dance with final sexual intercourse, ... women and men got together and made love and the babies were considered children of the divinities."


pp. 103-22 Liu Gui-teng : "Musical Instruments in the Manchurian Shamanic Sacrificial Rituals".

p. 106 the 2 categories of s^engu

"The shamanic drum is called shengu in the Manchu language. The drums used for Manchu shamanistic rituals can be classified into two categories : zhuangu and dangu."











rings for gripping

handle at its side

pp. 106-9 zhuangu s^engu

p. 106

"zhuangu can be classified into two categories : elliptic ones and round ones."

p. 107

elliptic : "The magic drum ... is covered with sheepskin on one side, with a copper ring in its center, which is tied to the frame by four leather cords in a crisscross way. At its upper part, eight copper coins are attached to the frame."

"elliptic ... drums ... used by the Manchu-Tungus Hezhen" : "this magic drum ... among Hezhens living near the Songhuajiang River, ... had a narrow frame ... . Paintings decorate the drum."


"the round zhuangu" : "The zhuangu used in the Manchu court ... rightly belonged to this category. ... it had a ring in the center of its back, which was attached to the frame by twelve cords".


"Metal jingles ... clash in the course of performance ... . The jingles of zhuangu ... can be classified into two categories ..., namely ring-shaped ones or coin-shaped ones. ... Such coins are flat round pieces, with a hole in the centre ... . Usually several such coins stringed {strung} together with a wire

p. 108

make a set of drum jingles ... . The zhuangu of the Fucha clan in Ningan county, Heilongjiang province has ... Inside its frame, ... an iron bar on which are stringed eight copper coins."


"The drum head is made of ... skin of wild beasts, such as roe deers, wild boars".

"before performance, shamans have to heat the magic drum to make the drum head tense, so that it may produce melodious music."

p. 109

"Zhuangu is played with the help of drumsticks and this distinguishes it from the dapu (a kind of instrument similar to zhuangu) in Xiniang province, which is played directly with the hands. ... drumsticks ... are covered with skin of bears, otters and roe deers".


"The basic rule of drumbeats of zhuangu is that ... three beats for a unit."

p. 108 "The Evenki near Narim River also have magic drums set with metal jingles. ... Magic drums are very large, elliptic in shape ... . ... inside the magic drum, there are also a group of iron bars, which are adorned with various kinds of clinking spangles".

pp. 110-3 dangu s^engu

p. 110

"Another magic drum is called dangu, or taipinggu.

p. 111

"A Brief History of the Willow Borders (liu bian lue ji), ... "a ... minor encyclopedia of the life and history in the Northeast area of China from the seventeenth to eighteenth century" ... is written by Yang Bin ... . ... To quote him : ...

The shaman ... beats a drum with his hands. The drum is iron-framed, covered with animal skin on one side, and carrying several rings at its handle."


"Zaitao and Yunbaohui ... related in The Aristocratic Life of the Late Qing Dysnasty ... :
The shaman wears a magic cap, ties to his body waistbells, and beats a skin-covered drum which has a handle at its lower part".

p. 112

"The paper drum (zhi gu) and the large pigu (da pi gu) belong to the category of dangu and the category of zhuangu respectively, for some dangus are covered with paper and some zhuangus are sometimes called pigu."


"in Xinbin county of Liaoning province ... people use dangu in their sacrificial rituals. It is the same case with the Mongols ... . To illustrate, the bo (shaman of the Mongols) in Kerqin area use this kind of magic drums".


"dangus can also be classified ... into the following categories :

elliptical ones,

round-fan-shaped ones,

peach-shaped ones.

Different from the zhuangu, the horizontal diameter of dangu is longer than its vertical diameter ... . The head of dangu is made of animal skin ... . Before being used as cover on a dangu, the animal skin must be immersed in water for some time to make it soft".


"The frame is made of flat and thin iron bar and is about one cm wide, much narrower that the frame of a zhuangu." {This ingredient may be of Manchu origin, inasmuch as iron mines occur in Manchuria.}

p. 113

"The metal jingles ... are usually stringed together on iron bars in three groups".

"Larger dangus have longer and thicker drumbeaters, which are often twined with cloth strips."


"As dangus are smaller and lighters, and have handles; they can be manipulated more easily and thus are capable of producing more divermentos than zhuangus."

p. 114 "Binggus (a kind of round-fan-shaped drums) ... in Japan belong to the category of dangus. Binggus (tuan shan gu) are different Chinese dangus, they are ... with wooden rather than iron handle; and carry no tails."

pp. 114-5 waistbells &c.

p. 114

"Waistbells, or xisha in the Manchu language ... . ... For example, the shamanistic sacrificial instruments recorded in History of Hulan Prefecture, include

hama sword (magic sword),

hongwu (copper bells),

taigu (a kind of drums),


danhuangu (a kind of drum with only one ring),

waistbells, ... etc."

p. 115

"two shaman ladies ... wear embroidered ropes, jewelleries, embroidered thick-soled shoes. One of them begins to play sanxian, another ties bunches of copperbells to her waist".


"Waistbells are conic or tubular, and are made of iron or copper. ... A set of conic bells of the Xu family in Kuandian Manchu autonomous county of Liaoning province has 24 bells ... . The set of conic bells of the Fucha family in Ningan county of Heilongjiang province has 40 bells".

p. 116 "the waistbells used used in sacrificial rituals by the Mongols living in Kerqin Grassland are copper mirrors rather than bells. There are nine mirrors of different sizes in a set, and they are stacked and tied to the girdle of the performer."

p. 117 "It is said that some Oroqen shamans also use waistmirrors".

p. 118 shamanic mediumship

"shamans ... in ... rituals ... go through such a process as

inviting gods to come down,

becoming gods incarnate,

giving order and directions in the identity of gods, and

then becoming man again. ...

At the same time, waistbells and magical drums give off a burst of rapid ... sounds, form a mystical, enchanting and heavenly atmosphere, in which shamans ... rise ... towards the heaven. ...

Shamans give directions in the identity of a god, and their assistants (called zailizi in Chinese) explain these direction to others".

p. 119 simulation of thundre

"in Chinese ancient documents : the painter pictures thunder like two drums stacked together." "What is more, the ancient Chinese character lei (thunder) is just like two drums stacked together".

p. 119 shamanic magical travel

"Shengjiangs (counterpart of shamans) use magic drums and waistbells to invite gods to come down, to eulogize gods, to see gods off and to drive demons away. Though shengjiangs do not go through the stage of becoming gods incarante, they are ... in the process of pao wang hun quan zi (descent to the underworld) and pao tian men quan zi (ascent to heaven), due to the influence of magic drums and waistbells."


pp. 135-44 Tatyana Bulgakova : "Nanai Shaman Chant".

pp. 135-8 songs to spirits

p. 135

"Spirits do not take in a usual speech, but they hear incantation and chanting and melodious speech well. The shaman recitative chanting yayaory reaches them most easily. It is so reliable a means to attract the spirits[’] attention ... that shamans are fearful to use it in vain."

p. 136

"Lamenting intonation is the means of talking with a soul of a dead person."


"Performing ritual invocations with difference hunting, fishing, medical and such like purposes performers attach ... much importance to ... the special non-semantic word-tunes. (They always are pronounced melodiously and are never used in other cases beyond the rite.) Just these word-tunes combined with certain ritual gestures influence the spirits.

Thus, wishing to prevent ... a rain some Nanais capable of it performed the rite pulediury. A performer appealed to the animated clouds, constantly interrupting his speech with melodiously pronounced word puaeh that was accompanied by gestures as if dispersing the clouds with alternating movements of the arms. ...

p. 137

It is considered that the animated clouds can perceive first of all the alliteration in the text (it attracts their attention) {so, the is the reason for alliteration in Old Norse and in Old English skaldic poe:try} and the word-tune puaeah. {cf. [Strong’s 6315] /puwah./ ‘to fan’; [Haw.] /pua/ ‘to emerge (of wind)’ + [Haw.] /ea/ ‘breeze’} Performers assert, that this word is intelligible to the spirits. This word and similar ones are as if words of the spirit tongue. ...

Performing the tsecteriury rite a person feeds some spirit (for example, the owner of hunting forest Podza placed in the flame of the fire). H throws into the fire a pinch of [food]. Every throwing gesture is accompanied with the word-tune tseah." {cf. [Strong’s 6627] /s.a>ah/ ‘excrement’ (dry turds being the usual fuel for fire amongst, e.g., tbe Beduin)}

pp. 138-9 songs from spirits

p. 138

"The bearers treat the shaman chant as something issued from the spirits. ... The shaman ... said :

Where could all these words come from? The seven (spirit) utters them himself. But for him, I would never chant so much and well."

p. 139

"Not knowing other languages at all, the shaman can chant for a long time in Manchurian or in Udekhe or in some other tongue. ... Even being weak because of old age and diseases, the shaman feels a burst of energy by alter[ation;] he begins shamanising and for a long time chants, dances and surprises a stranger by his power."

pp. 139-40 normal feeding of spirits; music by spirits; exclamations by spirits

p. 139

"According to Nanai ideas, the spirits like to regale themselves on ... spider’s web, rare roots and some other quite material substances. One can pass such food to them only by introducing them into the material world. Some of the spirits involved ..., are placed at a small laid table as their images (carved out of wood and decorated with shavings). Other ones move by turns into the shaman[’s] body and receive food at the moment an assistant puts a pinch of food into the shaman’s mouth. Such alternating incarnation of spirits in the shaman[’s] body is quite obvious for the people around, for each of them {the incarnating spirits} behaves so differently. One of them champs greedily and with relish, another one is not able to keep on his legs because of old age ... . ...


The most noticeable musically is the appearance of Manchurian spirits who bring ethnically original ... rhythm along with them. The other spirits’ tunes are ... individual ones as well. For example, the spirit ngewen, dwelling in the mountains comes with the specific exclamation hogogo-hogogo, {cf. {Strong’s 1901] /hagig/ ‘meditation’ – ascetics commonly go to mountains for meditating} inherent in him alone. Having come into the shaman’s body and approached the laid

p. 140

table, some spirits ... chant out the word-tune hey."

p. 140 shaman’s travel to other worlds; identifying the whereabouts of a lost soul; escorting souls to Buni

"Such a rite travel through the spirits’ world is the rite taochiory. During it the spirit of the shaman, who chants in a dark room, with assistance of spirits gets to ... the sphere of the patient’s dreams ... . He searches out the being, who has taken the sick person’s soul, in his corresponding dream. Then the shaman follows the tracks of this being farther through the space of the patient’s dreams, through the different events of this [patient’s] various dreams. {This would be a variety of "mutual dreaming".} Having found the lost soul the shaman[’s] {helping-}spirits run with it from the pursuit {by the soul’s erstwhile captors} and places it in a special safe refuge.

The ningmachiory fortune telling belongs to the rites of this type, with the shaman continuing himself to making a ‘diagnosis’, identifying the whereabout of that soul of a lost or a sick person.

Some episodes of the big shaman kasa ceremony (sending the souls of the deceased to the world of death buni), namely searching for the souls of the deceased or travel with them along the road to the buni, a[p]pertain to rite-travels as well."

p. 141 visible manifestation of spirits by shaman

"the most proficient Nanai shamans ... brought spirits into the material world directly, making them visible. Thus, the shaman ... screamed out by turn[s] the names of his assistant spirits, inviting them ... . The people present saw the door open and close at its own accord, and small figures of the coming spirits moved".

"For example some shaman could materialise a hawk of a spirit. Curing patients with festaring {festering} wounds he called this spirit by means of a drum and chant. ... Then the fish skin stretched over the window instead of glass broke with noice {noise} and the hawk [did] suck the pus out of the wound".

pp. 142-3 dreaming by shaman in order to conduct souls of the dead; finding of missing corpse by a female tudin

p. 142

"Reducing the outside world manifestations to a minimum ... a shaman gets detached from everything and ... falls asleep performing the rite and continues to act in his dream {entering the dream-world without losing continuity of memory} the way it is necessary for the achievement of the rite’s ends. Such purposeful dreams in which a shaman fulfilled everything he had decided to do {lucid-dreaming with continuity of intent} were part of the kasa ceremony.

At a certain point on his path to the world of the dead buni[,] the shaman stopped chanting and went to sleep ... . Without a drum and chant he overcame in his dream the next difficult stretch of the road. ... The people around him understood it as the ringing of the bell on the neck of one of the dogs (or one of the reindeers) that was working that moment and carrying the sledge loaded with the souls of the deceased and with their goods and chattelled {chattels} further to the buni. ... One could count all the nine bells this way and all this time the shaman was conveying the souls by a dog team (or by reindeers) in his dream at will."


"Such a performance of a ritual task in a dream ... is one of the basic kin[d]s of tudin practice. According to ... dates {data}, tudins excell shamans in power, and there were considerably fewer tudins than shamans among the Nanais ... . {Another definition for /tudin/ is "person similar to shaman who diagnoses illness and acts as control on shaman’s trance" (FT, p. xxi)}. Tudins ... were able "to see the road along which the shaman went while shamanising" ... . And ..., he could go along the roads of the other world of his own."

p. 143

"At the beginning of her dream [a female tudin] called her mother (that is[,] her [mother’s] spirit) to help. Then together with this mother she left for [a vanished dead man]’s house ... . Having been carried into the November night ..., she saw four men binding [the dead man]’s hands and feet and carrying him along the Naikhin channel ice ... . After that [the female tudin] and her mother[’s] spirit followed the dead-body movements under the ice up to the place where it got frozen into the ice and stopped. ... [Later] the body was found. It was just in the place and posture [the female tudin] had described."


"Sometimes it was enough for tudin to think a little and he (his soul) was transferred to the point of the other world he needed. ... [A certain man], who had a tudin’s gift ... told me that in his dreams he had often looked down on the world from somewhere above, and observed for example how some times a shamaness, dancing, beating the drum and chanting[,] slowly moved along the curves of channels and small rivers. {I likewise have in a dreams looked down, from the sky above, on a body of water (the sea, in my case).} Seeing her road as a whole, realising that it would be better to straighten it, and feeling himself capable of making this travel considerably quicker, [the male tudin] looked ... hard".


"And it is important that the travel in a dream is often accompanied with certain musical sounds. ... Such a specific phenomenon as the chanting of sleeping tudins, travelling about in their dreams ... helps to achieve some magical purpose, ... just at the moment when ... he is in need of some means that can support him."

FT = By Kira van Deusen : The Flying Tiger. McGill-Queen’s U Pr, 2001. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=kP8t-xOONNgC&pg=PR21&lpg=PR21&dq=tudin+Nanay+OR+Nanai&source=bl&ots=H-DHDxnkdv&sig=C7eDDUQE3fDTBe6yiMA3sk-1gEU&hl=en&ei=o-FVTeLTLIuXtwekj4D1DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=tudin%20Nanay%20OR%20Nanai&f=false

[another article by authoress Tatyana Boulgakova : "Hermeneutic Temptation of Shamanistic Research", is at http://www.erm.ee/?node=326]


pp. 145-58 Oake Hultkrantz : "The Shaman in Myths & Tales".

p. 149 dolls repraesenting dead shamans

"When a shaman of the Yurak Samoyed dies, a manlike doll is made ... to represent him. The family gives this doll food for five or six years and then places it beside the coffin. Some of these dolls have their own little hut. Now and then people visit the doll, make offerings to it and ask it to counsel them on important matters of daily life (Lehtisalo 1924:141 ff)."

"Among the Buryat, ... both male and female shamans were worshipped after their death. Their images, or ongon, were placed on the heights where they were buried. They were thought to be protective spirits (Holmberg 1927:499)."

Lehtisalo 1924 = T. V. Lehtisalo : Entwurf einer Mythologie der Jurak-Samoueden. Helsinki.

Holmberg 1927 = Uno Holmberg : "Finno-Ugric; Siberian [Mythology]." Boston.

pp. 152-3 shaman-tales about the Thundre-god




[Tungus] "To escape a cannibal who had devoured his brothers and sisters, ... the young man hid in a sack. Peeking out of, after a while, he found that he was in the sky where Thunder lived. ... Only when he lay down beside Thunder’s beautiful daughter did she see him. She recognized him


as being a great shaman ... . The girl gave him a horse on which he could ride back to earth. Alas, the cannibal, in disguise was awaiting him ... (Suslove and Menges 1983:85 ff)."


[Yakut] "Before he became a shaman, Bu:ka:sh U:lla:ya:n and his fellow traveller were in a boat ... . ... However, a frightful burst of thunder suddenly exploded, and Bu:ka:sh U:lla:ya:n was torn apart. His companion collected the strewn pieces and went to call the others ... . Some time later, he returned ..., ... found the dead man alive and well ... . ... The Thunder god had come down from the sky and ... had then put him together again and made him a shaman (Friedrich and Buddruss eds. 1955:175 ff; Findeisen 1970:339 ff)."

Suslove & Menges 1983 = I. M. Suslove & K. H. Menges : Materialien zum Schamanismus der Ewenki Tungusen. Wiesbaden.

Friedrich & Buddruss eds. 1955 = Adolf Friedrich & Georg Buddruss (edd.) : Schamanengeschichten aus Sibirien. Mu:nchen.

Findeisen 1970 = Hans Findeisen (ed.) : Dokumente urtu:mlicher Weltanschauung der Vo:lker Nordeurasiens. Oosterhout.


pp. 171-88 Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer : "The Poe:try of Shamanism". [Sah^a (Yakut)]

pp. 176-7, 182 performers’ use of sexual symbolism

p. 176

One shaman "had acquired his guardian spirit from having accidentally camped at the burial of a deceased Tungus (Evenk) shaman. Thus, during his seances, ...

p. 177

the Tungus shamanic spirit "took possession" ... . This particular shaman also had a ‘Russian devil’ and two very bawdy male and female ‘demons’ as helpers who could both terrify and titillate his audiences."

p. 179, fn. 14

"Discussion of sexual symbolism in Siberian shamanism is far rarer than its occurrence. ... See also Austerlitz (1984)."

p. 182

"A few ... literate practicing shamans ... even joke about their sexual shamanic metaphors."

Austerlitz 1984 = Robert Austerlitz : "Ten Nivkh (Gilyak) Erotic Poems". ACTA ETHNO. ACAD. SCI. HUNG. Budapest.

p. 176, fn. 10 commonalities between Sah^a & Cherokee religions : "Cherokee healers ... explain the commonalities as based on the similarity of the spirit worlds they are encountering."


pp. 273-80 Miha`ly Hoppa`l : "Performing Shamanism in Siberian Rock Art".

p. 276 shamanic practices in Siberia

"on the shaman drums of the Ket people (known by their old name the Jenisei Ostyaks) such antenna headed anthropomorphic figures are found ... . ...

In the territory of Tuva shaman songs collected from the Soyots mention feather headdresses :

"I wrestled with a dragon/

he tore my arms fiercely/

he stuck to me evilly/ ... .

My hat is of feathers/ ...

my cloak is multicoloured/ ... . ...

I quiver like a mirage/ ...

my body stretches ..." (Ko``halmi 1973:107 ...)."

Ko``halmi 1973 = Katalin Ko``halmi (ed.) : Sa`ma`ndobok, szo`ljatok. Budapest.


BIBLIOTHECA SHAMANISTICA, Vol. 1 = Tae-gon Kim & Miha`ly Hoppa`l (edd.) : Shamanism in Performing Arts. Akade`miai Kiado`, Budapest, 1995.

[2nd conference (1993) of the International Society for Shamanistic Research, in Budapest, Hungary]