I. S. Sh. R., 8th Conference = Shamans Unbound





Shamanic ... Views from Siberia



Rejuvenating Buryat Shamanism



Shamanism among the Semang-Negrito



Shamanism ... among the Ladakhi and the Sah^a



Shamanic Rites ... among the Yi



Reputation of the Northern Mongol Shamans



Spirits ... of the Darh^ad-Mongol Shamans



Praesent-Day Shamanistic Practices of the Buryat-s



Shaman Songs among the eastern H^anti-s



Shamanism among the Sora-s



pp. 7-27 – Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer : "Shamanic ... Views from Siberia".

pp. 20-1 Buryat of Olh^on

p. 20

[quoted from :- Hoppa`l 2000, p. 83] "a part of my soul, a kind of block, became detached from me. My body was lying down, I could even see it. I could see my arm {noticing one’s hand in one’s dream is mentioned by Carlos Castan~eda} and then suddenly I felt that the ceiling had vanished. I began to grow until I was a giant. My body was just growing and growing until I could reach the sky. ... And I still carried on growing and then I heard some sort of sound just like a bubble when it flies through the water and then pops. The soul was as if I was inside a bubble ... going up and up inside it." {traveling through the air inside a bubble is mentioned by Carlos Castan~eda}

p. 21, fn. 14

"I rose in a soap bubble, ever higher. ... Then I landed ... and the bubble shattered. I was asked a thousand questions. ... I came back into my body".

p. 21

"his ability to leave his body more often, to defeat "evil spirits" by using a mirror ..., reflecting the sun’s rays on them {this is Taoist} ... and escape on a flying horse."

Hoppa`l 2000 = Mihaly Hoppa`l : Shaman Traditions in Transition. Budapest : Akade`miai Kiado`.


pp. 41-52 – Z^eljko Jokic` : "Rejuvenating Buryat Shamanism : Trance, Initiation".

pp. 43-5 illness inspiring to become shaman

p. 43

"people ... suffer directly from symptom of the so-called shamanistic sickness which is inflicted

p. 44

upon them by their deceased shaman-relatives because they ... have been elected to carry on the shamanistic calling ... . ... In case of shamanic sickness, the shamans’ advice is that the only way the person can be cured is by getting initiated as a shaman. ...

p. 45

Shamanistic sickness usually leads to initiation and dissolution of the crisis as the future shaman accepts his or her destiny and forges a link with the ancestral spirits that contributed to the crisis in the first place."

pp. 46-7 s^anar : caerimonial assumption of shamanhood

p. 46

"the initiation is a life-long process consisting of a series of consecutive progressions from the first to the highest ninth degree over a number of years. ...


After the identity of the candidate’s ancestral spirits were determined, he or she undergoes the first initiation, called Altan serge (... "Golden string [for horses]"), the purpose of which is to link the future shaman directly with his or her ancestral spirit ... . ...


In the ensuing second initiation, which usually takes place after two or three years, ... thirty-two young birch trees were selected ... . Every tree was decorated with" :-


__ ribbons

tied to the tree’s ... part

symbolizing an offering of ... for the spirits


red & yellow




blue & white



p. 47

They circumambulated the trees "as many times as necessary until [the neophyte] finally became possessed. At one moment he started to climb the main tree ..., which was followed by amnesia".

p. 48 memory of soul-journeys in shamanship

"Some shamans from Ulan-Ude also told ... that sometimes they vaguely remember snippets of their soul journeys when the spirit takes hold of their bodies. [One shaman] told ... that during trance his soul leaves his body and wanders around. Sometimes he can recall his experience, must most of the times he cannot. When he does remember, he sees people and a landscape like in a dream."


pp. 53-61 – Diana Riboli : "Shamanism among the Semang-Negrito of Paeninsular Malaysia".

pp. 56-8 journeys in dreams

p. 56

Shamans are "known as halak by the Batek and jampi by the Jahai".

"All knowledge, especially of therapeutic songs, is received in the course of dreams, ... and more often very

p. 57

secret. ... The older halak and jampi know hundreds of medicinal plants".

p. 58

[Batek of Taman Negara] A halak (shaman) explained that "in search of medicinal plants ... in the jungle ... only his body was walking ..., his soul was flying from a mountain to a river, later to rest on a tree or flower."


"Jahai jampi ... in their dreams, receive magical chants and fly to beautiful and unknown parts of the forest."


[Batek of Taman Negara] Another halak (shaman) "told ... that almost every night his shadow-soul entered the body of a scorpion and went to the river to catch crabs. Once the meal was finished, the shaman-scorpion ... was able to study the plants from inside in order to determine their therapeutic value."


pp. 69-80 – Takako Yamada : "Continuation of Shamanism ... among the Ladakhi and the Sah^a".

pp. 70-1 Ladakh

p. 70

"Ladakhi shamans, who are called lha-ba in the case of men and lha-mo in the case of women, must all experience a possession-illness for a long period before they are acknowledged as a novice by a senior lha-ba or lha-mo. ... Shamans are those who have become able to control their spirit-possession illness. They perform se’ances in a state of trance, being possessed by a god (lha) to divine the causes of harm and misfortunes, to heal or drive away and evil spirit ... . ... it was considered that a se’ance should be performed by a shaman in the kitchen where the oven god (thab lha) always resides. {the stove-deity is Chinese} ... A se’ance consisted of

(1) the invitation of lha,

(2) the transformation of the shaman into {spirit-possession of the spirit-medium by} lha,

(3) the application of healing techniques by demonstrating lha’s power, and

(4) the sending-off of lha".

p. 71

"The very moment of the shaman’s transformation into a god ... can only be guessed by the hiccup and the shrill of "a! tsi tsi!"."

p. 72 Sah^a

"shamans were called for different reasons :

(1) to foretell the future,

(2) to find a missing thing, or

(3) to beg for good fortune.

They were also called

(4) to be present at weddings, ysyakh (midsummer festival), and other Sakha festivities, but their main purpose was

(5) to come ... to people suffering from ... culture-bound illnesses, and try to make them well."

"it was the shaman’s role to search for the lost soul of a patient ... . Therefore, ... they traveled with the assistance of helping spirits to the upper world and the underworld".

"a falcon’s loud, distinct, and penetrating cry, or

a gull’s pitiable wail is uttered; ...

impromptu dialogues with spirits are uttered;

the shaman drives out the cause of the sickness by frightening it away, blowing it away from his palm far into the air, or sucking it out of the sore pot with his mouth" [reference :- Sieroszewski 1997, pp. 994-1000].

Sieroszewski 1997 = V. L. Sieroszewski (1896; translated into English in 1997) : The Yakut. eHRAF file, OWC:RV02, 0001.


p. 76 healing by a praesent-day Sah^a shamaness

"the croaking sound of a bird (supposed to be a crane) is uttered. ...

Using a moose horn, sucking out ... from the [patient]’s body".

"it was indispensable to use special tools, such as

horns of moose ...,

pipes made of the bones of a ... swan, and

tweezers made of loon’s bill".


pp. 81-5 Daniel A. Kister : "The Power of Shamanic Rites ... among the Yi".

p. 81 Yi

The Yi ... live in the southwest Liangshan Mountains. The male shamanist figure called bimo ... evokes the presence of gods and spirits ... . ...

The names of Yi gods commonly contain a tree name ..., and rituals make ... use of a "spirit branch" –

fir for a goat sacrifice,

willow for a cock.

Branches stuck in the ground mark off the ritual space and represent a stellar constellation or the pathway or seat of a god or ghost. ...

Rites send souls of the dead to peace, ... pray for good fortune, ... pray for the birth of a child, or summon lost souls."

(Distinct from Chinese writing is) "the written Yi language of about 850 characters."

"A chant ... recalled ... :

In olden times, a bird descended from the sky to a tree, shook its wings, and let a feather fall. It used the feather to write {ordinary Chinese use a brush, not a feather, for writing} bimo texts, which it put beneath the tree. A man came, saw them, and started performing bimo rites."

p. 82 an annual caerimony of the Yi

"In early October ..., a month before the Yi New Year, the grandfather performed a xiapu ... to celebrate the harvest ... . ... The rite is normally held at the hearth of the old family home after sundown ... . It invoked

the Sun God,

the Yi Ancestral god,

the God of Farming,

the Eagle God,

the Fire God,

the Water God, etc. ...

The rite progresses through a series of low chants" :-


its contents


"recounts the cock’s history – from egg, to chick, to cock."


"tells the history of bimo and the origin of the Yi language".


"tells the history of plants – how the fir and willow came from the heavens."


"recounts the history of human beings".

"In an action repeated after most subsequent chants, ... all call out "Wuho" ... . This frightens away ghosts and what ... are evil words and deeds committed by family members or others during the past year."


pp. 133-43 Ma`ria Magdalena Tata`r : "Reputation of the Northern Mongol Shamans".

p. 137 shamaness; wolf-man

p. 137

"Among the clans that are famous for their shamans (e.g. the Durlag, who immigrated from the Altai ...), there are ... the Haytal, the Hurdut, and the Ongoy. The Hurdut clan originates from the eastern, i.e. Barguzin, side of the Baykal ... . ... The Haytal clan ... migrated from the Altay to River Lena". "This ... is reflected in a Buryat legend about a shamaness who escaped ... from Barguzin to Tunka and from there to Alar".


[U:ju:mc^in tradition] "An Uriankhay, especially one of the C^onod ("wolf") clan, wearing white clothes and mounting a white horse, should assist a person, who was struck by lightning. He calls the lightning over to himself".

p. 137, fn. 12

"Many Mongol groups, among other the Uriankhays, practice the wide-spread custom to call out to heaven during storms to signalize to the lightning that they are heavenly people".


pp. 153-63 A`gnes Birtalan : "Communication with Spirits ... of the Darh^ad-Mongol Shamans".

pp. 153, 156-7 Darh^ad

p. 153

"The Darkhads live in Kho:wsgo:l (Xo:wsgo:l), in the northernmost province of Mongolia."

p. 156

[performance by Darh^ad shamaness]

"She becomes an eagle-owl. She says khi-yam, khi-yam. ...

p. 157

Saying kha, she becomes a bear and imitates it."


pp. 165-76 – Ma`tya`s Balogh : "Praesent-Day Shamanistic Practices of the Buryat-s".

pp. 165-6 Buryat shamans generally

p. 165

"Mongols believe that three or more years after their death, shamans become spirits (ongon) and are able to come back to the human world by seizing the body of another shaman, who is (in most cases) his/her descendant or apprentice".

p. 166

"Shamans have to be possessed by their spirits (ongon oruulax) regularly; else they become seriously ill."

pp. 166, 168-9 distinctions between Buryat white shamans and Buryat black shamans

p. 166

"Buryat have to perform their spirit-pleasing rituals three times a month.


__ shamans




perform on __, __, __ days each lunar month

9th 19th 29th

8th 18th 28th


motion of days





drum, drumstick

[jew-harp, staff (p. 168)]




blue brocade gown

p. 168


"metal helmet ... with two antlers on the top".

"blue textile, with fringes in front hiding the shaman’s face."


[For black shamans,] "The armor consists of a back-armor (arxaali) and a front-armor (elgebs^e) with metal figures of three animals : a lizard (gu:rbel), a wild-boar

p. 169

(bodon gaxai), and a Garuda bird (garid s^ubuu) representing the three layers of the world".

p. 166, fn. 2

"white shamans are rather bonesetters (barias^) than shamans ... . However, they are called "shamans of white descent" (sagaanai bo:o:)."

p. 169 other implements wielded by Buryat black shamans

"the four-cm-long iron ladder (s^ata) on the whip is to climb rocks and cliffs with, while

the rowboat (ongoso) of the same size and material and its paddles (selu:u:r) are used for crossing oceans, lakes and rivers. ... .

... to transfer the sacrifices and offerings to the thirteen lords of the North ... is also a key and a lock on the whip for opening the door of the lords in case it is closed."

"A lasso (salama) ... is used for catching the bad spirits, a strap (argamz^aa) and a pile (gadaha) is for keeping them in captivity."


pp. 193-9 – Katalin La`za`r : "Shaman Songs among the Eastern H^anti-s".

p. 194 shamans

"Khanty shamans ... are chosen ... by the gods for this role. When someone is chosen, he begins to see dreams, from which he learns about his new task. It usually takes a long time to accept it, mostly years : during this time the chosen person is ailing. When deciding to accept the task and to conduct shaman ceremonies, he is cured. ... ..

... the shaman lives on hunting and fishing, as other Khantys do."

pp. 194-5 a performance

p. 194

The caerimony "began with the warming of the shaman drum; while being out of use, its leather cover got loose, but thanks to the warm[th] of the iron stove it became tight again. ...

The first part was a long drumming. ...

p. 195

Then came some whistling : these were the whistles of his spirit helpers – birds. ... After this, the shaman ... began ... jumping ... . ... At the culminating point of the ceremony ... all the males shouted with him. ... The cries were long and high".

p. 196 songs

"Shaman songs have their special language, frequently not understandable even for those speaking Khanty as a mother language".


pp. 201-7 – Melinda Makai : "Shamanism among the Sora-s".

pp. 201-3 S`avara

p. 201

"The Sora (Saora, S`avara, S`abara) are an aboriginal tribe in Ganjam and Koraput Districts in the state of Orissa and Srikakulam Dictrict of Andhra Pradesh ... . Sora language belongs to the South Munda branch".

p. 202

"The shaman (kuran in the Sora language) is ... two kinds ... : the one who is responsible for funerals, and the other one, who deals with divination and healing. ... It is a daily practice for the shaman to conduct dialogues with the dead, who speak to living people through his mouth in trance ... . The dead use the shaman as a medium to speak. After death, a person becomes a sonum."

p. 203

"The most important shamans are women : they also marry a sonum ... in the Underworld ... . Their husband is the spirit of a previous shaman, who is usually their relative – this way the marriage is incestuous. The husband has an Oriya name and although he is married to someone from our world, he inhabits mountain peaks in the Underworld at the same time."

pp. 204-5 S`avara deities

p. 204

"Rugaboi ("Speckle-Woman" ...) ... is the owner of rogo (dreid peas), which, like the peacock, is rige (speckled)" [reference :- Vitebsky 1993, p. 51].

p. 205

"Jaliyasum’s wife, Gabaldatungboi is ... decorated with peacock’s feathers. Galbasum ... sends a dream of a peacock to the ill man" [reference :- Elwin 1955, pp. 101-3].

Vitebsky 1993 = Piers Vitebsky : Dialogues with the Dead. Cambridge U Pr.

Elwin 1955 = Verrier Elwin : The Religion of an Indian Tribe. Oxford U Pr.


BIBLIOTHECA SHAMANISTICA, Vol. 14 = Miha`ly Hoppa`l & Zsuzsanna Simonkay (edd.) : Shamans Unbound. Akade`miai Kiado`, 2008. [8th conference (2007) of the International Society for Shamanistic Research, in Dobogo`ko``, Hungary]