"Shamanism and Hierarchy in Eastern Oceania"

p. 19 terms for ‘shaman / inspirational priest / prophet / seer’





Samoa & Tokelau-s




Society islands & Manareva

"they were quite distinct from another class of priests known as tohunga ... The tohunga’s position involved apprenticeship and acquired knowledge rather than internal propensity or capacity that arose from possession. The tohunga ... performed functions at ceremonies largely on behalf of chiefs."

pp. 19-20 spirit-possession of *taula






"All that he says is supposed to be the declarations of the god, and he accordingly speaks in the first person as if he were the god. {likewise for the nabi>im of the TNaK} ... He is seized with a universal trembling; ... his lips, turning black, are convulsed ..."



"the whole body ... was said to become convulsed "and inflated as if it were about to burst." The god was supposed to descend ... "like a heron" and then pass into the shaman’s body at his call. The state of possession would end suddenly, and the taura would be motionless on the ground; at the same moment, "one of the sacred or Etooa [atua, deity] birds takes his flight from the Morai"".



becoming a tau>a :- "The person would run furiously, emitting loud and incoherent cries and leaping and bounding up and down the valleys, collapse from exhaustion, and then begin to leap and run again with even greater vigor, as he or she entered into various states or more or less extreme possession. The possessed person ... would report subsequently that gods had taken him or her among precipices and into deserted places. ... When this state of marked possession was over, older tau>a conducted the person to the me>ae, the sacred place, where official priests (tuhuna o>ono) recited chants that recognized the new tau>a."



by the deity Makemake :- "Healing practice involved a trance or ecstatic state that was induced through dizziness, and in which the priest spoke in a shrill voice identified with Makemake."



taula atua, "a class of people subject to inspirational spasms" :- "feverishly calling out in a language of his own" {speaking in unknown tongues of angels}



"many priests and ... priestesses, who all act as if they were inspired by some supernatural power, performing numberless strange and mad pranks."

Nicholas Thomas & Caroline Humphrey (eds.) : Shamanism, History, and the State. Ann Arbor : U of MI Pr, 1994. pp. 15-31 Nicholas Thomas : "Marginal Powers".