Shamanhood, Symbolism and Epic

alternative names of tribes



alternative name of tribe






C^eremiss (Cheremiss)


Tuba (Tuva)



Ewen (Even)







Siberian Eskimo


Nivk (Nivkh)

Gilyak (Ghilyak)


pp. 89-134 Timo Leisio: : "On the Octosyllabic Metric Pattern and Shamanism".

p. 90 [Nenets] XaL’a, [Magyar] HaL, [Mansi] XuL ‘fish’

[<arabi^] KayL (A-ED, p. 311b) ‘horses’ (coll.) {cf. seahorse-fish}

cf. [Vajra-yana] "fish" in "luminous ocean of mind" of trance-state

KayaL (A-ED, p. 310a) ‘ghost, spectre, phantasm’

AE-D = Hans Wehr (ed. by J. Milton Cowan) : A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. 1979.

pp. 110-111 virgin-birth myth from the Nanai of the lower Amur





"Eden, the God of earth, gives the woman peas to eat.

Even though she is old, she becomes pregnant

and gives birth to two kinds of non-biting snakes,

whom she rejects and abandons in a forest. ...

At PISa – cf. /PISo-n/ ‘peas’ – there was begotten by Aigeus (GM 95.d), as son Theseus.


They became a young maiden with long snakey hair,

and a young lad, her brother." {Medousa -- < /*MEDonSa/ -- was likewise snaky-haired (GM 33.b)}

Aigeus married MEDea -- < /*MEDeSa/ -- , who owned (GM 97.b) a "chariot drawn by winged serpents".

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

pp. 113-117 Kilaiye (‘Seagull’) {cf. Jonathan Seagull of the Radha Soami} from the Ude / Ude-Ge at the mouth of the river Amur




"Once Yegdy`ga learned the news that byond the sea lived seven girls.

He walked and walked and arrived at the shore of the sea.

From the other side of the sea the girls asked Yegdy`ga ..."


Answer by Yegdy`ga the Seagull to quaestions from the 7 maidens :-

"When the hail falls ...

I will put on seven pots, I will cross ...!

["The shaman covers his head with seven pots and crosses over."]

{The pot worn as helmet is a motif in the Edda.} ...

Seagulls, seagulls, If the salt sea burns,

I will put on the iceboots, with a sizzling I will cross!"


"I’ll go and build a big stone barge, and cross over".


"Yegdy`ga is described to cross the sea

to meet the seven maidens and

to marry the one with "her face white and round like the moon"."

p. 120 term for ‘shaman’













[These Uralic words for "spiritual hunter" are cognate with Malayalam /nayati/ ‘hunter’--literally, ‘the one who goeth with a /nay/ (hound)’, according to Leisio:]

p. 122 C^olgoraadie C^uul’d’ii (‘Tale of the Rabbit’) from the YukaGir of the Kolyma

"the old lady asks the rabbit to come to her"

{With the Algonkin myth of Manaboz^o (‘Great Hare’) stealing blue fire over a frozen lake, do perhaps relate the Ude detail where "the salt sea burns ... with a sizzling". Cf. the biography, in the Jataka, where the bodhisattva as rabbit offered his own body to be cooked.}

p. 122 Mottus^kadie (‘Pinky Seagull’) from the YukaGir

"young maidens moving gracefully like gulls which are slowly flying above a river."

{cf. Leuko-thea (‘White Goddess’) the female seagull in the Odusseis.}

p. 131, n. 33 Pas^ker

"the totemic character known as Pashker in Khanti and Mansi myths ... the ethnonyme ... meant ‘... the Glutton [Wolverine] ...’."

{Wolverine a major character in New-England Algonkin mythology.}

p. 132, n. 50 some worldwide words

"P[roto]-U[ralic] *kele- ‘speech’ = P[roto]-Dr[avidian] *kel-- ‘speech’

Chaldaean qal ‘voice’ (Str. 7032); <ibri^ qo^l ‘voice’ (Str. 6963)

P-U *a:l- ‘do not’ = P-Dr *al- ‘do not’"

<ibri^ >al ‘not’ (Str. 408-9)

Str. = Strong’s Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of Bible Words.


pp. 135-154 Jarkko Niemi : "Dream Songs of the Forest Nenets".

p. 135 Nenets

"Forest Nenets (Nyesha") ... differs from Tundra Nenets ... beyond the level of mutual understanding."

"The ethnic neighborhood of the Forest Nenets includes

the Eastern Khanty (Kanty) groups in the south,

Taz river Selkup Samoyeds in the east

and Tundra Nenets in the North."



travel to the other world


"dyutiltana, a seer of dreams ... can travel into the world of spirits in his dreams and contact the world of the dead, in order to send back souls of ill people".


"dream songs either as dyutilo"ma (‘dreaming’), or as tachyipyatma kinawsh (shamanistic song)."


"Through the seven spheres of the earth there was a ladder ...


In another world they went

The Sun-eye said :

When a bad day comes (I shall help you). ...


Into the land of those escorting us we arrived

(the kingdom of death). ...

I went around the deceased sunwise,

into the wooden hut I came.

Behind me the door closed.


(-- You have come here to live with us forever,

we don’t let you go, you don’t leave here anymore.)

(That kind of house it was,

but I found a hole on the side of the sun.)"


"The dyutiltana ... ends up trapped in the hut of the dead,

but succeeds in escaping due to his transformational abilities :

he turns into a feather and hovers out from a small hole in the wall."


"Woman of the seven depths of the water

she grabbed my hand she grabbed helpless me ...

(On his) last breath

mother-fox with fur of gold

grabbed him in the last moment ...


On the shore ... a mother-bear runs,

accompanied by six bear-cubs.

I, meantime, transform myself into mother-bear’s ... seventh cub."

to induce visionary dreams of the future




"he had to cross a water, he had to be blindfolded {cf. blindfolding in initiation-caerimonies, as e.g. for the Freemasons} ...


"they were visions from dreams. He also used to foretell, interpreting ... signs {i.e., dream-events} from the stories. ...


Sometimes he was specially asked to dream and foretell. ... He called his spirits. Then the song came out of him ..."


pp. 155-160 Bayir Dugarov ; "Geser BoGda-yin Sang".

pp. 157-158 Incense-Burning Prayer for the Holy Geser Khan





"sign" on that weapon

















other accoutrements


"sword of knowledge"


"saddle studded with lapis [lazuli]"


"bay horse Beligen" {cf. BaLIos}


numbers of persons


30 heroes


360 companions


10^11 beings


rescue from __

like __






a mountain



a boat



a thunderbolt




of deity __


"blood red horse on the red cliff"

Jamsaran [of warriors – p. 160, n. 11]


"yellow dog going before and a flying raven"

the 9 Dahla [of happiness – p. 160, n. 12] {Da-lha ?} tenger


pp. 161-198 Kanaqluk [‘Muskrat’] : "Yuuyaraq (The Way of the Human Being)".

pp. 161-162 the Yup’ik language of the Yup’iaq people is spoken on the river Kuskokwim, and in Qaluyaaq (‘Place of the Dip-net’ = Nelson island)

creation & powers


myth & caerimony


"Tulukaruk after making nunarpak (the earth) with its mighty claws carved out the Kwigpak (Big River – Yukon) and Kusquqvak (Kuskokwim) rivers ..."


"Ellum Yua (Spirit of the Universe) represented by the metaphorical Tulukaruk (Raven), ak’a tamani (a long time ago at that place), made the Ella (Universe), nunarpak (earth), the seasons, Yup’iat nuniit (people’s land), ungungsiit (animals), Yup’iatlu (and the Yup’iaq)."


"The ciuliat (elders/ancestors) ... told of

Tulukaruk (Raven) the Creator of the Universe who was also a trickster,

nuna (the earth),

the Yup’iaq (the Real People),

the angalkuq (the medicine people),

the cingssiit (the little people),

ircenrrat (human like beings who had power to traverse with great speed on and through the earth),

and tuunrqaq (shaman’s spirit).


The elders’ stories told of

Yuyaraq (The Way of The Human Being)

and of Ellum iinga (the Eye of Awareness).


The elders told of Elriq (the Great Feast of the Dead)

and Nakaciuq (the Bladder Feast).

The Elriq honored the deceased human beings

and the Nakaciuq honored the animal spirits. ...


In the Nakaciuq ceremony, the inflated bladders of the animals caught by the hunters were put under the ice after freeze up so that the spirits of the animals could return to their spirit place and later return to be reborn again in the physical world."


"finding a mouse colony with a storage of anlleret (mouse food – the roots of marsh grass) which had a sweet tasting white center and was used in soups and in akutaq ["a dessert made with tallow and berries" – p. 194]. When they dug up the mouse food, they found that the earth worms were eating the roots. ... father told him to kneel down and put his hands into the mass of wriggling worms. The worms would have melded into his body and it was believed that he would have acquired the power to heal."


"In the qasgiq ["men’s community house where firebaths and ceremonies are held" – p. 197], my father learned about the creation myth and later about agayuliluteng {cf. [Yoruba] hunters’ god AGAYU ?} (masked dances performed with songs to make animals available for the hunters).


In the Yup’iaq creation myth Tulukaruk created the universe and all sentient beings. To the Yup’iaq this includes the animals, the human beings, and the spirits of all that was created.

Tulukaruk explained to the Yup’ik where they fit in the schema of Yup’iaq cosmology, that all creatures seen and unseen are related, that the Yup’iaq is not superior to the animals, that there is a cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth of the human and the non-human."


"a wooden staff colored white with appendages of feathers and Yup’iaq symbols of the ellanguaq (models of the universe) was placed in the center of the qasgiq directly under the window during various ceremonies.


The ena (women’s house) is symbolic of the womb, it gives life ... through the umbilical cord to the fetus. This symbolism also translates to the spiritual force that comes from Ellum Yua (the spirit of the universe) through the gateway from the spiritual to the physical world. The qasgiq and the ena are the sacred microcosmic symbols of ella (the Yup’iaq universe)."


"the angalkut [plural of angalkuq – p. 194] would have a kegginaquq (mask) ... would carve it from the vision he received either in a dream or in trance."


"the drum ... was the instrument that helped the angalkut to transport themselves between the physical and the spiritual worlds. The vibrations of the drum are magical and mysterious and they help to provide the link between different worlds."


"In the ritual dancing, the dancers had in their hands the taruyamaarak, two circular dance fans, one for each hand. The dance fans used the black and white wing feathers from the anipak (snow owl, the messengers of spirits).

In the ritual dance, the men danced on their knees and the women stood behind them symmetrically moving in synchrony with each other to the beat of the drums. Along the back wall of the qasgiq where the benches where the drummers sat."


"The spoken word and song were created by Tulukaruk at the time of creation. ... Tulukaruk taught that thoughts are real and that words have power ..."


"It is taught that the feelings generated in the receiver, the words spoken to her or him, have power and will return to the speaker in the manner spoken."

p. 182 skrying

"her grandmother, the weather specialist, was also gifted with the power of seeing things at a distance by using a wooden bowl filled with water. She would cover herself with a grass mat in the women’s house and saw images of people a distance away.

... a glow could be seen coming from the direction of her grandmother under the grass mat as she looked at the water-filled bowl in the darkened part of the ena."

gane-animals’ self-sacrifice




"If the animals were offended or not respected, they did not offer themselves to the human being. In .... early lessons in the qasgiq, he was told that humans were being constantly watched by the spirits of animals and spirits of nature itself."


"When the Yut [‘people’ – p. 198] showed proper respect, the animals would allow themselves to be caught by choice and were then able to return."


pp. 199-206 Vilmos Voigt : "Old Hungarian Concepts on Shamanic Beliefs".






smoke of "hemp-seed" was appretiated by Skuthai, according to Herodotos (liber IV).

{This is [Skt.] bhanga = [<ar.] has`is` = [Span.] marijuana smoke.}


"the Hungarian word le`lek ‘soul, spirit’, connected with the verb le`legzik ‘to breathe’."

{Cf. name of the LELEG-es, denizens of Apia (Peloponnesos) prior to the Hellen-es. }


pp. 207-220 Apostolos N. Athanassakis : "Shamanism and Amber in Greece".


comparative words

comparative myth

(p. 211) Eido-thea the daughter of Proteus is goddess of sealskin-wearing & of seals.

(p. 220, n. 32) "Old Prussian pratin, ‘sense/mind’";

(p. 214) "Norse fro`dr, ‘wise’"

{cf. Fro`di, who "is eventually killed by a sorceress who has taken the shape of a sea-cow." (PGR)}


{The shape-shifting (lion-serpent-leopard-boar-water-tree) by Proteus when grasped (p. 212; GM 169.a) may symbolize the difficulties in grasping the mind-in-itself, as a philosophical problem.}


BIBLIOTHECA SHAMANISTICA, Vol. 9 = Juha Pentika:inen (ed.) : Shamanhood, Symbolism and Epic. Akade`miai Kiado`, Budapest, 2001.