"Siberian Spirituality"

[cited by p. in this translation, and also by p. in the summarized Russian texts]

[authoresses indicated as such are denoted by + after their names]


pp. 287-289 N. Ia. Bulatova + : "Shamanic Rite Alga among the Evenki".




"the shamaness appealed to cuckoo and hoopoe birds, her patron spirits, by summoning them from the upper world. [She] skillfully imitated the voices of these birds.

... all Evenki view the cuckoo as a sacred bird. They believe that along time ago, the cuckoo was a human being, but a shaman from the Kukty clan turned her into a bird.



[The shamaness] "addressed the river, ...

Then she addressed the heavenly sphere and

the mother-moose, who is her "spiritual double" ..."


pp. 289-291 V. P. Diakonova + : "The Status of Shamanesses among Native Peoples of the Sayan-Altai Area".








terms for ‘shamaness’

Salc^ak Tuvinian













iolbe tol’goc^i






shamaness & her functions


legendary shamanesses in epics


Buh^e-booh^ei "to accompany the sun and moon"



Ayii Umsur udagan "invocation of nine skies"






equipment of shamanesses


"a large fan"



H^akass of the Kac^in

copper drum



Western Tuva

2 drums : kara-s^okar dungur (‘black-motley drum’); anaa dungur (‘regular drum’) – "She used the first one for se’ances that guarded her from the activities of dangerous people."


pp. 291-295 D. S. Dugarov : "Historical roots of the White Shamanism". [Buryat]



" "White shamans" enjoyed the assistance of only western (benign) tengri deities and their children called khat. The "white ones" usually wore white silk clothing and rode white horses."



"The Buryat believed that "white shamans" ... received their powers ("celestial root") personally from the thunder deity through the strike of a lightning bolt, provided they remained alive after this. In



most cases they simply inherited the "root" from their ancestors, who had been killed by lightning".



"the Sakha natives ... maintained many rituals centered on clan patron deities (aiyi)".



"... a circle dance called ieokhor, round dance ner’elge, and drawling songs ai don. In modern times, the Western Buryat performed the circle dance ieokhor during the initiation of a "white shaman." ... The ieorkhor dance included holding each other’s hands, moving around a fire, and simultaneous singing."



"the word ieorkhor ... originated from a[n] ancient Turkish phrase, which means ... "rise high.""



"the ritual round dance ner’elge ... received its name from a refrain word ner’e (thunder)."



"A "meaningless" exclamation "ai-ee!," which accompanies each phrase in ai don songs, ... points to Aia [or, rather, to the aiyi]".



"After a lightning strike, people were to perform a rite of "raising" or "returning" to the sky the "thunder arrow"".



"Animals that were killed by the "thunder arrow" were not edible. ... the animals killed by lightning were viewed as ready-made sacrifices ... Hence when an animal, a person, or a dwelling was struck by lightning, people viewed this as a happy event, the high honor bestowed by the deity".


pp. 295-297 N. E. Ermolova : "On ‘Playing Shamans’ among Siberian Natives".



"the existence of a shamanic gift was detected very early, sometimes among three- or four-year-old children".



"there were examples when children were initiated and recognized as powerful shamans".


pp. 297-299 Dmitrii A. Funk : "A. V. Anokhin’s Materials on Shor Shamanism".



"Shamans were buried faster than common natives. A shaman’s drum and drumstick were hung by the grave on a nearby tree. A shaman’s immediate relatives usually stripped the drum of its iron pendants, chains or buttons and kept them as relics. When a new shaman or shamaness appeared in their clan, one of these relics was attached to his or her drum."



"The northern Shor usually appealed to Adam when a person was severely sick. During the se’ance, ... the shaman sacrificed a dark-colored horse in a yard".



"[the shaman] called all drawings on his drum edndzhi (enchi), which literally means "heritage," and which ... can be rendered as ... "inherited spirits.""



"The frame of [the shaman’s] drum was made from black willow wood. A handle was manufactured from a bird cherry tree. The drum is covered with deerskin."


pp. 299-300 Dmitrii A. Funk : "Notes on Shamanic Pantheon of the Teleut : Deity Named To:o:-kaan".



"... Teleut ... five-layered universe ... :

(1) heavenly sphere (tengere),

(2) "real land" (pu-t’ier),

(3) "imagined land" (t’ier-t’oly), which was positioned between the horizon and the "real earth",

(4) "the land of truth" (chyn-t’ier), which was located beyond the horizon, and

(5) "the land of evil" (t’ier-aalys)."

"the deity named To:o:-kaan ... resides in the "land of truth.’"" {cf. TOKeN (1st DBRY H-YMYM 4:32)}



"the "land of truth." ... this land, which they positioned east of the "imagined land," was devoid of any lies. The "land of truth" actually consisted of two "planets" separated from the "real land" and the "imagined land" by a hollow space. One "planet" was the residency of the deity named Adam (Adam-buurul or Ada-kizhi {cf. [Nas.uray] >adam KaSYa (‘secret Adam’)}), while

the other was the domain of To:o:-kaan. The "land of truth" had its own moon, sun, ... and people."



"At first, the shaman summoned his guardian spirits, shamans-ancestors.

Then [the shaman] called the mistress of his drumstick,

the master of his drum, and

the heavenly spirits called u:lgens. ...

Finally, he summoned the rest of his spirits, including the spirits of a land route (t’ier-t’oly)".



"[The shaman] continued his se’ance the next day by sacrificing a horse."



"In his shamanic journey to To:o:-kaan, the shaman went through the foundation of the sky (tengere to:s). Going through golden gates that opened and closed by themselves,

he entered a field piled with animal and bird bones.

Then [the shaman] crossed the so-called yellow steppe (kuba or sary chol) {cf. the yellow world mentioned by Carlos Castan~eda}, and

passed through three countries that had three, seven, and nine yellow lakes.

Finally, [the shaman] reached the "earthly hole" (tier tunugi), the residence of Enkei-khan, and the "shining eyed-mother of the people of the world."

The last obstacle that [the shaman] overcame was a horn-shaped mountain {cf. [Aztec] Culhuaca`n (‘bent mountain’)}, after which he entered the domain of To:o:-kaan".



"The Teleut viewed To:o:-kaan as a deity endowed with the power to provide childless couples with souls (kut) of children."


pp. 301-303 I. N. Genuev & G. N. Pelikh : "Categories of the Selkup Shamans".



"The Selkups called their shamans tetypy ... : tetypy-sombyrni, tetypy-kamytyrni or tetepy-aloga.

The tetypy-sombyrni shamans usually performed their se’ances inside a chum at full light. The complete paraphernalia of such shamans included the robe (parka), the breast plate, the cap, the drum, and two drumsticks (kapshit), one of which was lined with fur from a deer’s forehead and the other with fur from a bear’s paw. In addition, the most powerful tetypy-sombyrni also had a ritual saber (kidy). The number of ... iron images of the crane (karr) on a shaman’s robe pointed to the amount of sacred power a shaman had. Beginning shamans usually attached only iron images of wings of the crane to their robes. Only after acquiring appropriate experience did they receive their first complete image of the crane. ... At this point, beginning shamans were permitted to draw cranes on the interior sides of the frames of their drums. As their shamanic power grew, spiritual practitioners gradually received the right to depict cranes on the backs of their robes. The most powerful sombyrni shaman ... had seven crane images".



"Kamytyrni were the shamans who performed in complete darkness without any special costume. Their ritual clothing was limited to a headband (churakty), a breast plate (kutyn) and ... The hide of a moose was placed between the fire and the back side of the chum. ... Then the legs and hands of the shaman were tightly roped, and the fire was completely extinguished. ...


After a while, ... a knocking sound ... came from the kettle. Then the shaman began to sing, summoning his spirits and asking them to release him.

The first spirit to appear in the chum was a "bear." The "bear" walked around roaring and breathing noisily and beating the poles of the chum right over the heads of the participants.

Then "birds" started to fly all over, flapping their wings. The audience felt how the shaman released himself from the rope and threw it into the face of the one who had tied him. ...

Finally, the shaman "flew" up and began to turn around on the stick, continuing to sing. Then the voice gradually started to die off somewhere far away, and the shaman "flew" away. Soon, people could hear how the voice of the shaman was again getting louder, which meant that the shaman was returning."



"Shamanism by the aloga shamans was usually called "black pursuit." ...

an apprentice to an aloga .... was killed by a lightning strike that went through the chimney.

... about aloga shamans ... their major spirit helpers were the spirits of deceased shamans (kava-lozy) and deceased infants (patchak). The Selkups believed that if a baby died before it teethed, it turned into a being called patchak, who was connected to the underworld and who acted as a "terrible devil," chasing and killing people."


"during their se’ances, aloga shamans used an ancient language, which modern natives hardly understood."


pp. 310-314 Mongush B. Kenin-Lopsan : "Toward the Study of Tuvinian Shamanism".



"Tuvinian shamans according to the origin of their powers. ...

(1) "hereditary shamans," who received their sacred powers from shamans-ancestors ...;



(2) shamans of a "natural" origin, ... four subgroups :

(a) shamans of the celestial origin (tengri boo), who traced their roots to such celestial beings as Azarlar and Khoorlar. ...



these shamans received their powers through a rainbow, and the first celestial shamans swore their loyalty to "steel sky sons," who resided in the upper world heavenly spheres.



(b) "shamans empowered by witches," who received their powers from the witches called albys. People usually became albys shamans after a witch stole their souls, which made them sick. If a powerful shaman won back the souls from albys, the recovered person was obliged to become a shaman. Albys shamans usually cured insomnia, "mental disorcers," and "madness." Unlike shamans of other categories, albys shamans performed their se’ances during the day ...



Tuvinian native ... described his initiation into the albys shamans : "I am a shaman from the albys ‘witch’ clan. Once I walked over pebbles in a dry creek-bend. Suddenly two beauties showed up and I found myself between them. I felt myself lying in their embraces. Thus, we slept together on a sandy spit. {cf. heroine Psamathe (‘sandy’)} When they woke up, the beauties took me to the high steep bank, where the whole groups of witches pitched their camp. ..." ...



(c) "shamans empowered by water and the earth," who obtained their powers from master spirits of the earth and water. "Water and earth" shamans were primarily specialized in se’ances performed on the eve of hunting expeditions, ... moving a camp to another location, or before wheat or rye grasses sprout.



(d) "shamans empowered by the demon" received their sacred powers after they encountered the demon (aza) and miraculously survived. These shamans empowered by the devil were ascribed a passion for night journeys."



"In some cases, drums could serve as boats, while drumsticks stood for paddles.

In other cases, drums could stand for bows, which the shamans used to combat hostile spirits. In such cases, drums’ crossbars symbolized bow-strings, while pendants attached to these crossbars served as "arrows.""


"During se’ances, different tunes of drums conveyed specific messages and meanings :

(1) the "signal sound of a drum" (dungurnun otkutuni) ...;

(2) the "sound of conjure" (dungurnun kargyshtyg unu); ... these sounds imitated the croaking of a crow. ...;

(3) the sound "to find what was lost" (dungurnun chitekn chuve tyvar unu) helped a shaman to find a lost item;

(4) the sound of a drum that honors the newly made and "consecrated" drum (dungur doiunda dungur unu);

(5) the sound produced to cure a mental illness (dungur unu alystaan kizhni ekirtir);

(6) the sound dealing with the retrieval of a soul (dungur unu sunezinni keldirtir); this was used when the shaman journeyed to various sphered in search for the soul of a patient;

(7) the sound that warded off hostile beings (dungur aiyyl chailadyr burus) such as aza (the demon), albys (the witch), shulbus (the deuce),


kizhi burus (the snow man), buk (the monster) and chetker (the devil); and

(8) the sound that brings luck (dungur unu kezhikti chalaar), which was produced during a special se’ance dealing with the "solicitation of luck and happiness"".



"classification of spirits in Tuvinian shamanism ... divides them into special shamanic spirits and "regular spirits" for "common consumption."

... the first group of spirits ... includes Adyg eeren or the spirit of the bear. ... In ancient times, celestial tribes of Khoorlar and Azarlar sent down to the earth the great shaman in a shape of a bear. ... Only the celestial shamans were endowed with superior powers to summon the spirit of a bear.

The next one is Daer edi eeren or the Heavenly Body spirit, who is represented by ... stones and metals that fell from the sky. This spirit cured madness.

Kuskun eeren is the raven spirit, is the raven spirit, who served as a scout for shamans during their journeys to three worlds (upper, lower and middle worlds).

Buga eeren is the bull spirit, which protected a shaman from his hostile colleagues.

Khovugan eeren is the moth spirit, who helped a shaman to retrieve the soul of a patient."



"The second category of the Tuvinian spirits, who served the interests of the common people, is represented by "home spirits" ...

Ak eeren is the white spirit, who treated infertility and all ailments below the waist such as rheumatism of the legs, bladder ailments, and tibial tumors.

Aldyn-Bozaga eeren is the Golden Pillow spirit, who guarded the entrance to the yurt, whose major responsibility was to hold all good things inside a yurt and not let anything bad get in.

Ugek eeren is the Shed spirit, [who] was usually depicted in the form of small dolls ...; the major function of this spirit was to protect an offspring; ... Ugek eeren in a yurt stopped child mortality.

Olchanyn diin is the Squirrel Catch spirit, who secured good hunting".



"The Tuvinians believed that fire is the younger brother of the sun".



"shamans who were empowered with the bull spirit taught young shamans the art of shamanism. This training could continue for a week and usually never exceeded one month. An experienced "bull-shaman" conducted special "rehearsal sessions" with young shamans and taught them how to perform a shamanic dance and how to compose shamanic verses and chants."


pp. 314-319 L. A. Lar : "Shamans and Deities". [Nentsy]



"the universe consists of the Upper (the sky), Middle (earth) and Lower worlds. In the upper world lives the supreme deity Num, the embodiment of heavenly spheres. His brother Nga heads the spirits of the Lower world, who are hostile to human beings. Nga, a "ferocious" deity, feeds on "bloody" food and requires constant sacrifices. If people do not deliver sacrifices to Nga, he inflicts on them various misfortunes, diseases, and death."



"The Nentsy call their shamans tadebja, which literally means "sorcerers" or "magicians.""



"Shamans were divided into two groups : uninitiated ones who did not have drums (mal tedebia) and initiated shamans who had drums without pendants (tadebja si’m’ja).

Uninitiated shamans had various names ... They could be

iudartana, who were specialized in deciphering dreams,

sevtana (those who see far) who were able to diagnose an ailment by using their internal powers,

iltana (giving life), who were specialized in soothsaying,

teltana, who were so-called shamans-interpreters, and

inutana, which means shamans who provided spiritual advise."



"The initiated shamans were divided into ... ranks :

penzretna, who could see the future and communicate with the supreme deity Num;

ial’tana, who invoked hostile spirits,

mutratna tadebja, or wonder-workers;

tem’sorta, literally, "those who performed magic tricks;" and



tevrambda, who "brought spirits from the upper world." ...

The initiated shamans were also ranked according to their "geographical specialization."

The shamans who journeyed to the upper world were called vidutana. ... Vidutana shamans were so respected that people avoided mentioning their names aloud and approached them only in extreme cases, when nothing else could help. Most valued was their ability to communicate directly with the supreme deity Num and bring him sacrifices. Shamans of this category had two assistants. The first one usually accompanied a shaman in his song and transmitted to the audience that information [which] a shaman received from spirits during a se’ance. The second assistant performed the role of a soothsayer.

Those shamans who worked with the spirits of the middle world were called i’niagi tabebja. They specialized in the treatment of all kinds of illness and relied heavily on herbal folk medicine. I’niagi tabebja provided emergency assistance in case of fractures or wounds. They also used methods of psychotherapy, hypnosis, and ... rites, charms[,] exorcism sessions, and amulets. I’niagi tabebja similarly enjoyed the help of two assistants, who performed the same functions as teltena and ingutana.

The third category of shamans, called sambdorta {cf. SuBuD of Indonesia}, conducted spiritual journeys to the underworld. ... They usually performed special se’ances to accompany the soul of a deceased person to the afterworld. Escorting a soul was a hard, long, and dangerous enterprise. Sambdorta had to watch out that no souls of living people accidentally joined an accompanied soul."



"First, one of the experience shamans brought back to earth the soul of the one who wanted to be initiated. {Brought back from some special heavenly repository? – cf. the souls of the 12 disciples having been brought to earth out of the "Treasury of Life" in Heaven, according to the Pistis Sophia or else the Books of Ieou.} For this purpose, an old shaman usually performed a se’ance during which he approached the spirits would held the soul of a would-be shaman. In the meantime, the one to be initiated lay on the skin of a sacred deer and repeated the words of a charm exorcism... Together they ascended to the upper world and then descended to



the lower world. During these spiritual journeys, the old colleague introduced the novice to the paths that led to major habitats of various spirits. ... After a drum and a costume were made, the old shaman performed the rite of feeding the spirits of the new shaman."



"Only initiated shamans were allowed to own drums. In addition to drums, Nentsy shamans had staves".



"At the beginning of their careers, newly-initiated shamans enjoyed the help of only one or who helping spirits. In the course of time, after a few more initiations and at the discretion of a major patron spirit, they acquired additional spirits. ...



These auxiliary spiritual beings usually accompanied shamans in their journeys to various universal spheres. The category of auxiliary spirits included the spirits of drums, pendants, and headdresses, as well as spirits represented by various "idols." ... During shamanic se’ances, these spirits usually manifested themselves either as animals or as human beings. ...

day and night patron spirits safeguarded people from all evil deeds of hostile spirits, the "dark forces" of Nga. Spirit helpers usually protected shamans from attacks of hostile spirits during spiritual journeys. Spirit helpers ... had a "specialization." One spirit helper could cure a disease, another one could identify thieves, and a third one could predict the future. Depending on the ailments and conditions of their patients, shamans summoned half of their spirits, or, if necessary, all of them. While journeying to other worlds, shamans usually left middle-world spirits on the earth. ...

Among the major patron spirits of vidutana shamans were Iav’mal Vesoko, one of the seven sons of Num, who helped shamans to ascend to the heavenly sphere, and other celestial spirits such as Seven-horned Deer and Flying Iron Bird {Iron Bird is also Bodish}".



"Shamans who "worked " within the middle world interacted only with earthly spirits ... Patron of ia’niangi shamans were spiritual masters of specific localities. ... it was only powerful ia’ninagi shamans (ia’ninagi tadebja and sambdorta) who were allowed to have the spirit of the loon. ... at a shaman’s request, the spirit of the loon flew all over the world and collected information about the fate of specific people. Shamans usually summoned the loon spirit to



predict a future : for example, to foretell what individual was "scheduled" to fall ill, to recover, or to die.

The sambdorta shaman enjoyed the help of Nga’s sons, who assisted spiritual practitioners in their negotiations with Nga {cf. how one of Mara’s sons helped the Buddha with Mara}. Yet, as their chief patrons, all sambdorta shamans had the spirits of their deceased shaman relatives. The Nentsy believed that a person became a sambdorta shaman when the soul of a deceased shaman relative "moved" into the body of a designated candidates {cf. Ajivika belief in forcible "walk-in" souls}. When the spirit of a deceased shaman and those spirits who assisted it located a person who was to become a sambdorta shaman, Nga personally inflicted an illness on such a candidate, forced the chosen individual to accept the spiritual vocation, and provided the new shaman with spirit helpers who had served a deceased shaman. ... sambdorta shamans usually used such sacred beings as ... the "underground deer," {who is also a North American Indian deity}".


pp. 325-327 E. V. Revunenkova + : "Notes on Current Telengit Usage Related to Shamanism".



"Telengit spiritual practitioners were divided into "white" (ak) and "black" (kara) shamans. At the same time, there were shamans who simultaneously belonged to both categories, or, as the natives said, "walked two roads"".



"By the 1980s, the kosmachi were already endowed with power to return a spiritual double back to a human body."


pp. 330-334 Iu. B. Simchenko : "Ordinary Shamanic Life". [C^ukc^i]



When "the shaman’s daughter ... Having married very late, she could not conceive for a long time ... During a se’ance performed for his daughter, [the shaman] journeyed up to the "Sunrise" to the "Supreme Manager" to as Him to grant his daughter a child soul."



"in the heavenly sphere among the "upper people," the shaman had seen a large house, where the "Manager" lived. Near the house there were children standing in a row. These were the souls of the dead who, after staying for [a] while in the land of the dead, went under the supervision of the "Manager." Soon after the se’ance, his daughter conceived and gave birth to a girl".



"At the beginning of his se’ances, ... [the shaman] began to sneeze air in. ... This most powerful spirit helper a mosquito, which usually "sucked out" a patient’s illness". {There were gigantic mosquitos in mythology of North American Indians in Canada.}



"... the category of shamans called enenmeletynen. Shamans of this category were endowed with powers to heal people and improve the weather. ... If a boat with hunters were caught in a storm, such shamans threw an alder branch into the sea, and the storm would stop."



"... the euvan ("those who know the words") ... could not visit the places accessible to powerful enenmeletynen shamans. The euvan were able to enter the land of the dead only "under mushrooms" or, in other words, when they boosted their powers by eating fly-agaric mushrooms, which are strong hallucinogens. According to Simchenko, ... these shamans "ate dry mushrooms and told people, ‘I want to see my ancestors.’ And ‘the fly-agaric dragged them all over’ to the land of the dead. ... These euvan were considered some sort of inferior shamans"".



"The most powerful shamans were so-called engetylet. "They were able to perform everything ... that nobody else could do. ... There are not ... such shamans nowadays, and, to be honest, I doubt they ever existed. ..." "


pp. 334-339 A. V. Smoliak + : "The Shaman : Personality, Functions, Worldview (Lower Amur Tribes)".



"In the Lower Amur River area, shamans transmitted their powers on a hereditary basis through a parental line."



"In the Lower Amur area, "shamanic illness" usually "overtook" natives in middle or old age. Usually, such individuals at first became themselves the patients of other shamans. When the latter found out that they could not cure these patients, "sick" persons were themselves initiated into the shamanic profession. The initiation usually led to the complete recovery of a patient".



"The weakest shamans, mepi-sama (the Nanai) and khoirakachi (the Ulch), had drums that belonged to their deceased relatives and were able to cure only themselves. ... Moreover, weak shamans ... had no drums; while singing their shamanic chants, they beat rhythms with a small wooden stick".



" "Average" shamans, taochini sama or siurinku sama (the Nanai) or sulme-sama (the Ulch), specialized in curing various diseases. Such shamans were able to win popularity by their musical and artistic slills and by various magic



tricks that they demonstrated during their se’ances. Some of them "flew" over roofs of dwellings, "swallowed" fire, and "harnessed" their spirits into sleds".



"The kasaty shamans were the highest category of spiritual practitioners, who ... were responsible for transporting souls of deceased people to the underworld (buni) during the last memorial rite called kasa. The kasaty shamans had special caps, staves with knobs depicting their spirits, and metal disks (toli) or "mirrors," which they attached to their chests, backs or waists. The spirits that resided in these items helped shamans to accompany the souls of deceased people. Shamans usually "delivered" the knobs of staves, "mirrors," or small bells or caps through their mouths. {the laughing weasel-goddess Galanthis was enabled "in perpetuity to bring forth her young through the mouth." (GM 118.g) : cf. also the oral extrusion of ectoplasms} ... The rite called undi, during which shamans "delivered" the aforementioned items, was the stage that propelled spiritual practitioners to the kasaty status. ... The purpose of the undi, which did not have analogies among other Siberian tribes, was an annual feeding and entertainment of shamans’ helping spirits. ... It was assumed that by eating food treats and accepting gifts, shamans fed their helping spirits." {this is likewise the assumption in Manikhaian ritual}



"Only these "big" shamans had a special helping spirit called koori {cf. KaHaRa ‘to laugh, to be joked’(LA-L 4:67A)}, which was perceived as a huge bird {laughing falcon?}, the size of a house, with an iron beak and metal swords and arrowheads for feathers. The shaman flew on this bird to the underworld."



"Like other natives, shamans subsisted on hunting and fishing. Shamanesses were responsible for keeping their households and raising children".



"People explained illnesses and sudden deaths of shamans as the intrigues of hostile shamans and their spirits."



"Natives believed that the more people present during a se’ance, the more effectively helping spirits worked for shamans".



"Nanai and Ulch divided all their spirits into two groups : "regular" spirits (saven) and hostile spirits (amban) ... ordinary human beings, except powerful shamans, could not control or affect the behavior of the amban spirits, and people did not make images of these hostile spirits."



"during their se’ances shamans ... "moved" a saven spirit into a specially-made image or a sculpture ... As soon as a saven was "moved" into one of these objects, it was considered subservient and began to help human beings."



"Amban spirits usually stole human souls, which automatically caused an illness. ... The stolen soul could be found in different spheres : among heavenly deities, clan spirits, and earthly spirits-masters of the taiga, water, and mountains. ... During se’ances, shamans usually tried to find out what spirit actually "issued" an order to steal a soul. When shamans identified this spirit, they usually ascended to the heavenly sphere and approached the major deity, Boa Endurni, or one of the heavenly spirits, asking to release the soul In return, shamans promised to deliver a sacrifice.

In case an amban spirit penetrated the body of a human being, shamans performed another type of se`ance during which they extracted the hostile spirit. For this purpose, people made a large figure from dry grass. A shaman stretched out a thread from the patient to the "man of straw." After this, the audience began to shout, "Gah!" to scare the spirit out, while the shaman tried to expel the spirit by biting the patient’s body in various spots : the stomach, chest, or neck. It was believed that during



this fight, an amban spirit was dashed around a patient’s body and eventually ran out of a patient’s mouth. When an amban finally jumped out of a patient’s body, it ran over the thread and ended up in the "man of straw." After this, the "man of straw" supposedly began [to] "jump" by itself so energetically and so fast that even several strong men had a hard time controlling the doll by ropes."

GM = The Greek Myths.

LA-L = Lexicon Arabico-Latinum.


pp. 339-342 S. N. Solomatina + : "Materials on Shamanism among the Tuvinians".



"The Western Tuvinian described the albys ... : a long curved copper or white nose or even the absence of a nose, a crooked mouth, or "if you look from behind they have no bodies, you can see entrails" ... The Tuvinians also stressed the ability of the albys to change their gender.


There were several types of the albys spirits : sug (water) albys, cher (earthly) albys, oran tandy eezi (mountain or middle world) albys, and ustuu oran khoor (sky) albys. ...

On the "grading scale" of the albys spirits, one can find at the lowest level sug albys, which was usually associated with the mental illness (albystaar). Although sug albys possessed the ability to turn people into shamans, the individuals who received power from these spirits were considered weak




On the top of this spiritual ladder natives placed khoor-albys, which was exclusively considered the source of shamanic power. Khoor-albys was viewed as the "shining being" that "descended" on an individual from high above. ...

An illness inflicted on an individual by albys spirits could be treated only by those shamans whose "nature" ... is associated with the albys responsible for this specific ailment".



"[A shaman] tried to catch the albys, and whipped a sick person with a lash that had a red handle. ... that was the way he wanted to get from an ailing person the name of an albys [that was responsible for an illness]. ... For the shaman, when a man fell sick, an albys appeared as a woman, and if a woman fell sick, an albys appeared as a man. ... When a person fell sick, he became friends or ‘fell’ in love with an albys. ... As soon as the sick person named an albys, the albys ran away. When a person named an albys, the albys usuallly began to cry. An albys could change his shape ten times. ... If an albys changed himself, that was when [the shaman] usually began to whip a sick person. ... Once he caught an albys, the [shaman] pressed him with his hand in the drum ... (Mugu-Aksy village ...)".



[Shegetei area] "No other shaman except the khoor-albys shaman can help people who fell ill because of an albys. When the khoor-albys shaman



approaches the yurt of a sick person, an albys spirit usually whispers to the sick, ‘Here is our enemy; let’s get out from here as soon as possible.’ In such cases, people tie this sick person to something.

Once a woman fell ill from an albys in Mugur-Leksakh. This woman laughed for no reason {because the albys was telling jokes to her}, talked with herself {viz., with the albys}, and ran around. So people roped her and then invited a shaman ... The shaman beat her with a whip, demanding that she name the albys that entered her. She had to name the albys. {When the shaman whipped her, she then had an excuse for naming the albys, who would have punished her for naming it if she had not been given that excuse.} After this, she cried for her "good friend" she had lost and who had appeared to her as a very handsome man." {The weeping was to mollify the albys, to indicate to it her excuse for naming it.}



["story about the receipt ... of the shamanic vocation by a midwife"] "She was able to wave and suddenly find in her hand a piece of silk fabric. Then she could wave again, and the piece was gone. There was a cliff with a steep crack inside. ... [she] ran down [climbed down into] the crack ... Men had to pull her out with ropes [lowered from above]. She stayed with her brother ["brother" is honorific for "male colleague"] ... for the whole winter. The brother explained to her that she would not be able to become a shaman. {This was said, in the hearing of the albys, in order to beguile the albys into being less wary of her.} [The shaman] said it was like trying to lift a heavy rock you cannot move at all." {Calling the albys rock-like was intended as flattery to it.}

[another story about "the same midwife"] "She was the youngest in the family. ... She could climb a tree and sit there singing like a cuckoo bird. We were not allowed



to leave the yurt. Our parents were afraid that we might scare her away, and something bad might happen to her. ... she could see right through a pregnant woman and say who was inside, a boy or a girl. [She] herself gave birth to five children, all of whom died. My father shaman ... {the same one as with whom this midwife-shamaness stayed "for the whole winter"} made a small urug eeren [a carved image that contained the souls of children] and did something with it. After this, all her new children stayed alive. [She] helped those who did not have children. When women felt especially bad during their deliveries, people usually asked [her] to come and help. She used to go to the hospital [maternity ward] to help women."


pp. 342-346 A. F. Startsev : "Shamans of the Udege Tribe".



"Would-be [prospective] shamans were expected to meet their patron spirit (sevon {cf. [Skt.] sevana ‘service’}) in their dreams or visions. Young inexperienced shamans were called were called nitsa samani, which means a "small shaman." Of the shamanic paraphernalia, such young shamans had only ... so-called thundering belts {cf. the strength-increasing belt worn by [Norse] thunder-god To`rr} ... Young shamans were invited to shamanize for individuals with minor ailments such as a stomach ache, a headache, or a joint pain. Before performing a se’ance, such shamans usually hinted to the relatives of a patient that they would like to acquire ritual footwear embroidered



with images of lizards and snakes on tip-toes. The Udege believed that these images made the feet of shamans fast and maneuvereable. {cf. the winged sandals worn by curing-god Hermes} The relatives of the patient usually ... manufactured the required footwear with the necessary embroidery."


"Supernatural powers penetrated spiritual practitioners not only because they were chosen for their vocations by spirits, but also because members of the community wanted this. The Udege insisted that it was only enough for people to believe strongly in something and it would surely happen". {This is also taught in the Theosophical Society, etc.}



"With each new visitation, nitsa samani usuazlly acquired a new shamanic item. According to the Udege religious tradition, sacred items and artifacts made by shamans themselves never helped during se’ances. Such items should be made by the relatives of a patient ...

Unlike "small" shamans who ... served their own clan members, "average" ... shamans were very popular both within and beyond their clans. They were invited to cure serious ailments, to find lost souls, or to expel hostile spirits".



"It was believed that the soul of a very sick person got into the hands of a hostile spirit. ... After inspecting a patient, shamans extinguished a fire and embarked on the search for the hostile spirit who had stolen the patient’s soul. ...



shamans began ... shouting out the names of possible hostile spirits that might have taken the soul of the patient. If the patient, having heard one of the mentioned names, shuddered, it meant that this specific spirit held the soul. In this case, shamans appointed the day of a se’ance ... During se’ances, shamans conducted "mental journeys" accompanied by their patron spirits to the habitats of hostile spirits. At first, shamans usually promised a hostile spirit good food and asked them to return the soul in a friendly way. If persuasion did not help, shamans engaged this spirit in combat.To spectators, the combat looked like ... fierce dancing ... In the course of this struggle, a shaman retrieved the stolen soul from the hostile spirit and returned it to the patient.

Sometimes, instead of stealing a soul, a hostile spirit "settled" in the body of an individual, which made the whole body of the patient shake and sweat. ... Dressed in their costumes with all accessories, shamans usually knelt down and sharply beat their drums, trying to convince a hostile spirit to taste a prepared treat and to leave the body of the patient ...



During this type of se’ance, shamans always used odorous Labrador tea leaves. The Labrador tea burns slowly ... and emanates a fragrant smoke ... Inhaling the smoke of Labrador tea, shamans went into a trance ... and began sharing with the audience what they had learned from their patron spirits during the se’ance. If these were instructions, the audience was expected to remember and fulfill what the shaman transmitted to them from the spirit. ...



Upon their [shamans’] recommendations, relatives of a patient made from ... wood the image of the hostile spirit that was responsible for an ailment. If they failed to extract a hostile spirit during the first se’ance, shamans stopped trying persuasion. The next time, ... the spirit usually ran away from the body to a specially-prepared object that was used as a container to catch the hostile spirit. After the object absorbed the spirit, it became so heavy that even strong men had a hard



time carrying it out. Finally the "container" was carried out and burned".



" "Big" shamans (sagdi samani) cured all kinds of ailment. Yet their specialization was memorial ceremonies, during which they sent the souls of deceased people to the land of the dead or to the sacred old woman named Tagu Mama ...



Tagu Mama’s domain, which shamans journeyed to ... : fish in a river, a house on the bank of a lake, a boat with paddles ...

If shamans came to Tagu Mama to retrieve the soul of a child, they might tell the old woman that they wanted to take the soul back. Tagu Mama could respond with a question, "Why do his father and mother mistreat this child?" ... The Udege usually brought up their children without any ... physical punishments. Therefore, people assumed that parents who mistreated their children could lose them because all-seeing spirits ... could take the child’s soul away to Tagu Mama, and in this case the child would die. Therefore, "the shaman ..., through his dialogue with the heavenly old woman, instructed parents to treat children fairly"".



"each adult person had three souls, which were called shadows. An individual could easily lose his or her "shadow." ... If the most experienced shamans were not able to retrieve a soul, it meant that a person would die ...



Usually, to locate a soul, shamans embarked on [a] journey to the "kingdom of the dead" and met numerous souls, from which they tried to identify the one they were looking for. The problem was usually complicated by the fact that all souls looked identical, and shamans could tell them from each other only by birthmarks or by characteristic wounds, cuts, or injuries its owners had when they were alive. Examining souls, shamans usually mentioned aloud these characteristic marks, and people from the audience helped shamans to participate in the search.

In case shamans were able to find a soul, they constructed its figure or image {contrary to the statement (on p. 343) that "artifacts made by shamans themselves never helped during se’ances" ?}, trying to make it look exactly as they saw



it in the afterworld. The image of the soul was usually hung on the chest of the patient’s body".


pp. 350-352 Irina S. Urbanaeva + : "Shamanism of the Mongol World as an Expression of Central Asian Esoteric Tradition". [Buryat]



"Although shamanic powers were mainly transmitted on a hereditary basis within specific clans, ... natives from non-shamanic lineages could become shamans as well by accepting another shaman’s udkha (root, the line of continuity) through a special rite connecting ... with an udkha of the shaman. [One such adoptee-shaman] remembered ..., "I became a shaman when I adopted another person’s udkha. Earlier, a shaman named [so-&-so] lived. He visited me in my dream and ordered me to take his udkha." ... Another native became a shaman after he miraculously survived a lightning strike that killed a cow."


pp. 356-358 T. V. Zherebina : "The Veneration of Freak Spirits in Siberian Shamanism".







" "mammoth" perceived as a deer with a fish tail"



"a cow with antlers"



"headless spirits"



"spirits having only half a body"



"hostile spirits (kele) who were handless, legless, with one or three eyes or with mouths on the backs of their heads."




"ayami either as headless or handless creatures or as beings whose heads were elongated."



"patron spirit Varuchi (Barochi) {?= [Skt.] VAra-RUCI}, a one-handed and one-legged creature. ... three-fingered."



"the "devil shamaness" had one leg, one eye, and one hand."

p. 358 "The Even people ... had a spirit protector tanagara (god) Bamul who guarded them from "hostile intentions" of Orthodox icons."


Andrei A. Znamenski : Shamanism in Siberia : Russian Records of Indigenous Spirituality. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2003. pp. 279-358 Chapter 3 – "Records of Siberian Spirituality in Present-Day Russia".