Rite-Technique of the Siberian Shaman

YukaGir shaman





/alma/ ‘shaman’

cf. [<arabi^] <alma ‘wise’


After a shaman’s death, "the flesh and bones of the body were separated.

Likewise was done to royal mummies in the Sandwich islands.


The flesh was dried and later distributed to the relatives …

cf. eucharist in the New Testament


The shaman’s skull … was dried, given and wooden body, and the resulting dummy … was worshipped,

cf. [<ibri^] /trap[i^m]/ ‘wooden dummies repraesenting the dead’


it was carried on journeys in a special box, and

The mummy of Yo^sep was carried on the Exodos-journey in a special box (coffin).


at meals it was fed by throwing a piece of meat into the fire and holding the dummy in the smoke.

cf. burned offerings in To^rah


It was addressed as xoil< … ".

cf. [<ibri^] /h.ayil/ ‘power’.

YukaGir shamanic rite for healing the sick





"the soul of the shaman had left his body and through his drum as though through a lake, had descended into the Kingdom of Shadows."

cf. descent by Dio-nusos, through lake Lerne, into world of the dead


"The soul of the shaman … reached a little house in front of which was a dog which barked at the shaman. Then an old woman, who guards the road to the Kingdom of Shadows, came out of the house … holding in her hand a scraper for dressing skins …

cf. [Inuit] shaman’s soul reached hound-guarded igloo of Sun-woman


They reached a river. On the bank there was a boat. The shaman looked at the opposite bank and saw tents standing there. Their hide covers seemed white …, the inhabitants walked about in the yard. The ornaments on their garments made a tinkling sound."

cf. white as [Chinese] funeral-color


"In order to return, the shaman inhaled the soul of the sick man, and stuffed up his ear, in order to prevent it from escaping."

cf. [Muslim] stuffing-up ears of corpse (in order to hinder soul’s departure through them?)


"When the shaman’s soul came back to earth, to the body, … the shaman’s legs had become stiff, they would not bend, and

cf. [Borneo] souls in joints of the body


two virgin girls who were present began to rub the joints of the shaman’s legs, to make them regain their former pliability."

cf. virgin girl >abi^-s^ag to accompany king Dawi^d (1st MLKYM 1:2-4)

YukaGir shamanic rite for luck for hunters





"The soul of the shaman, having approached the house of the Owner of the Earth, half-opens the door, but does not enter …


If then Owner of the Earth loves the shaman, he gives the soul of a reindeer doe" [handing it through the space a-jar?].

cf. [Sumerian] hand of En-kidu through a-jar space of door of Huwawa


"The shaman places it [soul of reindeer] on the head of the hunter".

cf. animals in headdress of [Maya] deities






"There are three souls, a’ibi. One of the a’ibi dwells in the head, the second in the heart, the third pervades the entire body. A man falls sick when the head-a’ibi itself departs for the Kingdom of Shadows, aibij^i, or escapes to the subterranean world to its relatives,

[Latin] /IBI/ ‘there’


frightened by the entrance into the body of an evil spirit of the ku’kul … variety." [cf. Koryak KeLe, C^ukc^i Ka’La (p. 111)]

[Yucatec] /KUKUL/ ‘quetzal-bird’


"spirit-protectors (e’ij^i)"

[S^into] grand shrine of ISe; [<ibri^] />IS^-I^/ ‘my man’


"a guardian spirit (pe’j^ul<) … as a synonym for "success" or "luck"."

[<ibri^] /PS.aLah/ ‘strake’


"Owners (Pogi’lpe)" include:-

Kna<ni^ deities were likewise known as ‘owners’ (ba<l-i^m).


"the Owner of the Earth (Lebie’-po’gil>),

the Owner of the Fresh Waters (O’jin-po’gil<), and

the Owner of the Sea (Cobun-po’gil<)"

the Chinese 3 are heaven, earth, water


"Every tundra, forest, mountain, etc., has its owner, subordinate to the Owner of the Earth. Similarly the owners of every lake and stream are subordinate to the Owner of fresh Waters."

cf. angels subordinate to the Trinity


"The Owner of the Fire, lo’c^in-po’gil>, …[in] appearance is … an exceedingly small and naked baby girl, for that Owner is addressed with the words loc^id-emei’, that is, Fire-mother."

the Ainu fire-deity is a goddess


"the underworld is divided into two parts. In the upper one, the land of souls (ai’bij^i-lebie), live the souls of the dead;


in the lower one, called "the Land of the grand-father with the Pointed Head", live the ku’kul spirits (plur. kuku’pe). …

cf. pointed conical hat worn by [Aztec] god Mictlan-tecuhtli


His realm is eternally cold and dark; only the most powerful shamans of all dare descend that far.

cf. mass of darkness whence conical-hat-wearing black gods in Codex Borgia, p. 36


The general name for the evil spirits living on earth is yu’oye. They are invisible and cause people all manner of trouble."

cf. [Skt.] YUYutsu

p. 115 YukaGir Sea-mother-Owner [goddess]

having __

as __

7 snow-mounds


8 ice-sheets


black foxes


arctic foxes


cub foxes


amulets worn by YukaGir shaman




7 metal pendants attached to front of apron


#, counted downward


symbolizing __



wo’lman-o’no< (‘copper man’)

soul or shadow of dead ancestral shaman



iron heart

courage or daring



2-headed eagle




another eagle

" "




" "


6th & 7th

2 metal disks: wo’lman ni’n~iye

"Disks …, usually engraved with human faces, also appeared on women’s aprons, … to protect their wearer against diseases of the stomach."



"Another amulet common to the dresses of both the women and the shaman was a metal badge in the form of a swan, which was worn near the neck

… to provide protection against sore throats and chills."



metal badges attached back of shaman’s coat


shaman’s sun

"These heavenly bodies were … to light the path of the shaman as he descended into the underworld."


shaman’s moon


shaman’s star



"The bands attaching to the arms of the cloak were called "wing feathers".

… the shaman’s coat represents a bird’s skin with the help of which the shaman can fly, transforming himself into a bird."

p. 117 YukaGir myth of shaman


as __ of shaman




shamanistic gown, removable


bird-coat adhaering until singed off


earlier substitute-stomach


later substitute-stomach

pp. 134-135 C^ukc^i categories of Ke’le (‘deities’)






invisible evil spirits who cause disease



bloodthirsty cannibals dwelling on distant coasts



shaman’s spirit-helpers—



"These spirits are … very small and timid … They approach … with caution, only in the dark, and ready to flee. … As they move the spirit-helpers make a noise like the droning of an insect, and as they run across the skin of the drum a faint patter can be heard."

C^ukc^i deities & sky



355, n. 4

giant fish Kan~a’olhIn ‘sculpin’, lying "motionless in the middle of the sea" Its body hath become an island, and moss groweth on its back.


"giant thunder-bird" producing thunder "with its iron wings" : it is "lightning, the Mother of the Mountain Echo." {cf. the [Chinese] echo-goddess "called the valley spirit." (TC, vol. 3, p. 514)}


"the horizon … On the four corners of it, the rocks of the sky come down to the rocks of the earth, like moving gates, shutting and opening alternately. … the birds, when flying to their own world every fall,


have to pass between these rocks : … The rocks shut so quickly that birds lagging behind are caught, and crushed between them. … The ground around the rocks is covered a fathom deep with bloody … pounded bird-flesh; and the feathers fly about …""


"the sun is … a man who travels across the sky dressed in bright clothes and pulled by a dog or reindeer. {Santa Claus} "The parhelia … are explained as being the sun’s mittens, while the corona is seen as its headdress.""


"the inhabitants of the upper world, called the "Upper People" or the "Dawn-People", pitch their tent on land made up of clouds". {"Behold, he cometh with clouds" (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 1:7).


"while ascending to the sky … travellers who make a journey upward stop for a night’s rest on the aerial ground of clouds, pitching there their tents". {"caught up together with them in the clouds" (1st Thessalonians 4:17).}


"All the worlds are … regarded as being linked with one another through a hole under the Polar Star."


"The Milky Way is supposed to be a river, called Pebbly River …, which is believed to flow toward the west and to contain numerous islands."


"The moon is often described as a man with a lasso." {= [Vaidik] Varun.a the lassoer-god}

TC = Thomas Cleary: The Taoist Classics. Shambhala, Boston, 2000.

C^ukc^i world of the dead


"The suns of lower worlds are often quite similar to our moon."


"the Northern Lights are the dead, running and playing ball on a living walrus." {cf. ball-game in world of the dead, according to the Popol Vuh}


"The houses of the deceased are said to be large round tents without any seams, and shining like bubbles". {cf. seamless robe of Zaratustrian priest} {cf. Carlos Castan~eda in green bubble; Reiki "placing them in the green bubble." (SI) }


"a reindeer Chukchi who killed himself because of this great age arriving in the camp of the deceased." {cf. [Karwellian] stag-god of great age}


SI = http://www.infinitespiritsite.com/SPIRIT_INFORMATION.html

C^ukc^i travel aboard flying saucer

p. 147


BH, p. 17

"The shaman speaks of his round sail … as means of conveyance."

[antient Roman] "a round shield was seen in the sky."

in 3rd world, Kuskurza, "some of them made a pa’tuwvota [shield made of hide] and with their creative power made it fly through the air. On this many of the people flew". [cited in FSh]

BH = Frank Waters: Book of the Hopi. Viking Penguin, 1963.

UFOS = http://www.rense.com/general7/ages.htm

UFO’S = http://textfiles.vistech.net/ufo/UFOBBS/2000/2218.ufo

FSh = http://www.wovoca.com/occult-ufo-flying-shields.htm

p. 167 Koryak e’n~en~s (deities)



No’taka’vya (One-Who-Walketh-around-the-Earth)


Umya’IlhIn (Broad-Soled-One)


[(p. 170) Big-Raven]


The-One-on-High {cf. [Chinese] S^an-Di}


pp. 172-173 the Samoyed comprise:-





Nentsy (Yurak)

river Mezen



between Nentsy & Nanasan



Taymyr paenisula



[on the river Ket (p. 211)] nigh the H^ants & the Kets

pp. 175-183 Nanasan initiatory dream-vision :

catechism of quaeries from a spirit, with replies (3-6; 10-12A) from initiate; or

with explications (7-8; 12B) by the spirit, including instructions about future requaests to be asked, from other spirits, by the initiate (12C-13A); and

[after a statement by the initiate that he will himself act as shaman (13B)]

a demand (13C) by the spirit that the initiate must become a shaman, despite the initiate’s reluctance; with

bestowal (14) by spirit of pendants, and

praediction (15) by spirit of further pendants to be received by initiate in the future; further encountered are

tents (16) and their goddess (17), who although she is the diseases’ mother (18), is a nevertheless a benevolent spirit-helper who will assist in curing those diseases and who sheweth to the initiate the places

of the spirit-owners of game-animals (19) and

of amulet-stones (20);

after returning to the waking world, the initiate became adept as shamanizing along the visionary road (21), as result of his being led along by companions as to find the tree of wood for his initial shaman drum (22), and

he is now authorized to performed propitiatory caerimony offering an agreed-upon game-animal to the disease-spirit [as ransom] on behalf of a sick patient (23)




explanation of scene



Intending to "fell a tree for the kuojka sledge ... I ... found a suitable tree and started to cut it down.



When the tree fell, a man sprang out of its roots with a loud shout. ...

‘... The root is thick, it looks thin in your eyes only. Therefore ... you must come down through the root ...’



His clothes at the sides reminded me of the wild reindeer’s hide during moulting time. ... I replied :

‘On the left side you have the white spots because you dress in the attire (of the spirit of the) first snow;

the black spots on the right resemble the spots of the earth appearing in spring from beneath the snow – because you put on the attire (of the spirit of the melting snow).’ ...



I noticed a hole in the earth. ... I replied :

‘It is through this hole that the shaman receives the spirit of his voice’.

The hole became larger and larger. We descended through it and



arrived at a river with two streams flowing in opposite directions. ... I replied :

‘The northern stream originates from the water for bathing the dead, and

the southern from that for the infants’. ...



Then we set out on the shore of the northern stream. ... We saw nine tents before us, the nearest one being tied round with a rope. A tree stood on each side of its entrance ... I replied again :

‘One of the trees is bright as ... the sun ..., this must be the (protecting) spirit of the children.’ ...

‘The dark tree is the tree of the moon, the tree of birth, enabling the women to fix the date of birth according to the moon’


... the bars that hang horizontally above the fireplace of the tent ...

‘These bars are the borderline between the two daybreaks, the backbone of the firmament.


... the tent tied around with a rope ... And I said :

‘When men go mad and become shamans, they are tied with this rope’. ...



[p. 176] We entered the first tend where we found seven naked men and women who were singing all the time while tearing their bodies with their teeth. ...

[p. 177] ‘Originally, seven earths were created and it is through the spirits of these seven earths that (men) lose their minds. ... Our earth has seven promontories with a madman living on each of them. ...’ ...



We ... went to the second tent that was placed on the northern promontory. The whole tent was covered with hoar frost and tied around the middle with a black rope. {cf. "Black Rope" as the name of a Bauddha niraya (‘hell’)} Around the smoke hole, the tent was covered with something red. ...

‘... The black rope will serve you to cure stomach diseases, while

the red stuff will help you heal madness that comes from headaches.

The middle rope will serve you to cure epidemics. ...’ The frost-covered tent had two smoke holes, one copper and the other of iron.



We entered the second tent, but found nobody there. ...



We came out of the tent through another door and went into another tent which seemed to be covered with fishing nets. ... We found a disfigured old woman there in worn boots and otherwise naked, expect for her upper clothes; she warmed herself by the fire. ... I replied :

‘When a child is born, there is an afterbirth too, you are its spirit ...’ ...


‘Why is the fire dark?’ And I answered :

‘When a child is born, a new fire is kindled. ... Human beings are purified after birth by being fumigated with fire. ...’ ...


The tent had two kings of n`uks – some were frost-covered, some were white. ...

‘We wrap up the dead in n`uks muade of wild reindeer hide. Here, these rimy n`uks are the n`iltis of the said n`uks.

The white n`uks are the n`iltis of our leather garment.’ ...



We went over to the fourth tent that stood in the middle of the water, behind three freezing waters. One part of its was covered with seven reindeer hides ..., while the other was spread over with rippling water. I said :

‘Doesn’t the shaman make his clothing out of seven reindeer hides? And the other part of the tent ... must belong to the spirit of the water – that is why it is standing in the middle of the water.’ ...


We entered the tent where we found an old woman sitting among heaps of children’s clothes and killed dogs. On each side of the tent there were two white salmons. ... And I replied :

‘This is the earth where we shall have to come in lean years. Here, she (the old woman) will show us where to find game and fish.’ ...


‘Seven hides -- ...

Every man, when he becomes a shaman, ... shall shamanize ... sitting on these seven hides. ...


Two fishes :

one of them means that we blow on the fire ... The breath has a soul.


the fish (opening its mouth) is panting ... When we light the fire, it flare up on its back. Seeing the fire on the back of one fish, the other [fish] blows it out.

Therefore, in imitation of this fish, a wooden fish was made. When a child is born, men act in a similar fashion.


One of the fishes is full of roe ... The child is to be rubbed with the roe.

When a child is born we smear it with grease. ... It is this (the fish) you have to ask.’


The southern side was closed with hides. ... From outside, they looked like hides, from inside, like apertures – through which one could see out. {one-way-view glass} ...

‘We shamans have seven resting places ... The seven apertures mean that when a man sinks under the water but still has some air left and you happen to be there, then you come and save him.’ {figurative of patient’s being cured by shaman}



We came out of the tent – the northern side was covered all over with ice. ...

‘Don’t come here, this is the way of another shaman.’ When I submerged, I arrived at these places, and it seemed as if I were swimming in the water. {so, it the underwater divine world the only region shared with other shamans?}



We came to another tent. On each side there stood an iron trunk. A one-horned reindeer doe was tied to the trunk on the right side, while a stag, with bruised antlers, was tied to the left trunk. ... I ... found that they were tied with the rays of the sun.

‘When you will be a shaman ... and (during the ceremony) the men will beat your drum with the drumstick [to "vivify" the drum], this trunk will split up.

The rein[deer]-hind is the origin of the kuojka [‘sledge’] ...’



[p. 178] ... this rope ...

[p. 179] ‘It serves to brand the reindeer’s fawn that is presented to the moon.’ {cf. [Hindu & Lappish] deer’s head in moon}



... the reindeer one-horned ...

‘Every man who becomes a shaman, makes divinations about the reindeer whose hide will serve him as a dress. ... Provide yourself with clothes, but, first, ask for permission from the mother of the wild reindeer, she will give you instructions about the wild reindeer whose hide is to be used for your clothes.


One of the wild reindeer is a stag, he is the master spirit of the wild reindeer stags.

It is this spirit whom you will have to ask to know which tree you are to make you drum of ...’



Walking round the tent, I saw that all the n`uks were bright with decorations and fringes.

... For we take hair from every animal and sew it on the fringes of the attire similar to the cover of this tent. My companion said : ‘Then, when[ever] you come here, ask questions, and if you are given hair of an animal, make yourself fringes of it.’



Then I looked up to the smokehole and saw nine human figures made of iron ..., but I began to hit them with a stick, saying :

‘When shamanizing in the clean tent, I shall ascend by them.’ ...



‘... But I don’t want to be a shaman’, I said to myself.

‘No, you will be a shaman, since you have seen all these things’ – they said.



We entered the tent and found there seven moon-figures made of copper, similar to those that are on shamans’ clothes. ... I did not take them.

‘No, take them’, said he and brought forth seven figures of the sun and said : ‘You, being a new shaman, ... cure thrice seven men from their illness’. When I shamanize, I walk around all these tents.



[p. 179] I came out of this tent and reached another. ... People were sitting around the fire, men on one side and women on the other. I went in, not as a man but as a skeleton ... they did not look like real human beings but like skeletons which had been dressed. ... I saw a woman who looked as if she were made of fire. ... The woman had seven apertures on her body. From these, the man pulled out iron pieces as from the fire ... When the iron cooled down, her man replaced it in the aperture of the woman’s body as if it were fire. ... Near the fireplace there was a woman, stirring up the fire with animal hides, while the sparks were flying on every [p. 180] side. The man took a piece of iron, placed it on the anvil and hit it with the hammer ... At every blow on the iron, sparks rose into the air and flew out through the smoke hole.

‘... those seven figures in the upper part of the tent ... are the spirits of your future saw-toothed pendants.

... these two beings, the man and the woman; ... if you come to this tent [in the future,] they will provide you with the necessary things. ...

The park[a]s are birds, catch them, imitate them, we have birds, geese made from them, on the back of the dress.’ ...

When I entered as a skeleton and they forged, it meant that they forged me. ... When a shin-bone or something else is hit and the sparks fly, there will be a shaman in your generation.



Then we came out of this tent ... In front, there was a great river with sandy shores, and a hill with two tents on it. ... The nearer tent was covered all over with white n`uks, whereas the more remote one had n`uks with checkerboard pattern. ... The checkered tent stood on the black spots of earth (on account of the melting snow), while the white tent was behind the river. ...

I had come back to the river I had encountered at the beginning of the journey. One stream of the river continued southwards, the other northwards.

‘... the origin of my shamanship will be here. Whenever I submerge, I shall descend this water.’ ‘You will implore the place of confluence of these streams. When you submerge you will return swimming in the southern flow.

Your throat, similar to the stream, will begin to talk, to conjure up this spirit. ...


At the checkered tent, the upper parts of the smoke hole, the n`uks are made of poor, small-haired hides. ...’ I said :

‘The diseases ... spare the half of mankind ... Behold, these (the black squares of the checkerboard) cover the surviving men with the blackness of diseases.’ ...



I ... saw a woman passing by. She was quite red, her face and hair included, and her dress was checkered. Some of the squares were red, the others blue. ...

‘... The shaman ... sits on different litters, obviously, the woman carries these litters of mine with her. The red disease (measels) sometimes occurs, she seems to be its mother. ... the tent was covered with the clothes of the woman. ...’ I looked at the tent – it was quite red. ‘If in the case of such disease (measels) I shall come here and appeal to her I shall surely heal (the sick)’, said I. ...



The woman ... breathed on me three times. As she was breathing I began to recognize the place, Yet she ... said : ‘My friend, ... from now on, you should only come up to me. ... When she [the woman beyond the river] opens her mouth and blows, the fog sets in. It is from this fog that men get sick.’ ... I ... said :

‘Half the fog is the breath of men; ... I shall be able to rescue the nil`ti of the dead ...’ ... ‘Here is a reef with a red tent on it. If the sick is cured, the woman will come from the opposite direction. If the nil`ti falls beyond the reef, beyond the limit of the fog – that is the limit of life – he cannot be saved.’ ...

I said aloud : ‘You are surely the mistress of the earth who has created all life.’ ... ‘Well, my friend, we had three children, the second lives in the red tent, the eldest is beyond the river. ... They are half barusis, half nguos. ...’



[p. 181] Then I ... saw seven stones peaks. On one of them, there were seven willows, on the other seven thin trees, and so on – seven plants were growing on each peak. ... Everywhere on the plants, there were nests of all kinds of birds. On the highest peak, in the middle, a bumblebee was hatching her young.

[p. 182] Her wings were of iron. She looked as if she were ... lying in the fire.

‘This is the bumble-bee, who creates (plant) for the tinder ...

These seven peaks are the origin of every plant ...

In these nests there are spirits – the master spirits of all the running and flying birds ...’



... two stone peaks ...

‘When we reached at one of the peaks – this is the mistress of water, we can ask her for fish.

The other peak is black. When a child is born, it is placed on a layer made of punk wood. Half the peak is covered with such punk wood, the other half, with moss. When he gets here, the shaman can cure the child, in case of disease. The spirit of this lives here.’



"... going along a river. One shore was pebbly, the other covered with coloured stones – yellow ochre and black earth (graphite). ... I saw two peaks; one of them was covered with bright-coloured vegetation, the other was black earth all over. Between them, there appears to be an islet with some very nice red plants in blossom on it. They resembled the flowers of the cloudberry. ... When a man dies, his face ... changes ... Suddenly I heard a cry : take a stone from here!’ ... I snatched up a red stone. What I thought to be flowers were stones. ...

‘When you have a clean tent made, ... speak about this with the men, ... shamanizing, because you are a shaman singing with the throat of nine diseases.’ [Viz., to sing about jewel plants having red-jewel flowers {cf. the jewel trees described in "Pure Land" (S^in / Jodo) literature; and visited by Aladdin underground (in the 1001 Nights)} {cf. likewise the poppies being picked by Persephone when she was abducted by Hades – this may be the reason for the parenthentic mention that "When a man dies, his face ... changes" : the death-mask.}]



[Having awakened,] I felled that tree and made a kuojka sledge of it. This was our ancestral kuojka. {sledges likewise figured in Kemetian funebrial rites}

Wherever I go shamanizing, I always hear the terrible songs on the peaks. [songs about the dead, whose corpses are pulled on a sledge as hearse for the funeral?] ...


When I am shamanizing, I see a road to the north. When I am looking for a sick man, the road is narrow like a thread. ... in front I see the sun and the moon. On (the lower) part of the narrow road there are conical ramshackle tents {teepees};

on this (road) you go for the breath of the man. The other part of the road (leading upwards) in quite entangled ... The man who is to recover has a breath like a white thread, while he who dies has one like a black thread {cf. the "black rope" in section 7}. ... Then you find a man’s nil`ti and take it. ...



[As part of human ritual confirming shaman to office :] "It was a new moon ... I had been blindfolded with the hide of a wild reindeer and set afoot to find a tree for the drum. The companions followed me on reindeer.

The tree suitable for a drum, makes sounds like a drum. I ran forward, with my eyes covered, listening [for sounds emanating, inaudible to non-shamans, from trees of praeternatural power]. ... There are as many as three sounding trees instead of one ...


Now, you are going to one of these trees – it is also coming towards you. ... I ... began to sneak up to it as if it were a wild reindeer. ...

‘Don’t do it, or you shall die!’ This is the tree where the spirits of your family live – the tree that protects your family against death and diseases. Realizing your mistake, you walk on ...


Then you come to another tree sounding (like a drum) and coming towards you and you prepare to catch it.

But you must not do so. This is the tree where the breath of your entire flock and the breath of the flocks of your home folks get, ‘mixed’. ...


Finally, I see [praeternatually, through the blindfold?] a third tree, and it does not move. I begin to steal up to it.

The tree says : ‘Come, come, I am for you!’ ... my companions did the work with the axe, not I. They must by no means be relatives.


If, for all that, the tree is a false one and not the real one, ... then somebody belonging to the shaman’s kin would die.

But if you suspect this, do make a drum of this hoop, even if it will be a bad one, but previously perform a ceremony, so that nobody should die.



"When, for a man’s illness, I make ceremonies to the evil spirits, the latter would say : ‘Here, I have surrendered to you, what is he going to give me?’ I ask : What you require for him I shall settle’.

‘The ill man [i.e., his relatives, on his behalf] has to kill ...’, says the disease. The man indeed [i.e., his relatives, actually] kills ...

It may happen that the spirit ... says : ‘He should kill a wolf, a fox or some other game’."

another Nanasan initiatory dream-vision

p. 184 Nanasan

Kic^e (Popol Vuh)

"… a naked man working a bellows. On the fire … The naked man saw him and caught him …

The twin-brethren gods cast themselves voluntarily into the fire, and were burned

The blacksmith then fished the candidate’s bones out of the river, in which they were floating, put them together, and covered them with flesh again."

except for their bones, which upon being cast into a river revived, covered with new flesh.

Nanasan cosmology of drums

p. 186

"… a young birch tree rose to the sky. It was the Tree of the Lord of the Earth. Beside it grew nine herbs … The tree was surrounded with seas, and in each of these swam a species of bird with its young." {similarly for Bon}

p. 187

"… the Lord of the Tree bade him make three drums from it, to be kept by three women, each drum being for a special ceremony—

the first for shamanizing women in childbirth,

the second for curing the sick,

the third for finding men lost in the snow."

pp. 194-195 forest Nentsy legend of antient shaman-initiate




Nigh "Gods Lake" "the lame nannuun-kurjuuts ..., while cutting timber in the forest{cf. beginning of dream-vision on p. 175}, ...

found himself on the back of the sacred minryy bird, who thereupon rose into the air so that the ground was barely visible. ...

... He then set off walking along the broad back, came to one of the wings, where he noticed a hole. ... He crawled into the hole and began to fall. ...

Thus he came to a mountain on which were larches growing, where he ... noticed four resin trolls collecting resin. ... The resin trolls began to play by cutting their bodies from top to bottom into two parts with a knife; thus two people were created, who after a time again combined to make one. They did the same to the Samoyed, who felt pain only in his nose. ...

He came to a tent made of interwoven larches, where seven parnyy lived. They began to play by snipping pieces of their bodies with a barbed knife; from these came new people, who after a time again combined to make one. They did the same to him. ...

He came to a humble cottage. On one side sat an old, grey-haired man, on the other there were seven beds. ... The [old, grey-haired] man said : "... These are the beds of my sons ..., now my seventh son [old age] will eat you." ...


... He took the man [Nannuun-Kurjuuts] to a path ...; ... there are earth walls on either side ..., and the path ends at the Samoyed’s tent ...

From then onwards he became a powerful seer."

pp. 201-205 appurtanences of Nentsy shaman




on lid of haehe-chest, nytterma ("doll dressed as a human and made only after the shaman’s death") of dead father of shaman—"a doll such as this was fed in the family of the dead for only 5-6 years, after which it was lowered in its little ngytterma chest into the shaman’s grave."


"Any unusually shaped stone might be chosen and carried into the tent as a haehe". {cf. [Kemetian] H.H. gods upholding the sky.}


14 taadjebtsjo (‘spirit-helpers’, who are "earth clouds") of shaman {cf. 14 Manu-s}


"only mark of his status as a shaman was a blue … hat."


veil attached to back of hat of shaman; whereas "witches on the mouth of the Petsora covered their faces with a veil."


"shot through a weasel trap." {cf. weasel in Bon rites}


shaman "with a appeal to the spirits engraven on the drum, he kisses the sjaadai faces"—"Engraved on the open end of the … drum and the crossbar attached to the centre were sjaadai faces, images of the spirits."


shaman’s "heavenly spirits, ‘two times seven heavenly youths’ try to catch with a lasso a reddish, fully grown … reindeer" {several Manu-s took a doe as wife} {[in Maya codex] scorpion lassoed a deer}

p. 204 Nentsy 4 "major supernatural powers"



"the Kazym spiritwife" [a woman who had become a spirit (pp. 202-3)]





[Latin] Numen


[Karelian] Jumala

p. 204 Nanasan rite



"by shooting at a reindeer skin with his eyes bound, … he guaranteed success in shamanizing, when the reindeer skin in question was later made into his caftan."

cf. [Norse] shooting by the blind Ho,d

pp. 212-216 public rite of Sel>kup shaman





in order to praepare himself, "the shaman … consumes a little amanita [muscaria]."

Is this to induce being possessed by the fly (musca)-spirit?


at outset of session, shaman "presses the drum to him, and with noisy yawns begins"

cf. [Hellenic] Khaos (‘yawn’) as beginning of cosmos


"he whistles"

cf. whistling by European witches


"It sounds as though various animals are running round the sides of the drum"


"the shaman describes his journey to the domicile of the spirits, tells of … the dangers he encounters in the form of wildernesses, burning forests, stormy seas, fighting soldiers, treachery and ambushes, poisoned waters, disease devils …"

[enactment whose literary guise would be a voyage-epic]


"he takes the knives of those present in turn and with them he slashes … the blood does not begin to flow."

[Is this feigned slashing intended to endow the knives’s owners with good luck, so that they not cut themselves inadvertently?]


at end of session, shaman "cleanses himself with glowing coals and burning embers."

"having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." (YS^<YH 6:6-7)

pp. 214-217 Sel>kup terms





loosi ‘spirits’

[Blake’s] Los


suulma ‘stick for drum’

[Lat.] /solemnitat-/

p. 224 H^ants snake-vehicle & bear-spirit-helper

"a shaman may send a spirit … and a bearlike spirit sitting in its breast on the journey. …

During the journey the shaman’s soul, ilt (in Vas’yugan), sits crouched in the breast of the Head Guardian (one of the spirit-helpers), sometimes travelling to the underworld ‘by a snake’. …

As this [bearlike] spirit converses with the guilty dead person it suddenly leaps out and grabs the dead, who in alarm releases the sick person’s soul from his mouth".

p. 229 Evenk dismemberment

"describes his vision, in which the spirits of ancestor shamans dismember his body and count his bones, and

finally he mentions that only after an experience such as this can a man become a shaman."

{on p. 184 dismemberment & bone-counting are described for the Nanasan Samoyed}

p. 238 Evenk divisions of s^even-c^edek (shamanizing-place) as worlds

section of tent


world symbolized

darpe gallery


upper, abode of the omi (souls) [omiruk = clan’s store of souls (p. 240)]

tent itself, with turu (world-tree)


mortals [(p. 234) dulu ‘middle world]

onan gallery


the dead [(p. 234) h^ergu ‘world of the dead’]

p. 253 Manc^u shaman’s spirit-helpers




earthworm {cf. earthworm-spirits seen by Inuit shaman}


2 girl-teachers




sharp implements





{Manc^u earthworm & hedgehog are among the Chinese xiu (lunar mansion) animals}

Nanay religious practitioners






heal the sick



perform memorial festival



"travelling to the dead"

marriage of shaman to spirit of opposite gendre ([German spelling] Ajami, [phonetically] Ayami)




initiation by spirit: "was visited by his future spirit … helper, a beautiful woman ajami, … becoming of a shaman based on sexual selection"


the ajami "live in the cosmic tree, which is also the seat of … the souls of unborn children"


"The ajami visits the candidate every night [in dreams?]. … the ajami … sometimes appearing to the candidate as a beautiful woman, sometimes as a terrifying wolf or a flying tiger" {[Latin] Latin lupa ‘female wolf, prostitute’; [Chinese] tigress-goddess sexually seducing male visitors in west}


"During the novice period the ajami is the shaman’s … lover, his spirit wife, with whom he lives [during dreams?] as with a worldly wife."

Nanay journey by shaman (while alive) for Dai Myalbo [escorting of soul (p. 270)] to Buni (world of the dead)

pp. 267-69 account of journey

p. 276 structure of journey






"He calls particularly upon the spirit Buchu who alone can guide him to Buni, asking it to send the bird Koori so that on its back he may fly to Buni and return."



"Along the road ... spots with special names and ... features.



Bolosa, "a region in which the soul has to overcome the first difficulties on its pilgrimage"


"steep descent of the high mountain Khadjelto [H^aj^elto]"


H^aj^elto (‘steep slope’)


"across the swift river, Saian Dauri"


[German spelling] Sajan Dauri (‘river-ford’)


"the shaman draws near to Buni. The footprints of people are visible; the barking of dogs is heard; the smell of smoke from the houses reaches him."


"footprints, dogs barking"


"Along the road from this world to the next lies Charo, the place where the roads to the land of different clans part, and where the shaman, in conducting souls to the lower world, chooses the right road for the clan."



Nanay idols for nimgan ("search for the wandering soul of the deceased")






"cushion ... completed by clothing and ornaments, including the hunting hat of the dead person, which is placed on the cushion."



smokingpipe-holder-device repreasenting "the guardian spirits of the souls of the dead."

kamlanie (shamanic performance) among the Oroc^i on the river Amur


name of deity




"evil spirits"



[main?] "evil spirit"



"the spirit-helper is a bird" having "iron wings ... iron feathers jingle" {cf. [Bon] iron-feathers; birds having "brazen plumes" at isle of Ares (GM 151.f)}

GM = Robert Graves: The Greek Myths. 1955.

initiation of Sagay shaman by spirits




"His (the future shaman’s) soul is taken to the shaman-ancestor and there they show him a kettle full of boiling tar. There are people in it. ... A single rope is fastened across the kettle and they order him to walk over it."


"In my dreams I had been taken to the ancestor and cut into pieces on a black table. They chopped me up and then threw me into the kettle and I was boiled.


There were some men there : two black and two fair ones. ...While the pieces of my body were boiled, they found a bone ... which had a hole in the middle. This was the excess-bone. ... One looks through the hole of this bone and begins to see all, and to know all and, that is when one becomes a shaman."

pp. 290-291 multifarious spiritual journey by Sagay shaman


stage of journey


"the spirits chopped up his body, boiled the pieces and searched for an excess bone with a hole in the middle


... he has to cross the ham saraschan harazi mountain along the way. On top of that mountain there is a pine-tree, its trunk resembles a six sided log. ...


he come to a crossroads from which all roads begin : those of diseases, game, animals to be sacrificed to the spirits, etc. ...


the shaman must cross a fast-flowing river by a narrow bridge, and


two moving rocks between which the shaman must pass."

pp. 298-299 spiritual journey by Minusa shaman




"the shaman ... was ... sitting on a flying bird."


"the shaman is thought to travel by his owl or raven-like spirits, but


the spirit-helpers ride with him on horses, isiki, dedicated to them."

p. 302 Buryat tegri-s (‘deities’)

# of deities

location etc.


in the East


to be worshipped with prayers, in the West


to be worshipped with sacrifices, in the West



Nanasan spirits

p. 314 Nanasan


"... becomes a shaman at the command of the Lords of the Water, the Lady of the Water suckles him, and her husband, the Lord of the Underworld, gives him


two guiding spirits,

an ermine and

p. 301 praepared skins, repraesenting those of :


a mouse ...



yellow weasel

"hermin" [i.e., ermine]

The shaman is initiated by quite separate spirits, smith spirits, who dissect the novice’s body and forge it on their anvil."

p. 302 "the body of the shaman is dissected, his flesh boiled in a pot" by uc^a (dead ancestor shamans)

alternative names of tribes & of phratries


current name

known in earlier literature as __














H^akasy (comprising Sagay, Bel>tir, etc.)

Abakan / Minusa


aequivalent phratry in different languages of the Ob> Ugrians







sequences of tutelary-spirits of shaman

p. 107

p. 115

p. 134

p. 235

p. 255

p. 266; p. 274








animal’s call





3. hare









diver (ca’lGen)

4. diver-duck

[(p. 236) 7. goose]





4. bird



variety of snipe



another variety of snipe



cuckoo (kukuno’do)


1. walrus


1. tigre



eagle (xa’nil>)

2. eagle

6. eagle



stork (u’dil>)




wolf (eu’reye-ru’ kun)


5. wolverine or wolf

wolf (n>uxu)


4. deer




bear (xa’ic^itege)

3. bear

3. bear

bear (lefu)

2. bear


2. Siberian deer [elk?]

snake (mei^xe)


1. reindeer


[(p. 232) 0. fish]

mudur>i (dragon)




FOLKLORE FELLOWS COMMUNICATIONS, Vol. XCIII, Pt. 2 (No. 220) = Anna-Leena Siikala: The Rite Technique of the Siberian Shaman. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia (Academia Scientiarum Fennica), 1978.

{the name /YuKa-GIr/ may be cognate with that of /GIl-YaK/ (of Sah^alin i.)}

{the name /Samoyed/ may be cognate with that of /Saami/ (= Lap) & /Suomi/ (= Fin)}

{the Entsy may be the Entai of Byzantine historians}