Studies on Shamanism

pp. 43-51 C^ukc^i mythology, quoted from :- W. Bogoras, The Chuckchee = Vol. 7 of :- F. Boas (ed.) : The Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1904-9).


Chuck. p.




giant fish Kan~a’yolhIn (‘sculpin’) "lies motionless in the middle of the sea. Its body has become an island, and moss grows on its back."



"the ‘mountain echo’ (E’nmI-ta’an) lives in the open, among the mountains. Its body is of stone, and its mouth and eyes are located on its breast. The ‘mountain echo’ is also described as a young, pretty woman wandering about among the rocks."



there are also other worlds : "one in each direction of the compass, which represent receiving-places for sacrifices ...;

a separate world under water; and

a small dark world, belonging to a female ke’lE-bird, situated somewhere above".



"The Chukchi distinguish 22 directions, which are bound to the variation of the light in the sun and the daily round."



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



"the winds are said to have an old mistress, who causes snow-storms by shaking the snow from her dwelling."



"The houses of the deceased are said to be large round tents without any seams, shining like bubbles of saliva."

p. 44 "By the place where two continents meet and where the flow of the sea turns backward {cf. backwards-current of Kharubdis} the Chukchi mean the Bering Strait."

p. 81 parallelism of myths [Karelian & Norse]





Joukahainen expounded : "I remember

the ploughing of the ocean,

the staking of the land,

the fixing up of the arch of heaven,

the heaping together of the hills ..." (SKVR II:5)

Vaftrudnir narrated "the events surrounding creation"; thereupon, surprise disclosure to Vaftrudnir,


Va:ina:mo:inen responded "declaring that he himself has performed the heroic feats Joukahainen mentions."

peripateic incognito O`dinn "reveals that he himself is the God involved."


From out of the clutches of the "maiden with iron fingers" in Tuonela, Va:ina:mo:inen escaped "in the form of a snake."

{O`dinn, in his aspect Bo,l-verk, came in the form of a snake (Ska`ldskaparma`l 6) to the woman Gunn-lo,d.}


"In some variants of the Vipunen poem, Va:ina:mo:inen ends up in Vipunen’s stomach".

{O`dinn ended by being swallowed whole by Fenrir (Vo,luspa` 58).}


""Lemminka:inen is killed by a blind man he has overlooked, who uses a magic tool : a sprig of a water plant with magic ingredients stuck into its hollow stem".

"This theme has been compared with the Scandivanian Baldr". {cf. also Pro-metheus’s ember "thrust into the pithy hollow of a giant fennel-stalk." (GM 39.g)}

p. 81 O`dinn "was the father of incantations, ‘galdernas fader’. Galdr, the incantation, was sung in a high descant, with a voice reminiscent of a grebe".

Ska`ldskaparma`l 6 =

Vo,luspa` =

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

pp. 97-98 Evenk (from the YUdluKON river [– N.B. similarity with YUKON in Canada]) features of a shamanistic performance






"spirit of the clan territory, mistress of the clan lands"



"the patron-spirit (bugady) of the clan



"the clan marylya (stockade[-]fence) formed by shamanistic spirit-watchmen"



"the patron spirit of the Nyurumnal clan"



"their clan bugady"



"the marylya of the Nyurumnal clan"



"the Nyurumnal shaman’s tent"



"the shaman of the Nyurumnal clan"



"his assistants"



"the track of the shamnistic spirit sent by the Nyurumnal shaman"



"the spirit changes into a wood-boring worm and enters the ... corporeal [body] soul"



"the Momol shaman’s tent"



"the Momol shaman begins to shamanize ...; his spirits tell him ... what has happened"



"a shamanic spirit, the goose"



"a shamanic spirit, the snipe ...; the goose and snipe ... try to catch the disease-spirit"



"the track of the shamanistic spirits"



"the disease-spirit jumps out of the patient and tries to escape; the shaman’s spirit-helpers, the splintered pole and the knife [palma], catch the disease-spirit; the splintered pole clutches the disease-spirit and holds it; the knife stands guard {cf. [Kemetian & Ewe] knife-god}



"on the Momol shaman’s orders, one of his spirits, the owl, swallows the disease-spirit and carries it to the abyss of the lower world in order to release it there through the anal opening"



"entrance of the lower world’



"the Momol shaman sends his spirit, the two-headed pike"



"the track of the two-headed pike"



"the pike-spirit tears the soul out"



"the pike-spirit takes away the per’s corporeal soul"



"the corporeal soul"



"the Momol shaman builds a fence out of larch-spirits at the place where the alien spirit penetrated"



"over the track of the alien spirit he puts watchmen – splintered poles, khichupkan"

p. 99 [tundra Nenets from the lower Ob] shamanic song chain




"heavenly spirits, ‘two times seven heavenly youths’ {cf. Marut-s in Veda}, try to catch with a lasso a reddish, full-grown animal from a herd of reindeer, and the shaman then journeys in the form of this one-year-old stag."

The shaman addresseth "’my two times seven widows’, ‘my two times seven lovers’."


"the shaman, transformed into the mythical Minley bird, calls and assembles his spirit-helpers, including the landward spirits"

p.102 [Selkup on the upper Ket] trance-journey of shaman

"The shaman pulls The hard and ironlike handle of the door hereto.

he casts it away, door-post and all {cf. S^ims^o^n}, From there he leaves.

There a black-suited woodpecker (a spirit) ... screamed."

(shaman described this journey as "a dream.")

p. 152 hazing (tormenting) of candidate by initiators

"In Salish Spirit Dance initiates are ‘tortured’ during the repeated ‘grabbing’ procedures; they are ‘rattled’ with the deerhoof staffs, slapped, bitten, tickled, and pinched ...

They use the dances to work on you because they’ve got the power, and they bite on you ... to put their power inside you. You feel a lot of pain when they bite you ..."

p. 153 [Yakut] divine she-eagle

"In the far, far north ..., a great larch with many branches stands at the source of terrible sickness. On these branches are nests in which shamans are born {cf. nest-nurtured Zal (Shah-Nameh 3)} ... When the shaman is to be born, a great eagle with feathers of iron and hook-like claws flies to the sacred larch and lays an egg. ...

The she-eagle is called the ‘Mother of Animals’. On three occasions during the life of the shaman does she appear.

The first, when she gives birth to the shaman;

the second, when the shaman undergoes dismemberment ...; and

the third, when the shaman meets death for the final time. ...

When the neophyte has attained the proper age, his shaman-mother turns him over to three horrific black and gaunt spirits who hack his flesh to pieces. They place his head on a pole ...

Three other spirits take the shaman’s jawbone and throw its as an oracle to divine the origin of all disease and suffering." {This is the Bauddha second aryan (noble) truth, that there is a cause of suffering.}

Shah-Nameh 3 =

p. 166 Hmon shaman’s spirit-journey

"The journey took me to a king’s palace, Shi Yi, the king of the shamans. ... Shi Yi sets tests for each person.

First you must cross a great field of fire.

Second you approach a gigantic creature ...

Third, there is a door with slashing blades like scissors."

ETHNOLOGICA URALICA, 2 = Anna-Leena Siikala & Miha`ly Hoppa`l : Studies on Shamanism. Finnish Anthropological Society (Helsinki) & Akade`miai Kiado` (Budapest), 1992.