Shamanism and Folklore”

[/j/ is to be pronounced as in German (= /y/ in English)

/v/ is to be pronounced as in Latin (= /w/ in English)]


pp. 233-238 G. N. Grac^eva : "Nganasan Shamans’ Ways and Worldview"

p. 234 the dead

"By tradition a sledge with the dead man makes its way toward the setting sun."

"It is supposed that in three years the dead man won't be able to return, he will go to the nether world for ever."

"The Nganasans' one-man graves near the villages are also situated mainly to the North-West of the dwellings."

pp. 234-235 c^um (house)




"The orientation of the Nganasan traditional dwelling -- the chum (= ma*) -- ... Its entrance is usually situated in the South."


"A place opposite the entrance behind the hearth remains free. During the se'ance a shaman sits down there fully dressed. ... It is forbidden for women to step to that part of the dwelling behind the hearth.

Old people are to the left of the entrance in the Western half. ... To the right of the entrance in the Eastern half are there are ... a daughter and her husband or a son and his wife and their children".

"while moving from the winter dwlling, a small house on sledge (balok), to the summer one, a chum, it was considered necessary to feed the four main poles and four corners of the chum".

p. 235 shaman's drum

"A drawing on the drum usually includes a crossingwith two parallel red and black stripes interpreted ... as summer and winter ways."

p. 236 ways of a shaman

"a wide road, along which dead men go to the next world, may be shortened ... There is a path branching out of it, which sortens the way to the place of a large chum for four families (turuketi ma), its coverings being not tied up. That chum is a place where a further fate of the sick man is determined : whether he goes farther of comes back to the living ones."

"... the way of spring water. It lies Northwards or North-Westwards, because this is the predominant direction of river current for the Avam Nganasans living in the Pyasina Eastern tributary system. They ask the water for fish, ask it not to take people, not to turn boats over.

... this way lies near the way to the land of the dead, which shamans take when they want to save a man of [from] the illness and the death.

... Delba-ngo or Nilulemy, who is famous ... as a hero of the Nganasan culture, on the Moon in the same direction. The Moon is also called ny ja, the land of women. In that case a Nenets word ja is used instead of the Nganasan one moj. A shaman visits the land of women to ask the Moon for shadow-souls of babies to-be-born, determines their sex, chooses names for them and helps during a child birth.

One of his ways lies toward the Sun where he goes along a sun-beam (kou didar). On that way he asked for prosperity for all the children, for growth and reproduction for reindeeers, polar foxes and every living thing.

There is a special way for shamanizing in the "clean chum". ...

[The shaman] confirmed that he had only five ways, the way of the "clean chum" being a special one." {cf. the "nine ways of Bon"; or, the 5 tantrik yana-s of the dKar-bgyud}


pp. 251-276 E`va Po`cs : "Hungarian Ta`ltos and His European Parallels".



"the ta`ltos ... is born with the "surplus" bone (teeth, or more rarely a sixth finger) which [Vilmos] Dio`szegi coonected with "dismemberment and recomposition", ... of Uralic and Altaic people's shaman-initiation, the aim of which was to examine if the selected person really had the surplus bone".

"the other-worldly soul-journey in a trance state is well known as the attribute of the halottla`to` (a seer who is able to communicate with the dead ...)".


"It was Carlo Ginzburg who wrote about the 17th-18th century Italian benandanti, the sorcerers born with a caul, who "fought" other-worldly soul-battles for the prosperity of their communities ... [Ga`bor] Klaniczay compared their figures with the Slovene-Croatian magicians".

"A close parallel of the Serbo-Croatian zduhac^, the Caucasian (Ossete, Georgian) shaman, has already been recognized by Moszynski".


"On the ... territories of Eastern Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, we find the wizard zmej / zmaj / zmija ('snake'), who is ... born ... from a snake-father."


"wizards who are in connection with souls proceeding in the storm. The Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian zduhac^ / stuha / stuva etc. belongs ... to this type of wizards ...

A West Serbian belief ... that if the stuva loses the caul that is sewn on the clothes he wears ... "he is not a stuva any more but he becomes a vjetrovito" -- i.e. a "wind-wizard"".


"According to data from various parts of Croatia ... beside[s] the storm-battles of the wind-wizards with the storm demons who bring hail, the zduhac^-fights' aim is to obtain the crop ... with the help of different agricultural implements (barn-floor broom, bushels, plates, etc.) used as weapons. These battles are close parallels of the benandanti fertility-fights and of the soul-battles of the above mentioned Caucasian shaman[s], as well as of the soul-battles of Rumanian strigoi. In the strigoi-battles fought also in groups the weapons are again different agricultual implements (tools of corn-, hemp- or wine-growing -- most often it is a hemp-breaker or its components)".


"... the Polish striga who is born with a double set of teeth {cf. shark} and in this way he / she also has "two souls". One of them returns among people after his / her death ... The Rumanian strigoi has two hearts, and when he / dies only the "good" heart dies while the other one lives on and returns as a "dead strigoi" (in animal form)."

Monsters "according to the Slovene data ... take away the stolen crop to their infernal caves ... Such infernal ...-demons are the monsters called karakondzuli / kallinkantzari, etc. According to beliefs known on the Orthodox part of the Balkan peninsula, these beings come from the inferno at the time between Christmas and Twelfth-day, in the forms of horse-, wolf-, centaur-like monsters or as animals, or as deromed, black, too big or too little men. (Serbian karakondzuli ...; Bulgarian karakondz^e ...; Macedonian karkantzari ...; Greek kallikantzari / likokantzari ...; Albanian karkandso`li ...)."


"The garaboncia`s is able to rise up to the air and to walk on the clouds and "he comes to the earth when he wants to"."

"the ta`ltos "troop" of 15 members fights against the "evil souls".

... the windwizards ... up to 32 persons in the clouds."


"the garaboncia`s are small or huge black men who "perform ... most often at the time of Christman lent"."


pp. 277-286 Felix J. Oinas : "Shamanistic Components in the Kalevala".



2 parts of "Vipunen's song" :- "The first, found primarily in Border Karelia and Aunus (Olonets), describes Va:ina:mo:inen's trip to Vipunen's grave to acquire the necessary words in order to build a boat. ... Va:ina:mo:inen ... tries to wake him, but in vain : Vipunen's flesh is a decaying hummock and his heart is far away ...

According to Matti Kuusi, ... The central theme of the song -- a shaman's trip to a decaying super shaman -- has a close parallel in Lapp".

The 2nd part of Vipunen's song, "sung primarily in East Karelia, tells of Va:ina:mo:inen's adventures in Vipunen's stomach. ... Va:ina:mo:inen set up a smithy in his stomach ... He made an iron rod and thrust it into Vipunen's mouth ... However, Vipunen bit it in two. After having received the words, Va:ina:mo:inen escaped."

[American Indian] "it was so hot in the whales stomach that the regurgitated hero’s hair fell out." (D&RD, p. 75)


"in the Mongolian "Geser Khan" epic ... cycle about Geser's struggle against the black-spotted man-eating tiger {i.e., leopard}, Geser leaps into the tiger's mouth and jams its two lower fangs with two gold bars."

Mitra-saha cast curse-water ""... upon his own feet," and they were so scalded by it that they became black and white, and so gained for him the name of Kalmashapada, 'spotted feet.'" (K)

"the Old Hag of Hiisi ... swallowing smith Ilmarinen ... After a fierce struggle, the smith escapes."

"scarcely was he [Hanu-mant] inside her [Su-rasa] than he swelled up to a gigantic size, burst her, and killed her, and so made his escape." (D&RD, p. 78, quoting ST, p. 211)


Estonian "Lemming" (= Karelian Lemminka:inen) :- "In "Osmi's [Osmil's] Sickness" Lemming's father has been lying sick for such a long time that his bed has begun to rot. He asks his son to go to the Viru {cf. Viru valley in Peru} Sea to catch the fish that would restore his health."

cf. the ailing 'Fisher King' of the Holy Grail castle.

""Lemminka:inen's Song" (Lemminka:isen virsi), is a miniature epic consisting of five scenes. In the first scene, Lemminka:inen, who is plowing a field, learns about festivities in Pa:ivo:la:. He decides to go there ...

Odusseus was, while ploughing a field, invited to the expedition to Ilion (GM 160.f), to be assembled at Aulis.

His mother warns him not to go, because of the three deaths lurking along the way : a fiery eagle in a fiery river,

p. 280 Kemetian :- "The man of Ethiopia made a fire break out in the court. ...

a worm lying across the road {cf. [Hawai>ian] caterpillar along the road for souls of the dead -- is this aequivalent to the [Chinese] silkworm-moth (flying only in the darkness) Bombyx mandarina?}, and

The Ethiopian made a great darkness. ...

an iron fence on whose stakes men's heads are displayed."

The son of the Negress made a great vault ..."

"In the third scene, ... The master sings a hare, and Lemminka:inen in returns sings a fox who eats the hare.

Vi-kuks.i "received the name of S`as`ada, 'hare-eater.'" (V)

The master sings a squirrel, and Lemminka:inen in returns sings a marten who eats it.

Finally, the master sings a pond on[to] the floor, but Lemminka:inen sings an ox who drinks up the pond."

p. 280 bylina ('epic') "Valvilo {cf. Wawel, former capital of Poland} and the Skomorkhi" from the Pinega river valley :- "King Dog played the rebec; water began to rise and threatened to drown them. Vavilo played the rebec; the bulls set out in herds and drank up the water."

"One stake is reserved for Lemminka:inen's head." {cf. crossbanded (latticed) eye of Maya hieroglyphic god?}

The word for 'hound (dog)' in the Russian is Sobaka, purportedly derived (p. 281) from the name (/S^abaka/) of the king of Nubia -- but since /so-/ < [Samskrt.a] /s`van/, the king's name must be etymologically more alike to /s`ebek/ -- cf. /s`abak/ (Strong's 7638) 'latticed capital of column').


"Lemminka:inen ... asks the eagle to close its eyes and ears, orders the worm to get into a berry clump and stops the snakes, lizards and wild beasts at the fence"


"Va:ina:mo:inen is ... riding on back of a blue deer, on the "clear surface of the sea""

"It was the young Svendal,
He urged on his horse with the spur:
So he
rode over the ocean" (EG&F, C v. 16)


"After the warship has run aground, the mistress of the North changes herself into a bird and, taking one hundred men under her wings, attacks the abductors of the Sampo. ... The eagle left the land of Tyrja, the bird descended from lapland; whose one wing grazed the water, the other cleft the sky."

cf. the bird (a shearwater?) which hovered betwixt sky & sea in B-R>S^YT 1:2. "Ben Zoma answered thus: 'I was contemplating the Creation, and between the lower and the upper waters the distance is not greater than two or three fingers' breadth, for it is not written that the Spirit of God "moved," but that the Spirit of God "hovered," just as a bird moves his wings, and his wings touch it and do not touch it.'" (G-TP)

D&RD = AEON, Vol. 3, No. 6 -- Ed Cochrane : "On Dragons and Red Dwarves".

K =

ST = Carl Jung : Symbols of Transformation. Princeton, 1976.

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

V =

EG&F =

VB = The Voyage of Bran mac Febal.

G-TP =


pp. 287-307 Juha Y. Pentika:inen : "Lemminka:inen – Shaman or God?"





"Where was the bear given birth, the child of Kari raised ... on the windy stream of the Neva in the dense cherry grove". {/KaRi/ resembling [Hellenic] /KeRasos/ 'cherry'} "There was the elk given birth ... in the dense willow thicket among the stars in the sky." {[Old English rune] elk-Sedge : [Latin Salix] 'willow' : Star : Sky -- all have inital /s-/}


"The elk's journey is "to the reindeer's far swamps, the Lapp's splint fields" or "along Pohjola's sheds, beneath Ahti's granaries" ... or completely "in the winds of Pa:ivo:la:. ... The elk is also caught in its cosmic journey, ... Rising to Tapo Hill, climbing the Colorful Mountain." {cf. mt. Tau:getos of the Cerunitian hind (T)}

"Tree of Life. The Evenks ... describe the roots of this life tree to be the cosmic rivers of the shamans themselves. There is a Land of the Dead at the mouth of each river where the shaman journeys during his trip to meet his helping spirits".

"The shaman's dress" :- "the Evenks of the Baikal Lake ... had two dresses, that of a bird for the upper and that of the ox for the nether world. The Selkup used the dress of the wild deer when journeying up, that of the big bear down to the nether world."


"Lemminka:inen made his trip ... in the shape of a wolf. He came to the banquet of Pohjola as an uninvited guest and sang the people, except for one blind old man, to sleep ... There are three tasks to be done by Lemminka:inen to get the maid of Pohjola :

skiing the Elk of Hiisi,

putting the Horse of Hiisi from its road and

shooting a swan from the Tuoni River. ...

Lemminka:inen himself is sung down into the river of death by the blind old man." {cf the blind poe:t Homeros, and the blind mu-ezzin}

[2nd poe:m of the Kalevala :-] "The Wind blew from the northwest {cf. Vayu the wind-god in the northwest}, the Wave drove from the West {cf. Varun.a the sea-god in the west}, bore old Va:ina:mo:inen, to Dark Pohjola".


"the chronicle (1073-1076) or [of] A[dam] von Bremen ... tells of the Wizzi people, which ... dwelt between the Land of Women (terra feminarum) and Russia (Ruzzia [pronounced "Rustia"]) composed of dogs. {/WISTI/ = [Skt.] /VIS.T.Ha/ 'faeces' : faeces being commonly devoured by hounds. The association by the Land of Women may be due to the [Chinese] Godddess of Latrines}

In the Land of Women (terra feminarum) ... snakes and birds are worshipped".

T =

p. 303 construction by Hiizi of the Blue-Elk Reindeer

its __ (body-part)

was constructed of __




rotten wood






pond-lily buds

p. 305a how Lemminka:inen disposed of obstacles



"A pond lay across the road brimming over with hot rocks ...

cooled the pond to ice ...

A worm lay across the road ...

sang the worm aside whose throat was boiling with fire. ...

There were wolves bridled ready {to be ridden by witches} and bears in iron fetters stood across the steps ...

sang a flock of sheep ... into the iron wolves' mouths" {iron wolves are encountered in the Daoist trek for souls of the dead}


pp. 315-324 Pe`ter Veres : "The Mythological Background to Ethnic Names of the Ob-Ugrians".

p. 316 mythic origin of Vogul-Ostyak moieties :- "Part ... not wanting to leave the meat behind, ... snatched it up raw. These are known as the mos^-hum.

The other ... began to cook the meat. ... Ever since, they and their descendants have been known as por-hum."


ETHNOLOGICA URALICA, 1 = Miha`ly Hoppa`l & Juha Pentika:inen (eds.) : Uralic Mythology and Folklore. Budapest : Ethnographic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Helsinki : Finnish Literature Society, 1989. pp. 233-307 = Part 5 “Shamanism and Folklore”.