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17-Jan-2018 06:19

These spirit guides are always present within the shaman, although others encounter them only when the shaman is in a trance.

The spirit guide energizes the shaman, enabling them to enter the spiritual dimension.

According to ethnolinguist Juha Janhunen, "the word is attested in all of the Tungusic idioms" such as Negidal, Lamut, Udehe/Orochi, Nanai, Ilcha, Orok, Manchu and Ulcha, and "nothing seems to contradict the assumption that the meaning 'shaman' also derives from Proto-Tungusic" and may have roots that extend back in time at least two millennia.

The term was introduced to the west after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552.

The fourth definition identified by Hutton uses "shamanism" to refer to the indigenous religions of Siberia and neighboring parts of Asia. Turner and colleagues mention a phenomenon called shamanistic initiatory crisis, a rite of passage for shamans-to-be, commonly involving physical illness and/or psychological crisis.

The significant role of initiatory illnesses in the calling of a shaman can be found in the detailed case history of Chuonnasuan, the last master shaman among the Tungus peoples in Northeast China.

21st-century anthropologist and archeologist Silvia Tomaskova argues that by the mid-1600s, many Europeans applied the Arabic term shaitan, meaning "devil," to the non-Christian practices and beliefs of indigenous peoples beyond the Ural Mountains.

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Beliefs and practices that have been categorised this way as "shamanic" have attracted the interest of scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, including anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, religious studies scholars, philosophers and psychologists.

The term "shamanism" was first applied by Western anthropologists as outside observers of the ancient religion of the Turks and Mongols, as well as those of the neighbouring Tungusic and Samoyedic-speaking peoples.

Upon observing more religious traditions across the world, some Western anthropologists began to also use the term in a very broad sense, to describe unrelated magico-religious practices found within the ethnic religions of other parts of Asia, Africa, Australasia and even completely unrelated parts of the Americas, as they believed these practices to be similar to one another.

The shaman communicates with both living and dead to alleviate unrest, unsettled issues, and to deliver gifts to the spirits.

Among the Selkups, the sea duck is a spirit animal. Thus ducks are believed to belong to both the upper world and the world below.

The earliest known depiction of a Siberian shaman, drawn by the Dutch explorer Nicolaes Witsen, who wrote an account of his travels among Samoyedic- and Tungusic-speaking peoples in 1692.