A shaman in a state of complete detachment, striking a tambourine, performs his unusual dance. This action is both fascinating and frightening at the same time. After all, having completed the necessary ceremonies and rituals, he communicates with spirits, both good and evil. But what will this "magical cooperation" bring to people?
Everyone knows about shamans. Many believe in their power, which can influence the lives of people. But is this true or fiction?
Shamans are people who practice shamanism. In ancient times, it was widespread in almost all corners of the Earth, but those that appeared after religion supplanted it, and now shamanism is "alive" only among some small peoples. Now there are different national types of shamanism - Yakut, Altai, Korean and others.
Interesting fact. In Korea, women could also be shamans, and knowledge was passed on by inheritance.
Shamanism considers the entire world around us, including natural phenomena, as something animate, having a soul.
And shamans are selected people who, in a trance state, know how to move to other worlds and "conduct a dialogue" with a variety of higher powers. Each shaman has his own patron spirit that protects him from harmful effects.
There is a legend. Once the gods realized that mankind needed help and decided that the shaman would be the guides between them and the people, whom the gods themselves would appoint. They appointed an eagle as a shaman, but the man did not understand the bird and did not heed its advice. Then the shaman-eagle flew to the gods and asked to make a man a shaman. The gods told him to fly to people and transfer his skill to whoever he wants. The eagle did just that. He really liked the young woman with whom he, having assumed a human form, entered into a relationship. After the due date, she gave birth to a boy, who became the ancestor of all shamans.
For small peoples, a shaman is a person who, according to residents, knows and can practically everything: he can heal, give advice, predict the future, be an intermediary between spirits and the people, make sacrifices, descend into the underworld, fight demons, control the weather, move into other people and revive the dead.
The election of a shaman always takes place against the background of the so-called "shamanic disease". When the Spirits chose a certain person as shamans, he fell ill with a very strong nervous breakdown. If he refused to be a shaman, he either died or went mad. And if a person decided to become the chosen one, then the disease was removed by itself after being initiated into shamans.
Ordinary people see the suffering of the chosen one during the shamanic illness, but what does he feel at this time? The newly-minted shaman supposedly travels to different worlds, learns the way to the spirits and souls of the dead, and also communicates with them. After that, he goes to a higher level of knowledge of life.
A ritual with singing, dancing and striking a tambourine, during which the shaman plunges into a trance and meets with higher powers, is called ritual.
] The shaman's rite of passage for the uninitiated may seem like a theatrical costume performance. The shaman, dressed in special clothes, chanting spells, began to beat the tambourine and dance a very expressive dance. It is believed that at this time his soul leaves his body, ascends to heaven or descends underground.
The shaman's tribesmen, watching the ritual, watch with awe as the shaman sometimes argues with some supernatural forces, then fights with them and drives them out.
The chanting can last for several days, after which the shaman comes out of the trance.
It is clear that only a physically strong person can withstand such a "marathon", especially when you consider that the shaman's attire with ritual jewelry and a tambourine weighs more than twenty kilograms.
Shamans, like medicine men, can heal people. It is believed that they accumulate their knowledge of medicinal plants, and patron spirits also help them in this.
Shamans are divided into white and black. White shamans, as you might guess, communicate with good spirits, and black ones serve the forces of evil. But there is not always such a division, for example, among the Buryats, a shaman can serve both good and evil spirits. A kind of servant of two masters.
White shamans always wore white robes (orgoy), while black shamans had an orgoy in dark blue.
Orgoy is a garment made of expensive fabric, similar to a fur coat, decorated with ritual metal figurines of animals.
Interesting facts: 1. Modern life brings innovations to shamanism. If earlier shamans put on an orgoi, conducting rituals, now they "dress up" very rarely, and the traditional orgoi is worn on them in case of their death.
2. In Altai, Yakutia and Tuva there are schools of shamans.
Shamans, no matter how powerful, are still mortal people who die sooner or later. But they are not always buried like other people. For example, in Yakutia there are three ways of burying shamans: cremation, burial in the ground and the air method - the most ancient and unusual. We must say right away that not only shamans were buried in this way, but also other respected people. Why not everyone? Because air graves (arangas) are quite troublesome and expensive.
When the shaman died, they found a place in the forest far from the settlements. Moreover, during his lifetime he was chosen by the shaman himself, or the spirits had to indicate to another shaman. Two trees were selected there and cut down at the required height - more than one and a half meters. A platform was built on them from boards, on which a coffin was installed, hollowed out from a whole log. The body of the shaman, wrapped in felt or bark of a tree, was placed in the coffin, and the coffin was closed with a lid, also made of a solid trunk. Then everything was decorated with amulets.
Why such difficulties? First, long winters and permafrost make burial in the ground nearly impossible. Burning the bodies of shamans in shamanism is considered undesirable, and only the air method remains. Therefore, even after the Soviet authorities forbade arranging arangas, they still try to make them for shamans.
Of course, the arangas are not eternal buildings, over time they are destroyed, and shamans have to be buried again and again. As a rule, coffins and arangas are made of larch, since it is very durable and the structure can stand for about a hundred years, but sometimes this period is significantly reduced, and natural changes are to blame: due to warming, permafrost in some places begins to thaw, while ground movement - some areas go down.
Periodically, a new shaman comes to the Arangas to meet with the souls of the dead. He lights a fire, lays out the food, and starts a conversation. If souls are calm and not angry, they accept alms.
The peoples professing shamanism believe that the deceased shaman will continue to take care of them after his death if they watch his grave. Very often, with some kind of problem, people go not only to the living shaman, but also to the deceased. They believe that he hears, sees and understands everything, so he can help.
And if the shamanic arangas is treated badly, the shaman begins to remind of himself - to come in a dream and send some troubles.
Perhaps these are just scary stories passed from mouth to mouth, but the Yakuts say that in some places people forget about the arangas that once “hung” there, but are now destroyed, cut down trees and build something. And shamans begin to take revenge, making the life of people in these places absolutely impossible. Their curse extends to both builders and new residents - as a rule, people suddenly fall ill and die.
Perhaps this is just a bad energy of the place, because in other religions it is not recommended to build something on the site of old cemeteries.
But professors of shamanism explain it this way - only the body of the shaman dies, and his soul and patron spirit are alive, which means they are just as powerful.
Interesting fact. The most ancient arangas was found in Kolyma, the age of the shaman buried in it is about three and a half thousand years.
In those lands where for many centuries only shamans ruled, Buddhism is now widespread, and these two religions sometimes find it difficult to get along with each other. There are cases when shamans and lamas tried to send death to each other. Shamans (black) use two methods. In the first, a doll is made (like a voodoo doll), the organs to which you need to send the disease are marked on it, and then a death ceremony is performed.
But the second method is considered by shamans to be more effective. They choose an animal, use a spell to infuse an evil spirit into its body and send it to the one they want to kill. Having come to a potential victim, the evil spirit passes from the body of the beast into the body of a person and begins a destructive process in it.
White shamans also use dolls in their rituals, but for creative purposes. They make a doll for a sick person, to which his illness passes. Then the shaman takes her to the forest and buries her where no one will find her.