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Additional resources for Shamanic Worlds: Rituals and Lore of Siberia and Central Asia (North Castle Books)

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On problems of defining possession and spirit "manifestation," see Laurel Kendall, Shamans, Housewives, and Other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1985); and her, "Korean Shamans and the Spirits of Capitalism," American Anthropologist, 1996, vol. 98, no. 3. Compare David N. Gellner, "Priests, Healers, Mediums and Witches: The Context of Possession in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal," Man, 1994, no. 29, pp. 27-48. 20. , in series, "Narody i Kul'tury," XVII).

Our purpose is to examine these facts. In order to refute the hypothesis of the neurasthenic shaman, we shall consult the identical materials giving rise to itthe observations of the ethnographers. First of all, the ethnographic material does not support the "biological" basis of the "shamanic illness," which allegedly appears during Page 6 the years of age-related changes in the organism associated with sexual maturation. To be sure, there are many reports of the illness beginning to perturb the future shaman at the age of puberty.

Is it correct? Is the shaman sane? It is time to have a clear answer to this question. The shaman is not a haphazard figure in the history of humanity. He is a person who has taken on the functions dictated by the norms of his culture. Today, the view of the shaman as a sick person is difficult to accept, as it is in conflict with a broad range of facts. Our purpose is to examine these facts. In order to refute the hypothesis of the neurasthenic shaman, we shall consult the identical materials giving rise to itthe observations of the ethnographers.

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