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Czaplicka used the term only in the Siberian context, Many writers have noticed the extreme liability of primitive peoples to hysterical and drew attention to the diversity of meanings of various indigenous diseases.


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Apart from hysteria, which underlies many magico-religious phenom- names for a shaman. This is a very important observation. In all cases of menerik, the disease was The author did not wish to impose European categories, but instead attributed to evil spirits, but the shaman was supposed to fight against proposed seeing the problem as the users of those cultures did.

It is true that with the shaman no nervous disease, even menerik, can be devel- She then cites the most characteristic descriptions of various authors, oped so far as to cease to be under his control. Even if we call the Some researchers Priklonski, Sieroszewski and Jochelson tried to sort hereditary shamanistic gift a hereditary form of hysteria, or a hereditary disposi- this out, distinguishing above all two ailments. First, with menerik the tion to hysteria, which very often develops only during the trying preparatory Yakut name , an affected person gets spasms, or goes into a trance, yells period, it is never of such an advanced form as to be called by the natives a and dances, which sometimes ends with an epileptic attack.

The natives disease. Czaplicka b: 3 believed that this happened under the influence of spirits. She conditions: the dark days of winter and bright summer nights, severe pointed out that none of the authors describing the afflictions was a cold, the silence and monotonous landscape, the scarcity of food, etc. Taking all material into consideration, she tried to find However, such cases could also be found in the equatorial regions, and some regularity. Women and shamans were more prone to these dis- she cited a detailed description of latah, Malay disease.

She came to the eases. Menerik particularly affected young girls and some boys, espe- conclusion that the cause of the disease was not specifically the arctic cially those who were training as shamans. On the other hand, amurakh climate, but climate extremes. Another cause could be a factor of race: affected older people between 35 and 50 years of age. These two diseases amurakh mainly affected the Mongol tribes.

However, she stressed that neither the institution of not specific to the Arctic climate but to extremes , and in fact was not voluntary death nor the hysterical attacks of shamans could be called really hysterical because unconscious. However, she did not renounce diseases, as natives themselves did not consider them as such. But some mental disorders were considered a disease even in the eyes of the natives. It was hard to say for her what they thought was the boundary between 3 All texts of Maria Czaplicka cited in this paper are reprinted in Czaplicka Thus, in the sense to other cultural contexts.

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Nonetheless, many later writers held Czaplicka together with others, like Bogoraz responsible for the psychopathologizing of shamanism e. Yet this responsibility should be considered in the broader historical The expedition consisted of four people: Czaplicka herself as a leader; context, as was done by Alby Stone.

He argues that at the end of the nineteenth century the belief anthropometric measurements and collecting artifacts. They traveled predominated among intellectuals that primitive peoples in general by the Trans-Siberian Railway as far as Krasnoiarsk on the Yenisei, and were particularly prone to neurosis and other forms of psychopathol- later by a steamer down the river to its mouth at Golchikha, where they ogy, not just those who lived in cold climates. By the time they chiatry, which developed in the nineteenth century, has allowed many returned to Europe World War I was already in full swing.

Anthropologists have also succumbed to this attitude, and used materials appears in her letter to Miss Penrose, the principal of Somer- this language Stone This might have been the case with ville College, Oxford, which sponsored her journey, at the end of the Czaplicka, as she consulted her book with specialists whom she had first part of the expedition spent at the mouth of the Yenisei: known personally: Sir William Osler, a famous physician; and William McDougall, a psychologist see Czaplicka b: , who perceived the I have come across only one shaman and a shamaness.

The latter was, as it problem in medical categories. Znamenski recalls the figure of Sergei Burroughs Wellcome equipment is half empty already. In his main work Shirokogoroff In her lecture delivered in January and published in Journal of rejected Western interpretations of hysteria as misconceptions. What the Manchester Geographic Society, she recalled that during their stay at was unusual and bizarre to the people of the West was quite normal to the mouth of the Yenisei they had had no major problems with secur- the indigenous cultures. Of the nature of these difficulties, her companion Curtis wrote: Czaplicka authored several entries in the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, where she described various Siberian tribes.

Information is also In the summer of this year I heard from far off the beating of the magic drum, given about shamanism, but this is quite general. This is the only pas- and saw the head of a sacrificial reindeer impaled on a stake after a ceremony sage which is more personal and based on her own experience: held over a sick body. But the natives scattered on our approach, and refused to admit they had been shamanising. Siberia the Ostyaks of N.

Siberia include the Ugrian Ostyaks and tents are regarded as of little account. Curtis the Ostyaks of the Yenisei , and anyone who has once seen a shamanistic cer- emony and received an explanation of it can follow quite easily the ceremonies An old Samoyed told them that a few years previously there had been of a totally different tribe, even though ignorant of their language.

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With some an epidemic of smallpox and measles. His eldest son had become ill and variation and addition, there are several chief points which appear in all the the father had gone to a medical expedition, which was in Golchikha, ceremonies: the wandering of the shaman to the upper and lower worlds, his but found the doctor so drunk that he was unable to come.

He then struggle or merely argument with the spirits upon whom the fate of the man threw the icon out of the tent and went to the shaman. Czaplicka b: On the ceremonial costume of the Tungus priest or shaman, we find representa- Still, the main source of information concerning the Yenisei Expedi- tions of many animals which they do not possess in the north, and in fact the tion and its scientific results is the popular travel book My Siberian Year forms of these are in some cases so much degenerated that I would scarcely dare published by Czaplicka in In an interview, Joachim Otto Habeck, to define them without native help.

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I asked a sift out those elements that are related to shamanism. Czaplicka a: attended together with Hall. In fact, they ordered it, because it was the only chance to observe such a procedure. And later she by Jochelson with a Koryak shaman see Czaplicka b: , and Elsie presents some generalization: Parsons with native healers while she was working among American Indians Schumaker In spite of a formal adherence to the Russian Czaplicka and Hall took part in. One of them was included in the sec- Orthodox Church, nearly all the Tungus still practise Shamanism, but there is ond edition of the book by Edward Clodd — , A Brief History not found among them the deep-rooted belief or the richness of ceremony that are characteristic of Samoyed Shamanism.

The only Shamanistic performances they still practise are those which are supposed to produce fertility. The author was a very Descriptions of some rituals from different regions taken out of context interesting character: a banker, writer and anthropologist, founder of are put together in order to illustrate a previously formulated thesis. He had a large circle of acquain- an tribe the shaman belonged, or what his name was. It is possible that he also hosted Czaplicka, whom he might have In her travel book, Czaplicka gave another version of her encounter known via the Folklore Society.

But the reader can deduce that she finally managed to. This was shortly after parting with her companions, who returned to Perhaps the most striking example is that told me by Miss Czaplicka, who dur- England by ship via Kara Sea. Czaplicka was very worried about their ing her intrepid travels through Siberia cleverly secured admission to a shaman- fate, because they were at risk from ice floes and German mines.

The shaman sat near a low fire in the tent, the sitters ranged round him. None must touch him nor move, lest the spirits should be disturbed. He his wife, who sent to call the shaman from his task of cobbling his net.

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Soon accompanies this with chants, sometimes with imitations of voices of men and he came in, a little dark man, with a single eye gleaming from under a heavier animals, of winds and echoes for the shaman is a skilful ventriloquist ; he sings brow-ridge than one usually sees in a Samoyed. His piercing glance seemed to songs, and dances; then the drum is no longer beaten and the fire is put out.

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It was necessary to offer a pretext for requiring him to shamanize, and as if escaping from the tent. After an interval of a quarter of an hour or longer groping as I was in the dark for some, for any, solace to my anxieties, it was not he bumps on the ground to indicate his return. Sometimes he affects exhaustion without a dim fantastic stirring of belief and hope somewhere in those obscure and waits a while before telling the sitters what message he has brought from depths of consciousness, where lurk in all of us the shadowy remains of far-off the spirits.

Piper as the survival of wild phe- authorities some years ago, though at present they are not much interfered with. This way of thinking presented by Clodd is a very good example of the approach to religion by evolutionists criticized by Evans-Pritchard.


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There is a specified date and place of I and my people would fare before I returned to them. He seated himself cross-legged on the ground, while his assistant, a young It was on the tenth of September, at Seliyakina Pyesok, during one of our trips Yurak brought up in a Samoyed family, threw over him a cloth, which com- ashore from the Oryol, that we witnessed a typical shamanistic performance pletely concealed him from view.

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After some moments of silence, broken only in the chum of the shaman Bokkobushka, a Khantaisk Samoyed. I am bound to say that we did not receive any his assistant, whether one of us had not been ill during our journey down the very definite information, the only thing in the nature of a prophecy spoken by river. I had, and said so. Had we not, one or both, some dark spots on the right the seer being a cryptic utterance addressed to Miss Czaplicka which might be arm?

I confessed to a mole. Hall 39 articulate as the chanting was resumed, to be followed by another short silence. Then the result of this second colloquy with the spirits was communicated to It could be understood that reborn Poland would emerge out of the me, again through the assistant. The shaman now threw off Church and underground shamanism. Czaplicka called it the indigenous his cloth, and began the third stage of his shamanising—a contest with the religion of Siberia, and saw the influence of Christianity only in the fact spirits of disease.

The same antiphonal chanting, broken this time by sentences that the native pantheon of deities was enriched by yet another one uttered in a conversational tone—a dialogue with the evil spirits. When this was the Christian God , and that some new superstitions, those of Russian over, the shaman dipped his fingers into a cup of water and touched my cheek peasants, were added to those of the natives. In her opinion, the weak below the left ear three times.