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Title: Wybrańcy duchów, czyli jak zostać szamanem. Na przykładzie ujgurskiej szamanki z Kazachstanu
Authors: Penkala-Gawęcka, Danuta
Keywords: szamanizm
uzdrawianie duchowe
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: Polskie Towarzystwo Ludoznawcze, Komitet Nauk Etnologicznych PAN
Citation: Lud, t. 85, 2001, s. 153-191
Abstract: The author discusses ways of becoming the shaman in present day Kazakhstan. She focuses on Rachiljam, an Uighur shaman woman and presents her story: episodes of "shamanic illness" ("selection by spirits"), acceptance of the gift, bestowal of blessing and her further development, acquisition of new helping spirits. Rachiljam combines elements of different cultures in an eclectic manner - to the spirits of her ancestors and Muslim saints she adds Christ, Christian saints, Buddha, Hindu gods and Sai Baba guru. Despite these new elements, the basic framework of the rite of passage (a way of acquiring the shamanic profession) remains traditional. "Shamanic illness" and the bestowal of blessing are the milestones of this rite. Selection by the spirits is the basic condition of becoming a shaman or a spiritual healer. The spirits "select" the one whose ancestors were shamans or healers. Preparation, a kind of apprenticeship under a spiritual leader, an experienced healer, is also very important. Most of present day healers in Kazakhstan are women. Male shamans "went underground" during the times of oppression and it was women who preserved the traditional image of the world of spirits and the cult of ancestors. The author claims that despite differences between the "classical" version of shamanism and its present day form in Kazakhstan, the last one can be considered an example of re-invented tradition rather than invented tradition. The basic, traditional elements of the way to the shamanic profession have been preserved. Innovations introduced by Rachiljam and other healers serve pragmatic purposes – improvement of competence and in this way getting more patients. Many researchers emphasise that innovation and creativity have always been characteristic of shamanism, and shamanism has always been very capable of adaptation.
ISSN: 0076-1435
Appears in Collections:Artykuły naukowe (WH)

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