Siberian Shamanism

The Siberian shamanism is ancient as the human kind itself  . It exists since the times when the shaman was the most important figure in the community . The traditions of shamanism are still followed in Siberia . Even the word shamanism has Siberian roots . It originates form the Tungusic Evenki language . The region of Siberia is a home of a large variety of ethical groups . Most of them are still practicing the shamanistic traditions .

Siberian shamans preforming a ritual

The Siberian people refer to the universe as a living organism . They call the Polar star, Celestial Claw . She plays a major role in their shamanic traditions . The Altaian shamans decorating their drums with the Venus symbol and the Ursa Major constellation . In the symbolism of the Buryat  shamanism (Buryats are indigenous group in Siberia)  , the World’s Tree is connected to the World’s River , which connects all the three worlds . The underworld , our world and the celestial world . A shaman must travel alongside the World’s River , so that he’d be able to tap in all the tree worlds .  In the Siberian cosmology the universe is also connected to energies of the animals . The moose is connected to the human world . The bear is the master of all animals . The Evenki also consider the bear as their founding father .

Accordingly to the Siberian shamanism the universe has three-stage structure . All these worlds are a representation to one another .

The Siberian shamanism is buildup of symbolism . For example the Yakutsk shaman must climb the World’s tree . The drum of the Siberian shamans is a representation of the universe itself . The shamans ties red and blue bands on the drum inner frame . These bands symbolizing the souls of the shaman’s ancestors . The traditional Evenki costume of 18th century has a Chinese mirror on his left shoulder . The shaman uses this mirror to peep in to the other two worlds and to trap the misguided souls . The whole tunic is encrusted with the images of his helping spirits .

Siberian shaman playing on drum

The Animistic realm of the Siberian shamans is filled with spirits . Some of them help and aid the shaman . Other are malicious and harmful . The most important however are the helping spirits . They turn in to the shaman’s alter ego in time . Thanks to teir power the shaman can turn in to animals . There are two forms of helping spirits . The fist is bounded with the shaman . The second type of spirits are free , not bounded by the shaman . These are souls of dead shamans . These spirits aren't controlled by the shaman and can come if asked . The Siberian shamans also cooperates with the animals and their spirits . The most loyal helpers of the Yakutsk shamans, for example are the bull , the eagle and the bear .In the Siberian shamanism it is believed that only a person born with the gift can become shaman .

The shamans in Siberia according to Mongush Kenin-Lopsan are divided in five different types .

The first group is of shamans that are direct descendants of a shaman . They work is a symbiosis with the spirits of their ancestors .

The second group is originating from the earth and water spirits . In Tuvinian their name is “cher sug öazinden hamnaan hamnar . They drown their powers from the spirits guardians of the earth .

Another group of shamans is the celestial - Tengi Boo(celestial shaman) . Tengi Boo are connected to the rainbow and the celestial world . They drown their powers from the rainbow and can identify signs in it . Furthermore the people believe that a person struck by lightning can become a powerful shaman. In their songs the celestial shamans praise the lightnings and the thunders .

Siberian shamanism

The next shamanic group is these that are originating from evil spirits - albistan hamnaan hamnar . The evil spirits are stilling the person’s soul . As a result he becomes sick  from a severe illness like epilepsy or mental illness . These are of the most powerful shamans .

The last group of shamans in the Siberian shamanism are the Aza shamans . They also drain their powers form evil spirits . These type of shamans always collaborate with helping spirits to fight the illness spirits . Their specialty is fighting diseases .

The Siberian shamanism still lives today and is the guiding light for the indigenous population of Siberia . The shamans there are still are of major importance for the indigenous people there . Their ancient tradition of shamanism is still preserved and passed through the generations .

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