The effect of Shamanic-like stimulus conditions & the cognitive-perceptual factor of schizotypy on phenomenology
a Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
b School of Psychology, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
AbstractShamanism has remained an integral part of indigenous healing rituals since ancient times and is currently attracting interest as a complementary therapeutic technique in psychology. Recently, shamanic-like techniques have been used to facilitate changes in the phenomenology of non-shamans, However, such research has largely been delimited to a single shamanic-like technique (i.e., drumming), and the role of personality traits with regards to receptivity to this technique has been neglected. The purpose of the present study was to investigate experimentally the effect of different shamanic-like techniques and the cognitive-perceptual factor of the schizotypy construct on phenomenology. One hundred and four non-shamans were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Drumming, Ganzfeld, or Sitting Quietly with Eyes Open. Participants' phenomenology was assessed using the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory. Phenomenology associated with shamanic-like techniques appeared to be statistically significantly different from phenomenology associated with sitting quietly with eyes open. Furthermore, high cognitive-perceptual participants reported significant alterations in phenomenology compared to their low cognitive-perceptual counterparts. Methodological shortcomings of the present study are discussed and suggestions for future research are advanced.
The semantics of local knowledge using ethnosemantics to study folk taxonomies represented in the archaeological record
Department of Anthropology, 107 Swallow Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-1440, United States
AbstractA culture's semantic structure reflects and affects local knowledge (the conceptual structure used to interact with the environment). Archaeological analysis of iconography reflecting folk taxonomies and other aspects of local knowledge will consequently provide insight into many different aspects of past cultures. A methodology for modeling folk taxonomy is introduced. Both Linnaean and folk taxonomies are based on gross morphological traits, creating correspondence between them at the generic-species level. However, differences are likely at higher taxonomic levels and will be portrayed by depictions of "anomalous " taxa at odds with Linnaean taxonomy. Using archaeological context, symbolic associations, and analogy, archaeologists can use these anomalies to determine the underlying semantic connections. We apply this model to Casas Grandes effigies and find that owls, rattlesnakes, coral snakes, and shamans are associated with each other under the semantic domain "night" and are central to Medio period cosmology and leadership.
Anamorphoses of the divinatory reason: Forms and functions of osteomancy in the Eurasiatic space
[Les anamorphoses de la raison divinatoire: Formes et fonctions de l'ostéomancie dans l'espace eurasiatique]
The present study offers a comparative analysis of a specific type of divinatory practice, osteomancy, and attempts to grasp some of its semiotic functions. The first aim of this paper is to present a general picture of the protocols and interpretative modes of scapulimancy among some peoples of eastern Eurasia (mongolic, turkic, tungusic, chinese, japanese and paleo-asiatic). The second one is to describe the formal and functional transformations that the mantic rationality undergoes as a result of its contact with some institutionalized religions.
Notions of Nahua ethnometeorology: The ahuaque-granicero complex in the Texcoco Sierra, Mexico
[Nociones de etnometeorología nahua: El complejo ahuaques-granicero en la Sierra de Texcoco, México]
Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, UNAM
The link between the ahuaques, or rain spirits of deified dead, and the testífero or ritual specialist in the magical control of the weather shapes an ancient and elaborate mythical system in the Texcoco Sierra. For the local Nahuas, the ahuaques send lightning bolts and hail from their place of dwelling to gain control of the anima of earthly beings and objects and, inversely, shower the earth with fecund supplies of rain to ensure prosperity. The testíferos are chosen to be intercessors between the level of the ahuaques and the human level: they perform rituals to drive off hail and bring rain and preside over curing ceremonies to recover spirits stolen by the ahuaques. As a form of atmospheric cycle, the complex is connected to a widely generalized conception of Mesoamerican cosmovision that makes the orderly functioning and reproduction of the cosmos dialectically possible.
Mad stories: On the use and abuse of evolutionary psychiatry
[Folles histoires: De l'utilité et des inconvénients de la psychiatrie évolutionniste]
a Département de philosophie, Chargé de Recherches du fonds de la recherche scientifique, Flandre (FWO), université de Leuven, Kardinaal Mercierplein 2, BE-3000 Leuven, Belgium
b Institute of Philosophy, Dekenstraat 2, bus 3220, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium
AbstractEver since Darwin, both psychiatrists and evolutionary biologists have wondered why some of our mental and emotional capacities are rather badly designed, given that natural selection has produced such ingenious solutions to so many other traits. Over the last 50 years, evolutionary psychiatrists have set out to answer this question by means of a number of explanatory models. Thus they have argued, for example, that mental disorders should be considered as mismatches or even adaptations, rather than diseases. These models are truly fascinating, yet most of them rely on disputable assumptions. For example: evolutionary psychiatrists commonly claim that schizophrenia is at least a-hundred thousand year old, while there are in fact no good reasons to believe so. On the plus side, however, evolutionary psychiatry certainly invites us to think about possible evolutionary alternatives for the contemporary role of psychiatric patient.
También somos gente: Cambio cultural paradigmático warao
a Universidad de California, Los Ángeles (EE.UU), United States
b Instituto Caribe de Antropología, Sociología de Hindación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales, Caracas, Venezuela
The article analyzes how the intellectual mentality of 17th Century Europe towards the Amerindian served to justify the systematic, deliberate and often violent dismantling of indigenous institutions during the Conquest and Colonial eras. Revealed is an attenuated persistence of many of these same attitudes in modem times and how the internalization of these Western attitudes by contemporary Warao provokes a paradigmatic shift in their culture and society. Documented evidence shows that present-day adults of this ethnic group have come to realize that mimicry of what they perceive of as the Western way of life is producing unsatisfactory results. Western institutions have not adequately replaced the telluric, cultural and cosmological knowledge inherent in shamanism. The adoption of agriculture is producing impoverished landscapes as the prevalence of malnutrition and disease is on the increase. Warao participation in purely extractive commercial enterprises have seriously, if not irreversibly, impacted the distribution and availability of natural resources, and the concepts of private property and monetary income have torn at the very fabric of extended-family interdependence. Finally, the study demonstrates that the most radically affected Warao do not feel defeated but, rather, struggle to regain their cultural competence. In a reevaluation of their current situation, many have decided to return to the more responsive physical and cultural environments into which they were born. Like their forefathers, they interact with the Western sector of the population from a more controlled position. Hopefully, the very positive and culturally sensitive legislation passed over the last ten years will translate into attitudinal changes on the ground level and lead to respect rather than disdain of prevailing ethno-cultural diversity.
Xamanizando a escrita: Aspectos comunicativos da escrita Ameríndia
Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil
The aim of this article is to analyze the use, attribution of meaning, interpretations and incorporation of writing by Amerindians. By analyzing the ethnographic case of the Wayãpi (Brazil and French Guiana) and juxtaposing it with other pertinent examples, I look to demonstrate through a comparison of writing with graphic/aesthetic practices that, along with political and symbolic functions, writing is attributed a divinatory or shamanic power with a broad communicative range.
Engraved art and acoustic resonance: Exploring ritual and sound in North-Western South Africa
Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, South Africa
At a hill-top site in the Korrannaberg, where there is a water source and a sandy arena embraced by a rocky ridge, the author persuasively evokes a lively prehistoric ritual centre, with rock gongs, reverberating echoes, dancing and trance.
Language of original document
Dance; Korannaberg mountains; Music; Prehistory; Rhythm; Rock art; San people; Shamanism; South Africa; Trance
The huichol offering: A shamanic healing journey
3104 E. Camelback Road. # 614, Phoenix, AZ 85016, United States
AbstractAn American transcultural psychiatrist, and a Mexican engineer deeply involved with the Huichol Indians, build a team that heals a decade-long epidemic caused by sorcery. Huichol children in boarding schools became possessed by demonic witchcraft that transformed them into aggressive animals. Many local shaman had been called in to treat the illness but had been unsuccessful. The team found a way to incorporate traditional belief and ritual, with modern psychological principles to weave a healing story. This article represents the ultimate integration of mind/body/spirit medicine to heal across cultures.
Shamanism and its emancipatory power for Korean women
Lee, J.a b
a Simmons College
b Graduate School of Social Work, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02116-5806
AbstractThis article presents a historical and feminist analysis of the role of shamanism in the lives of Korean women. Using critical feminist theory, it examines the concerns of Korean women and their lives in terms of the sociocultural and political environment that has made shamanism a women-dominant spiritual practice even while treating it with contempt. Fundamental to social work is the need to understand human beings in the context of their distinctive environments. This article attempts to increase social work knowledge and awareness about the lives of Korean women and their indigenous spiritual practice of shamanism.
Zulu Dreamscapes: Senses, media, and authentication in contemporary neo-shamanism
Chidester, D.a b c
a University of Cape Town
b Department of Religious Studies
c Institute for Comparative Religion in Southern Africa (ICRSA), University of Cape Town, South Africa
Reinterpreting indigenous traditions under globalizing conditions, Zulu neo-shamans have developed new religious discourses and practices for engaging dreams, visions, and extraordinary spiritual experiences. Dreams, which we might assume are immaterial, are interpreted through the senses, electronic media, and material entailments that require embodied practices of sacrificial exchange and ancestral orientation. Accordingly, in Zulu neo-shamanism, dreams become the embodied, sensory basis for a material religion. That embodied religion, however, has been radically globalized through electronic media. Considering the case of the Zulu shaman, Credo Mutwa, we find that this material religion has entailed the sensory extravagance of extreme pleasure in eating and the extreme pain of being abducted by aliens from outer space. Sensory derangement and global mediation merge in Credo Mutwa's vivid accounts of his encounters with extraterrestrials that circulate through videos, DVDs, and the Internet. While Credo Mutwa has been globalizing the material religion of dreams, other neo-shamans, including white South African expatriates such as the surgeon David Cumes and the singer Ann Mortifee, have followed the path of dreams to come home to the indigenous authenticity of Zulu religion. Whether dreaming of global exchanges or local homecomings, these Zulu neo-shamans regard the human sensorium and electronic media as crucial registers of indigenous religion because senses and media set the limits, evoke the potential, and provide validation for spiritual authenticity.
The figure of the shaman as a modern myth: Some reflections on the attractiveness of shamanism in modern societies
AbstractWith an increasing interest in shamanism in Western societies during the last decades the character of the shaman was-with an act of identifying-implanted into the cultural perspective of many subcultures. Due to the widespread psychologization of shamanism an overgeneralized and over-simplified view of traditional shamanism gives a matrix which creates the different popular conceptualizations of the figure of the shaman. In this paper, four areas explicitly referring to the figure of the shaman are described, demonstrating the fascination it holds and the manifold possibilities of interpretation. The four areas are neoshamanism, the 'urban shaman' as cultural critic and rebel, technoshamanism/cybershamanism, and the field of performing and visual arts. Looking at these areas one can find ten elements of the shaman myth which form the popular image of shamanism in Western societies and which constitute the attractiveness and the fascination of the figure of the shaman. Referring to some philosophical concepts of the German philosopher Karl Jaspers, the figure of the shaman can be understood as a powerful cipher of transcendence.
Native American healing: A return to our past
Pinnacle Health System, P.O. Box 8700, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8700, United States
AbstractNative American healing is largely based on the idea that all living things are interconnected and that the mind, body, and spirit of humans are not to be treated separately. Spirituality is at the core of the human condition and must be treated along with the physical ailments that arise. Literature revealing the practices of Native Americans in the United States has not been plentiful. Only in the last thirty years has it become acceptable in all states to study and practice these healing methods. Recently, mainstream professional associations have addressed Native American healing as a valid alternative medicine discipline.
The dynamics of orthodoxy and heterodoxy in uyghur religious practice
AbstractThe framework of this paper is provided by a theoretical discussion of the scholarly terms "orthodoxy" and "heterodoxy" and their heuristic value. Local Islam among the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, PRC as well as among other Muslim peoples in Central Asia has often been discussed either as something different from an assumed "real", "pure" or "official" Islam, or as a distinct religious system in its own right. Such approaches, however, sometimes lose sight of the fact that the question of what "Uyghur Islam" is supposed to be is negotiated among Uyghurs themselves no less vigorously. Traditional practices such as ritual healing and saint veneration are highly contested, yet widely adhered to in Uyghur society. This article examines the complex structures and processes of the religious discourses concerning such practices and some features of their embeddedness in historical, social and political settings. One finding is an increased reference to Islamic scripturalism as a legitimizing strategy for certain ideas, mainly for those targeted at "purifying" Uyghur Islam from local practices.
Sobre la etnografía Amazónica. La monografía como proceso de construcción permanente (el trabajo de campo entre los Yagua, Perú)]
Centre EREA (Enseignement et Recherche en Ethnologie Amérindienne), CNRS, Universidad de París X, Nanterre, France
The author attempts to make explicit certain aspects of his fieldwork experience among the Yagua, in the Peruvian Amazon (1971-2008), providing us with details of this experience as a learning process. His recollections take him to reflect on the ethnography as a gender, which he understands not so much as a stable, self-explanatory directive - as it is commonly received - as quite the opposite: as a process of continual elaboration.
Extase et écriture. Stances en chinois et dénouements de crisesdanslesécoles Zen au Japon
AbstractIn Japanese Zen schools, it is customary for an adept to exchange chinese stances with his master to testify to the degree of his awakening in the phase of resolution of his doubts or in an emblematic aporetic case, contemporary to the resolution of a crisis and the conversion of the gaze. The paper examines a few cases in which this type of experience is parallel to a literary production in Zen Schools (Hakuin, Ikkyû) but also a rather a-typical religious (Ippen) who stands between Amida Buddha, Zen and shamanism.
Genospirituality: Genetic engineering for spiritual and religious enhancement
AbstractThe most frequently discussed role for genetic engineering is in relation to medicine, and a second area which provokes discussion is the use of genetic engineering as an enhancement technology. But one neglected area is the potential use of genetic engineering to increase human spiritual and religious experience - or genospirituality. If technologies are devised which can conveniently and safely engineer genes causal of spiritual and religious behaviours, then people may become able to choose their degree of religiosity or spiritual sensitivity. For instance, it may become possible to increase the likelihood of direct religious experience - i.e. 'revelation': the subjective experience of communication from the deity. Or, people may be able to engineer 'animistic' thinking, a mode of cognition in which the significant features of the world - such as large animals, trees, distinctive landscape features - are regarded as sentient and intentional beings; so that the individual experiences a personal relationship with the world. Another potentially popular spiritual ability would probably be shamanism; in which states of altered consciousness (e.g. trances, delirium or dreams) are induced and the shaman may undergo the experience of transformations, 'soul journeys' and contact with a spirit realm. Ideally, shamanistic consciousness could be modulated such that trances were self-induced only when wanted and when it was safe and convenient; and then switched-off again completely when full alertness and concentration are necessary. It seems likely that there will be trade-offs for increased spirituality; such as people becoming less 'driven' to seek status and monetary rewards - as a result of being more spiritually fulfilled people might work less hard and take more leisure. On the other hand, it is also possible that highly moral, altruistic, peaceable and principled behaviours might become more prevalent; and the energy and joyousness of the best churches might spread and be strengthened. Overall, genospirituality would probably be used by people who were unable to have the kind of spiritual or religious experiences which they wanted (or perhaps even needed) in order to lead the kind of life to which they aspired.
Babel da floresta, cidades dos brancos?
Departamento de Letras, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
This paper aims to explore the relationship between indigenous populations and urban spaces through a case study centrered on the Marubo, a Panoan-speaking people of the Vale do Javari indigenous reservation (Amazonas state, Brazil). The paper investigates the shamanistic and mythological backgrounds mobilized in the comprehension of cities, spacial displacements and relations with alterity. Through the recent contributions of lowland south-american ethnology, this study offers parameters to the analysis of conceptual problems related to the crossing of indigenous and non-indigenous pressupositions about territories, change and difference.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mexico: An overview
Instituto de Ecología, P.O. Box 63, 91000, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
AbstractPsilocybe, with 53 known hallucinogenic species in Mexico, is the most important and diverse group of sacred mushrooms used by Mexican indigenous cultures. Psilocybe caerulescens, known by the present-day Nahuatl Indians as teotlaquilnanácatl, is hypothesized to be the ceremonially-used teonanácatl mushroom cited by Sahagún in the 16th century, the true identity of which has remained obscure for centuries. Correcting a widely disseminated error derived from early published information on Mexican hallucinogenic mushrooms, emphasis is placed on the fact that Panaeolus species have never been used traditionally in Mexico. Reports of the use of species of Amanita, Clavaria, Conocybe, Cordyceps, Dictyophora, Elaphomyces, Gomphus, Lycoperdon, Psathyrella, and Stropharia as sacred or narcotic mushrooms are discussed. A brief history of the discovery of hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mexico is presented, as well as notes on their taxonomy, distribution, and traditional use in Mexico.
Altered experience mediates the relationship between schizotypy and mood disturbance during shamanic-like journeying
Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy., Melbourne, VIC 3125, Australia
AbstractStudies have found that shamanic practices are associated with statistically significant reductions in mood disturbance relative to baseline. However, contrary results were obtained for non-shamanic practitioners exposed to shamanic-like techniques. These inconsistent results may be partially due to a personality trait referred to as schizotypy, which has been demonstrated to influence susceptibility to shamanic-like techniques. Furthermore, given that an integral feature of shamanism is the production of altered states of awareness and altered experiences, and that shamanism is associated with health benefits, perhaps the production of such alterations affects health benefits. Consequently, the present study aimed to investigate whether altered state of awareness and altered experience mediated the association between schizotypy and mood disturbance during exposure to a shamanic-like condition. Sixty-nine non-shamans were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: shamanic-like journeying with drumming or sitting quietly with eyes open. Total mood disturbance-change was significantly negatively correlated with schizotypy and altered experience - but not altered state of awareness - and these correlations were significantly stronger for the shamanic-like journeying condition relative to the control condition. Furthermore, altered experience significantly mediated the association between schizotypy and total mood disturbance-change during exposure to shamanic-like journeying
Adaptation, evolution, and religion
Institute for Research on World-Systems, University of California Riverside, 1221 Watkins Hall, Riverside, CA 92521, United States
AbstractNeo-Darwinian theories of religion include both nonadaptationist and adaptationist versions. Nonadaptationist versions contend that the mental architecture of the brain is wired for religious thinking but that religious concepts have piggybacked on other cognitive adaptations, especially those for agency detection. Religious concepts are not evolved biological adaptations but rather by-products of more general cognitive structures that are adaptations. Adaptationist versions concentrate on the benefits provided by religion, such as increased social cohesion and the individual benefits that stem from it, such as better physical and mental health and greater longevity. After clarifying the meaning of the terms "adaptation" and "adaptationism," this article presents four lines of evidence in favor of the adaptationist position: (1) in the ancestral environment the role of the shaman was nearly universal and was primarily devoted to the crucial human goals of curing illness and protecting and finding vital resources; (2) religion generally has positive effects on both physical and mental health; (3) religions tend to be pro-natalist and more religious people tend to leave more offspring than less religious or nonreligious people; (4) the major world religions that evolved in the first millennium BCE during a period of major social chaos and disruption emphasized an omnipotent, transcendent God of love and mercy who offered salvation in a heavenly afterlife and released individuals from earthly suffering. None of these facts demonstrate conclusively that cognitive modules specifically oriented to supernatural agents evolved by natural selection, but they are highly suggestive and make a good inferential case.
Proposed criteria for the necessary conditions for shamanic journeying imagery
a Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
b Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco, CA, United States
Despite renewed interest in shamanic patterns of phenomenal properties such as journeying imagery, these phenomena are neither well defined nor sufficiently understood. Consequently, we propose criteria pertaining to four necessary corditions for a visual mental image to qualify as a shamanic journeying image. Finally, we demonstrate how these necessary conditions may be used to extrapolate a scoring system that allows one to empirically test, via falsificationism, a visual mental image's ostensible shamanic status.
Humanity's first healers: Psychological and psychiatric stances on shamans and shamanism
[Os primeiros curadores da humanidade: Abordagens psicológicas e psiquiátricas sobre os xamãs e o xamanismo]
Krippner, S.a b
a Department of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco, CA, United States
b Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, 747 Front st, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States
Background: the author describes shamans as practitioners who deliberately shift their phenomenological pattern of attention, perception, cognition, and awareness in order to obtain information not ordinarily available to members of the social group that granted them privileged status. Objectives: to describe how these phenomenological shifts were accomplished and used. Methods: archival studies of shamanic literature as well as field research in communities where shamans are actively functioning. Results: the source of shaman-derived information is attributed to such discarnate entities and forces as spirits, ancestors, animal guides, and energetic fields. These agencies were contacted through ritualized drumming, dancing, lucid dreaming, the use of psychotropic plants, focused attention, and other technologies. This study was important because it determined that shamans utilize the obtained information to attend to their community's social, psychological, and medical needs. Conclusions: the ubiquitous appearance of shamans, especially in hunting and gathering tribes, indicates that their presence in a social group served adaptive functions. Further, these data can make important contributions to cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, psychotherapy, and ecological psychology.
The myth of the bridge of separator: A trace of shamanistic practices in Zoroastrianism?
AbstractThe paper challenges the generally accepted attitude concerning a mystic trend within Zoroastrianism and aims to demonstrate that late Zoroastrian thought was an integral part of post-Hellenistic mysticism (Gnosticism, Cabala, Manichaeism etc.). Due to all kinds of visionary experience, including those rooted in the most ancient layers of mythology, some early myths were preserved in a relatively authentic form, notwithstanding changes in their systemic value. Subsequently, they have lost any connection with their visionary background, a process which ultimately put the lid on their transformation into folklore motifs. As a case-study, the paper examines the myth of the "Bridge of Separator" (Avestan činuuatō peretu-, Middle Persian Činvad-puhl). This archaic Iranian myth about a dangerous passage between the world of the living and the otherworld was re-vitalized by the late Zoroastrian visionary tradition and spread all over the Iranian cultural realm. The paper focuses on some peculiar shamanistic aspects of the myth, which lend themselves to comparison with some of the most archaic themes in other Indo-European traditions within the framework of the "initiation myths", according to Eliade's terminology. However, an examination of late-Zoroastrian versions of the myth brings the author to the conclusion that, in contrast with some modern scholars who treat it as an evidence of shamanistic practices in the Sasanian period, one should regard the reminiscences of shamanism in late Zoroastrianism as manifestations of mysticism characteristic of the last stage of its religious development.
Aromatic trees and herbs that connect Heaven and earth
Kainos Laboratories Inc., 38-18 Hongo, 2-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033.
It has been known for a long time that aromatic substances (essential oils) contained in plants often exert psychological effects ranging from sedative to excitatory actions. Medicinal effects have also been confirmed through numerous experiences. In ancient times, aromatic trees and herbs were offered to deities, mostly as incenses that were believed to carry people's wishes, such as requests to cure sick people, to Heaven. In the medieval periods, their deep and subtle aromas elevated aromatics to so-called "treasures of the world," while their various medicinal activities including the psychological effects made them useful as treatment measures. Demands for aromatics in our time as raw materials for cosmetics far outweigh those as medicines. The market for aromatics, however, has become virtually non-existent, as the popularity of synthetic aromatics for cosmetics grew. In West Asia, olibanum and myrrh were highly regarded both as incense and analgesics for tooth pain. In India, sandalwood was prized as incense, and sometimes as an antidote for poisonous snakebites. In China and Japan, agalloch (Kyara is agalloch of the highest quality) was considered the most significant of the aromatics. Agalloch and many other aromatics were in possession of the Emperor's family in 8th century Japan; some of which are kept in Nara to this day. Olfactory sense is ultimately identified in the olfactory area of the frontal lobe of the human brain. When stimuli reach the olfactory area, they also affect other cells such as those around the hypothalamus when they go through it. The hypothalamus is the center of instinctive behaviors with the centers for appetite, sexuality, blood pressure and thirst, and greatly affects the psychological side of the human behavior with its delicate connection to the autonomic nerve system. It therefore may not be surprising that aromatics were often used in medicine, which once had close ties with shamanism, animism and other religious activities. Aromatics smokes that connected people on the earth with deities in Heaven healed people's mind, sometimes curing illness through what is now called aromatherapy. In fact, such use of aromatics is still practiced in China, where aromatics are highly regarded as treatment agents. There have also been reports of aromatics being used for psychological and mental disorders.
Supernaturalizing social life religion and the evolution of human cooperation
Department of Psychology, Southeastern Louisiana University, Box 10831, Hammond, LA 70402, United States
This paper examines three ancient traits of religion whose origins likely date back to the Upper Paleolithic: ancestor worship, shamanism, and the belief in natural and animal spirits. Evidence for the emergence of these traits coincides with evidence for a dramatic advance in human social cooperation. It is argued that these traits played a role in the evolution of human cooperation through the mechanism of social scrutiny. Social scrutiny is an effective means of reducing individualism and enhancing prosocial behavior. Religion's most ancient traits represent an extension of the human social world into the supernatural, thus reinforcing within-group cooperation by means of ever-vigilant spiritual monitors. Believing that the spirits were always watching may have helped reduce the number of non-cooperators within a group while reinforcing group behavioral norms, thus allowing humanlike levels of cooperation to emerge.
Música nas sociedades indígenas das terras baixas da América do Sul: Estado da arte
Departamento de Antropologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, Brazil
The last thirty years have seen a remarkable growth in the ethnomusicology of the South American lowlands. The region has emerged from relative obscurity - a state in which it languished for decades, despite possessing some of the world's oldest descriptions of 'primitive' music - through the publication of a wide variety of texts on the musical production of its indigenous peoples, along with various attempts at regional and sub-regional comparison. This ethnomusicological output - much of it originating in Brazil from the early 1990s onwards - has been complimented by monographs and regional comparative studies from anthropologists specialized in other areas, whose work has frequently highlighted the importance of music (typically in connection with other art forms, cosmology, shamanism and philosophy) for a clearer understanding of the region. The resulting panorama is promising. However it also requires analysis, a fundamental element in determining paths for future research. Divided into two parts, the article approaches this endeavour by focusing on written production, making secondary use of phonographic, videographic and other documental forms. The first part of the text surveys the literature produced on the region's music over the period. In the second part, I reflect on the main features of indigenous music to emerge from the literature and propose a number of working hypotheses for future investigations.
The first mind-body medicine: Bringing shamanism into the 21st century
[No abstract available]
Language of original document
EMTREE medical terms: alternative medicine; comprehension; consciousness; cosmos; editorial; epistemology; healing; human; injury; language; leisure; pain; ritual; self concept; stress; systems biology; American Indian; cultural factor; forecasting; South AmericaMeSH: Cultural Characteristics; Forecasting; Humans; Indians, South American; Mental Healing; Mind-Body Relations (Metaphysics); Shamanism; South America
From "shrinks" to "urban shamans": Argentine immigrants' therapeutic eclecticism in New York city
Urban Public Health Program, Hunter College, City University of New York, 425 E 25th Street W 1021, New York, NY 10010-2590, United States
AbstractThis article examines Argentine immigrants' reliance on informal networks of care that enable their access to a variety of health providers in New York City (NYC). These providers range from health brokers (doctors known on a personal basis) to urban shamans, including folk healers and fortunetellers of various disciplines. A conceptual framework, based on analysis of social capital categories, is proposed for the examination of immigrants' access to valuable health resources, which are based on relationships of reciprocity and trust among parties. Results revealed immigrants' diverse patterns of health-seeking practices, most importantly their reliance on health brokers, epitomized by Argentine and Latino doctors who provide informal health assistance on the basis of sharing immigrants' social fields and ethnic interests. While mental health providers constitute a health resource shared by Argentines' social webs, urban shamans represent a trigger for the activation of women's emotional support webs. Contrary to the familiar assumption that dense and homogenous networks are more beneficial to their members, this article underscores the advantages of heterogeneous and fluid social webs that connect immigrants to a variety of resources, including referrals to diverse health practitioners.
Beyond shamanism: The relevance of African traditional medicine in global health policy
Aginam, O.a b
a Department of Law, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
b World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
AbstractThis article explores the tension between Aftican traditional medicine and orthodox medicine, and argues for a cosmopolitan and inclusive health policy that integrates ethnomedical therapies into the core framework of global health architecture. The paper argues that age-old traditional therapies in Africa are relegated to the peripheries of orthodox health policy. The paper briefly discusses the accelerating pace of globalization of intellectual property rights (patents) as a factor that would continue to perpetrate bio-piracy and threaten traditional herbal therapies with extinction. The search for an inclusive global health policy opens a new vista in the interaction of traditional and orthodox medicine. The paper concludes that a sustained relegation of Affican traditional medicine to the margins of orthodox health policy is a phenomenon that would likely project the globalization of public health as predatory, discriminatory and unfair.
Reconnecting people and healing the land: Inuit pentecostal and evangelical movements in the Canadian eastern arctic
a Département d'Anthropologie, Université Laval, Ste-Foy, Qué. G1K 7P4, Canada
b Department of Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, Netherlands
AbstractIn this paper we focus on Pentecostal and Evangelical movements in Nunavik and Nunavut. Although these movements are quite modern, they combine old and new features in a variety of ways. First we present a brief overview of the most important movements and their history. Then we examine in more detail recent developments, notably the case of the healing the land rituals developed by the Canada Awakening Ministries with the collaboration of a group from Fiji. Finally we discuss some of the basic patterns characterizing these new Christian movements and explore to what extent structural patterns can be discerned in these movements. They claim to introduce discontinuity with the past as well as new forms of solidarity integrating modern ideologies in a Christian perspective, but we will see that the relation to land as well as connections to shamanism remain central issues in modern Inuit discourses and practices of Pentecostalism.
Could there be a role for Shamans in the health care delivery system of Pakistan?
Department of Psychiatry, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Nfld. A1B 2V6, Canada
[No abstract available]
Language of original document
EMTREE drug terms: calcium; calcium chloride; cobalt; gold; iron; magnesium chloride; mercury; potassium chloride; silver; sodium chloride; water; zinc
EMTREE medical terms: animal product; clinical practice; crab; fish; health care delivery; health care system; herbal medicine; human; lobster; malpractice; note; Pakistan; alternative medicine; articleMeSH: Delivery of Health Care; Humans; Pakistan; Shamanism
Native American medicine and cardiovascular disease
PO Box 2513, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, United States
AbstractNative American medicine provides an approach to the treatment of cardiovascular disease that is unique and that can complement modern medicine treatments. Although specific practices among the various Native American tribes (Nations) can vary, there is a strong emphasis on the power of shamanism that can be supplemented by the use of herbal remedies, sweat lodges, and special ceremonies. Most of the practices are passed down by oral tradition, and there is specific training regarding the Native American healer. Native American medicine has strong testimonial experiences to suggest benefit in cardiac patients; however, critical scientific scrutiny is necessary to confirm the validity of the benefits shown to date.
The religious mind and the evolution of religion
a Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA, United States
b Department of Psychology, Southeastern Louisiana University, P.O. Box 10831, Hammond, LA 70402, United States
AbstractThis article summarizes the literature on the religious mind and connects it to archeological and anthropological data on the evolution of religion. These connections suggest a three stage model in the evolution of religion: One, the earliest form of religion (pre-Upper Paleolithic [UP]) would have been restricted to ecstatic rituals used to facilitate social bonding; two, the transition to UP religion was marked by the emergence of shamanistic healing rituals; and, three, the cave art, elaborate burials, and other artifacts associated with the UP represent the first evidence of ancestor worship and the emergence of theological narratives of the supernatural. The emergence of UP religion was associated with the move from egalitarian to transegalitarian hunter-gatherers.
Schizophrenia and the origins of shamanism among the Kwakiutl maritime cultures of Northwest North America: A hypothesis
Mood Disorders Research Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40292, United States
AbstractThe dramatic failure of schizophrenics to assimilate into modern Western-style culture creates a subtle prejudice against the illness. Consequently, there is a visceral response whenever the word is used. This makes objective comments regarding other cultures difficult, especially when there is a conscious heightened acceptance of cultural differences. Nonetheless, the observation that shamans of some cultures suffer from some form of psychopathology, even when viewed in the context of their own cultures, has been made repeatedly. Unfortunately, a series of historical circumstances prevented objective examination of this hypothesis. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries northwest North American Maritime Cultures there existed two types of shamans, a fact not appreciated in previous investigations of this question (e.g., Krippner, 2002). It appears that one type of shaman - the family shaman - has sufficient similarities with modern schizophrenics to support the hypothesis that psychopathology may have been a force in the origins of shamanism in that culture.
Health Services Delivery by Shamans: A Local Experience in Pakistan
Department of Psychiatry, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan
Mental health services in Pakistan are still in the developing stages with less than 300 psychiatrists for a population of more than 140.5 million against the background of a low literacy rate, stigma, and the high cost of psychotropic medications that have disturbing side effects. Shamans are alternate therapists in whom people invest faith, and they approach shamans in growing numbers seeking cures from mental ill health. These therapists act as good counselors and in a way help the health system indirectly. Such therapists have a different concept about causations of mental illness and their treatment approaches are unique. This article examines health service delivery by these shamans against the background of Pakistan's socioeconomic system, and also identifies the need for collaboration with these therapists.
To dream, perchance to cure: Dreaming and shamanism in a Brazilian Indigenous Society
Drawing on his extensive psychoanalytic ethnographic work among the Parintintin Indians of Brazil, the author discusses the place of dreaming in Parintintin shamanism. In this culture, dreams are spiritually significant, and there are traditional modes of interpreting them. While dream interpretation was formerly the province of shamans, even ordinary people are considered to have the capacity to use dreams to predict events and sense feelings directed toward them. The article deals primarily with the dreams of an informant who was not a shaman but had an intense interest in this practice. Because his birth had not been 'dreamed' by a shaman, he was not considered to be one; nevertheless, he experienced in dreams the cosmic journey of a shaman. While the informants' dreams manifest yearnings in what could be considered stereotypical forms, the author finds that they do express personal meanings and reflect intimate, unconscious wishes. © Bergliahn Journals.
Awakening to dreams
National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysts, Association for the Study of Dreams and the Friends, Institute for Noetic Sciences and Practices Psychoanalysis, New York
The author recounts how shamanic dream incubation and lucid dreaming aided both his psychic healing in therapy and his physical healing of cancer through dream journeying in the imaginal. The imaginal is the realm of spirit and soul to the shaman, the unconscious to Freud, the archetypes of the collective unconscious to Jung, and transitional space between the "me" and "not-me" to Winnicott. © 2006 Blanton-Peale Institute.
Language of original document
Dreaming; Freud; Healing; Jung; Psychoanalysis; Shamanism; Winnicott
"The symbolic efficacy" revisited: Songs of Healing Ayoreo
["A eficácia simbólica" revisitada: Cantos de Cura Ayoreo]
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to consider a specific field of Amerindian knowledge, namely the sarode or curing songs of the Ayoreo of the Gran Chaco, and to try to elucidate some of the taken-for-granted metaphysical assumptions that underlie Ayoreo epistemology. Following the approach taken in Joanna Overing's introduction to Reason and Morality (1985), I will suggest that even these apparently simple, repetitive curing songs have to be understood as part of a broader corpus of "mythical" knowledge and acquire their effectiveness or power, not through suggestion or metaphor but rather by harnessing the power of the "mythical" world of the jnani bajade, the "original beings" that were and still are both Ayoreo and the Ancestors or Masters of the present-day animals, plants and minerals
The politics of shamanism and the limits of fear
[A política do xamanismo e os limites do medo]
Departamento de África, Oceania e Américas, Museu Britânico
The Hoti are a small group of hunter-horticulturalists living in the highlands of central Venezuelan Guiana. In this article I examine Hoti understandings of equality, hierarchy and power and the coercive use of fear by individuals who cultivate a reputation as "Light Ones" - that is people especially skilled in their interaction with the powerful beings of the shamanic environment - a role that is essential for the safety and fertility of the community. Hoti people are highly egalitarian and anti-hierarchical in their moral understandings and for them all power is ambiguous, and all claims to authority can arouse suspicion. For this reason it is very seldom that anyone will claim ability as a shaman, although there is considerable political skill involved in cultivating such a reputation without ever admitting to it directly. The politics of shamanism can be a demanding, dangerous, and sometimes deadly game, as Hoti people are able, through humor, mockery and even violence to limit the capacity of their shamans to accumulate authority and wield power.
Working with the inner animals in visualisation
a Emiliekildevej 52, DK-2930 Klampenborg, Denmark
b Danish Psychological Society for Clinical Hypnosis
This article introduces a method of guided imagery called the Personal Totem Pole Process (PTPP), which is a unique blend of Jungian active imagination, the chakra system, and ancient shamanism. The work with "inner animals" is crucial to this method. Applications to therapeutic work with various clients are discussed. Additional information about some aspects of this approach is supplied by Dr June Henry at the end of the article.
Inclusion of alternative and complementary therapies in CACREP training programs: A survey
Department of Counseling and Human Services, St. Mary's University, San Antonio, TX 78228-8527, United States
AbstractGiven a heightened focus within the mental health profession on creative, complementary, and alternative practices, the authors surveyed CACREP programs with respect to their inclusion of such approaches in counselor training. For the purpose of this study, these approaches were designated as complementary and alternative methods (CAM) and defined as those therapeutic practices that fall outside of the established traditional realm of medical, psychiatric, and psychological practice (hypnotherapy, breath work, meditation, Qigong, Reiki, Thought Field Therapy, etc.). Sixty-two programs responded. Over half (54%) stated that they currently include these approaches in course offerings. This article includes a discussion of creativity, expressive arts, and energy psychology as they relate to complementary and alternative therapies in mental health and medicine.