Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Shaman in Atheist China (video)

Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; and , The Guardian, 9-20-13
Dancing shaman and trance-inducing drum (

The Guardian (3:09 mins) Music: "Boomborai" by Anda Union

Native American shaman (Richard Noll)
A former herder reveals the perils of being a shaman as he tells of his life and work in the mining boom town of Xi Wuqi in atheist China.
Erdemt is a 54-year-old former herder and, since 2009, a shaman.
In China's autonomous region of Mongolia, he is considered a healer and an intermediary between the human and spirit worlds.
But his religious position under the rule of the officially "atheist" Chinese state is increasingly precarious.
Earliest known depiction of a Siberian shaman -- by Dutch explorer Nicolaes Witsen, who authored an account of his travels among Samoyedic- and Tungusic-speaking peoples in 1692.
Mongolian shaman
Mongolian shaman Erdemt in ritual
If Erdemt looks like a Native American shaman, it is because the exact same tradition crossed over the Bering Straits at some point. And many of the ancient Buddhist and pre-Buddhist shramanic and shamanic traditions continued in the "New World."
In fact, shamans are strikingly alike across the cultures of the world. They serve the same function among native peoples, connecting them to the unseen world and keeping their groups alive in inhospitable environments.
Shamans link neighboring planes of existence in indigenous societies (

No comments: