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Shamans Through Time : 500 Years on the Path To Knowledge (01 Edition)


Shamans Through Time : 500 Years on the Path To Knowledge (01 Edition) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

A survey of five centuries of writings on the world's great shamans-the tricksters, sorcerers, conjurers, and healers who have fascinated observers for centuries.

This collection of essays traces Western civilization's struggle to interpret and understand the ancient knowledge of cultures that revere magic men and women-individuals with the power to summon spirits. As written by priests, explorers, adventurers, natural historians, and anthropologists, the pieces express the wonder of strangers in new worlds. Who were these extraordinary magic-makers who imitated the sounds of animals in the night, or drank tobacco juice through funnels, or wore collars filled with stinging ants?

Shamans Through Time is a rare chronicle of changing attitudes toward that which is strange and unfamiliar. With essays by such acclaimed thinkers as Claude Lévi-Strauss, Black Elk, Carlos Castaneda, and Frank Boas, it provides an awesome glimpse into the incredible shamanic practices of cultures around the world.

About the Author

Jeremy Narby is the author of The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. Francis Huxley's books include Affable Savages, The Invisibles, The Way of the Sacred, The Dragon, and The Eye.

Table of Contents

Note to Readers

Introduction: Five Hundred Years of Shamans and Shamanism - Jeremy Narby and Francis Huxley

Part One: The Christian View: "Ministers of the Devil"

1. "Devil Worship: Consuming Tobacco to Receive Messages from Nature" (1535) - Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo

2. "Ministers of the Devil Who Learn About the Secrets of Nature" (1557) - André Thévet

3. "Evoking the Devl: Fasting with Tobacco to Learn How to Cure" (1664) - Antoine Biet

4. The Shaman: "A Villain of a Magician Who Calls Demons" (1672) - Avvakum Petrovich

Part Two: The Humanist View Becomes Rationalist: From "Esteemed Jugglers" to "Imposters"

5. "The Savages Esteem Their Jugglers" (1724) - Joseph François Lafitau

6. "Shamans Deserve Perpetual Labor for Their Hocus-Pocus" (1751) - Johann Georg Gmelin

7. "Blinded by Superstition" (1755) - Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov

8. "Shamans Are Imposters Who Claim They Consult the Devil—And Who Are Sometimes Close to the Mark" (1765) - Denis Diderot and colleagues

9. Misled Imposters and the Power of Imagination (1785) - Johann Gottfried Herder

Part Three: Enter Anthropologists

10. Animism Is the Belief in Spiritual Beings (1871) - Edward B. Tylor

11. A White Man Goes to a Peaiman (1883) - Everard F. Im Tburn

12. The Angakoq Uses a Peculiar Language and Defines Taboos (1887) - Franz Boas

13. The-Man-Who-Fell-from-Heaven Shamanizes Despite Persecution (1896) - Wenceslas Sieroshevski

14. Shamanism Is a Dangerously Vague Word (1903) - Arnold Van Gennep

15. "Doomed to Inspiration" (1904) - Waldemar Bogoras

16. Ventriloquist and Trickster Performances for Healing and Divination (1908) - Vladimir Ilich Jochelson

17. "A Motley Class of Persons" (1908) - Roland B. Dixon

18. Seeking Contact with Spirits Is Not Necessarily Shamanism (1910) - Franz Boas

19. "The Shaman Practices on the Verge of Insanity" (1914) - Marie Antoinette Czaplicka

Part Four: The Understanding Deepens

20. Near-Death Experience (1929) Ivalo and Knud Rasmussen

21. Seeking Knowledge in the Solitude of Nature (1930) - Igjugârjuk and Knud Rasmussen

22. Summoning the Spirits for the First Time (1932) - Black Elk and John G. Neihardt

23. The Shaman's Assistant (1935) - Sergei M. Shirokogoroff

24. Shamans Charm Game (1938) - Willard Z. Park

25. Climbing the Twisted Ladder to Initiation (1944) - Alfred Métraux

26. Aboriginal Doctors Are Outstanding People (1945) - Adolphus Peter Elkin

27. Shamans as Psychoanalysts (1949) - Claude Lévi-Strauss

28. Using Invisible Substances for Good and Evil (1949) - Alfred Métraux

29. The Shamanin Performs a Public Service with Grace and Energy (1955) - Verrier Elwin

30. "The Shaman Is Mentally Deranged" (1956) - George Devereux

31. Clever Cords and Clever Men (1957) Ronald Rose

32. Singing Multifaceted Songs (1958) - Vilmos Diószegi

33. !Kung Medicine Dance (1962) - Lorna Marshall

Part Five: The Observers Take Part

34. Smoking Huge Cigars (1956) - Francis Huxley

35. "I Was a Disembodied Eye Poised in Space" (1957) - R. Gordon Wasson

36. Fear, Clarity, Knowledge, and Power (1968) - Carlos Castaneda

37. "I Found Myself Impaled on the Axis Mundi" (1974) - Barbara Myerhoff

38. A Shaman Loses Her Elevation by Interacting with Observers (1977) - Maria Sahina and Alvaro Estrada

39. "I Felt Like Socrates Accepting the Hemlock" (1980) - Michael Harner

40. Experiencing the Shaman's Symphony to Understand It (1987) - Holger Kalweit

Part Six: Gathering Evidence on a Multifaceted Phenomenon

41. A Washo Shaman's Helpers (1967) - Don Handelman

42. Magic Darts, Bewitching Shamans, and Curing Shamans (1968) - Michael Harner

43. "Remarkably Good Theater" (1973) - John T. Hitchcock

44. Two Kinds of Japanese Shamans: The Medium and the Ascetic (1975) - Carmen Blacker

45. Music Alone Can Alter a Shaman's Consciousness, Which Itself Can Destroy Tape Recorders (1975) - Dale A. Olsen

46. Shamans Are Intellectuals, Translators, and Shrewd Dealers (1975) - Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff

47. Shamans, Caves, and the Master of Animals (1979) - Walter Burkert

48. "Plant Teachers" (1984) - Luis Eduardo Luna

49. A Shaman Endures the Temptation of Sorcery (and Publishes a Book) (1990) - Fernando Payaguaje

50. Interview with a Killing Shaman (1992) - Ashok and Peter Skafte

51. Invisible Projectiles in Africa (1994) - Malidoma Patrice Somé

Part Seven: Global Knowledge and Indigenous Knowledge Come Together and Remain Apart

52. Science and Magic, Two Roads to Knowledge (1962) - Claude Lévi-Strauss

53. Shamans, "Spirits," and Mental Imagery (1987) - Richard Noll

54. Dark Side of the Shaman (1989) - Michael F. Brown

55. Shamans Explore the Human Mind (1990) - Roger Walsh

56. Training to See What the Natives See (1992) - Edith Turner

57. "Twisted Language," a Technique for Knowing (1993) - Graham Townsley

58. Magic Darts as Viruses (1993) - Jean-Pierre Chaumeil

59. Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble: Tourists and Pseudo-Shamans (1994) - Marlene Dobkin de Rios

60. Shamans and Ethics in a Global World (1995) - Eleanor Ott

61. Shamans as Botanical Researchers (1995) - Wade Davis

62. Shamanism and the Rigged Marketplace (1995) - Piers Vitebsky

63. An Ethnobotanist Dreams of Scientists and Shamans Collaborating (1998) - Glenn H. Shepard

64. Shamans and Scientists (2000) - Jeremy Narby


References and Permissions

Notes on the Editors' Commentaries and Further Reading

Topical Index


About the Editors

Product Details

Narby, Jeremy
Huxley, Francis
Narby, Jeremy
Huxley, Francis
Narby, Jeremy
Alternate Spirituality
Spirituality - General
Spirituality - Shamanism
Anthropology - General
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
9.10x6.32x.89 in. .81 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Shamanism
Metaphysics » Healing
Metaphysics » Shamanism

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