Synopses & Reviews
First published in 1951, Shamanism soon became the standard work in the study of this mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. Writing as the founder of the modern study of the history of religion, Romanian émigré--scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) surveys the practice of Shamanism over two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia--where Shamanism was first observed--to North and South America, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and beyond. In this authoritative survey, Eliade illuminates the magico-religious life of societies that give primacy of place to the figure of the Shaman--at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, priest, mystic, and poet. Synthesizing the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology, Shamanism will remain for years to come the reference book of choice for those intrigued by this practice.
Shamanism is preeminently a religious phenomenon of Siberia and Central Asia; throughout this vast area, the magico-religious life of society centers on the figure of the shaman, at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, psychopomp, priest, mystic, and poet. The same phenomena and techniques occur elsewhere in Asia, in Oceania, in the Americas, and among the ancient Indo-European peoples.
Writing as a historian of religion, Eliade synthesizes the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology to study the figure of the shaman, at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, psychopomp, priest, mystic, and poet.
Bibliography: p. -569.
Table of Contents
Forward to the 2004 Edition xi
Note on Othography xxix
CHAPTER 1: General Considerations. Recruiting Methods. Shamanism and Mystical Vocation 3
CHAPTER 2: Initiatory Sickness and Dreams 33
CHAPTER 3: Obtaining Shamanic Powers 67
CHAPTER 4: Shamanic Initiation 110
CHAPTER 5: Symbolism of the Shaman's Costume and Drum 145
CHAPTER 6: Shamanism in Central and North Asia: I. Celestial Ascents. Descents to the Underworld 181
CHAPTER 7: Shamanism in Central and North Asia: II. Magial Cures. The Shaman as Psychopomp 215
CHAPTER 8: Shamanism and Cosmology 259
CHAPTER 9: Shamanism in North and South America 288
CHAPTER 10: Southeast Asian and Oceanian Shamanism 337
CHAPTER 11: Shamanic Ideologies and Techniques among the Indo-Europeans 375
CHAPTER 12: Shamanic Symbolisms and Techniques in Tibet, China, and the Far East 428
CGAPTER 13: Parallel Myths, Symbols, and Rites 466
CHAPTER 14: Conclusion 495
List of Works Cited 513