Shamanism (Story)

A shaman ("oyuun" in Yakut) is a mediator between deities and spirits, with the help of which oyuun helped people. Despite the honors, a shaman's fate was difficult and not the most enviable. The one chosen for such a role was visited by spirits and persuaded to accept his share - the shaman's share.

One of the most important moments of a person's conversion to a shaman was the cutting of the body, the so-called "ettanii". Everything began with a serious illness of the applicant, then spirits came to the man in a dream, cut off his head, put him on a stake, cut the body into small pieces and put them in different directions. According to some researchers, the spirits thus counted the bones of the applicant, if they were not enough, the person might not become a shaman. According to another version, the spirits chewed up the pieces, and they had to get them for everyone present.

  In the Verkhnevilyuisky ulus there lived a boy named Orosu, frail and sickly. Once near a lake he met three riders "on horses of red color with a white stripe on their muzzles". The boy tried to hide from them, but they caught him, cut off his head, and put him on a stake.

"Despite this unusual position, however, the head continued to see and hear. The remaining body was chopped into pieces by the horsemen and began to put aside "..." each time saying that it was destined for some spirit. When all the pieces were thus distributed, the people said that there was not enough spirit sickness to relax. Then all the pieces were put together, the head was taken off, and it was put to the torso. The oroso became the same as it had been before. 

  Another shaman recounted each stage of his initiation in some detail. According to his story, he was constantly seeing things, "tearing at his body with his teeth" from the suffering, but he could not decide to commit suicide and was sick for three years. "When I woke up, my stomach was bloating, my bones were breaking, and I could not find rest for the whole day from the unbearable suffering. I began to go off in different directions without any purpose. My family sought me out and found me after three or four days, lying there with no memory. When I came to my senses, I remembered that I was walking on all fours, imitating wolves and bears, digging worms out of the ground, catching vermin: lizards, mice - and eating them. According to him, he refused to become a shaman, but in the third year he did pick up a tambourine and a mallet. Since then he stopped being sick.

  So that's a summary of shamanism.


You must be logged in to post a comment.