Sham
   Neo-shamanism is often alleged to be a false shamanism, a pretense or self-delusion based on the wish by colonialists to acquire the metaphorical gold of indigenous spirituality. Early travelers and anthropologists were equally persuaded that Siberian shamans, Native American medicine people, and similar people elsewhere were tricking their communities into believing they had exceptional powers. Allegations that such people were “merely jugglers, sleight-ofhand tricksters and ventriloquists” miss the point that indigenous communities, too, were perfectly able to identify these kinds of tricks. In Gerald Vizenor’s rendition of 19th-century Ojibwe accounts (Summer in the Spring), the term tchissakiwinini is glossed as “jugglers” and “masters of ventriloquism.” The narrator, however, says that “at a given signal all would join in” a chant, and a powerful other-than-human person “had arrived and was ready to listen to and answer any inquiries they had to make.” Similar descriptions of deliberate and open shamming are common elsewhere and can be interpreted as a blend of communal entertainment, preparation, and focusing. Like masks and costumes, shamming also served to help the community pay less attention to the presence of the shaman and more to the activities of shamanizing. Unfortunately, much of the shamming of shamanism appears to have been abandoned (shammed, perhaps) under the influence of modernist colonization. However, the mockery of shamans in Soviet pedagogical satires, and the pseudo-shamanic rituals-as-theater in the cultural revitalization movements in postSoviet republics, can be perceived as genuine moments of shamanic performance that restore the traditional sham to shamanizing.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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  • Sham — may refer to:* Sham (horse), American Thoroughbred horse born in 1970 who won multiple graded stakes races * Sham, Alpha Sagittae star * Sham (Arabic: شام), al Sham, or Bilad al Sham, a region in the Middle East partially including Syria, Lebanon …   Wikipedia

  • sham — 1 / sham/ n: something that is false, deceptive, misleading, or otherwise not genuine sham 2 adj: not genuine: intended to mislead or deceive: false illusory the sale for one dollar was a sham transfer of property Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of… …   Law dictionary

  • Sham — Sham, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Shammed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shamming}.] 1. To trick; to cheat; to deceive or delude with false pretenses. [1913 Webster] Fooled and shammed into a conviction. L Estrange. [1913 Webster] 2. To obtrude by fraud or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sham — /sham/, n., adj., v., shammed, shamming. n. 1. something that is not what it purports to be; a spurious imitation; fraud or hoax. 2. a person who shams; shammer. 3. a cover or the like for giving a thing a different outward appearance: a pillow… …   Universalium

  • Sham — (sh[a^]m), n. [Originally the same word as shame, hence, a disgrace, a trick. See {Shame}, n.] 1. That which deceives expectation; any trick, fraud, or device that deludes and disappoints; a make believe; delusion; imposture; humbug. A mere sham …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sham — adj being a treatment or procedure that is performed as a control and that is similar to but omits a key therapeutic element of the treatment or procedure under investigation <sham surgery, in which doctors make an incision in a patient s knee …   Medical dictionary

  • Sham — Sham, a. False; counterfeit; pretended; feigned; unreal; as, a sham fight. [1913 Webster] They scorned the sham independence proffered to them by the Athenians. Jowett (Thucyd) [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sham — puede referirse a: País de Sham, una región histórico cultural de Oriente Medio. Sham, nombre de la estrella α Sagittae. Esta página de desambiguación cataloga artículos relacionados con el mismo título. Si llegaste aquí a través de …   Wikipedia Español

  • sham — (n.) 1670s, a trick, a hoax, a fraud, perhaps from sham, a northern dialectal variant of SHAME (Cf. shame) (q.v.). Sense of Something meant to be mistaken for something else is from 1728. The meaning in pillow sham (1721) is from the notion of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • sham# — sham n *imposture, cheat, fake, humbug, fraud, deceit, deception, counterfeit Analogous words: *pretense, pretension, make believe: *trick, ruse, feint, wile, gambit, ploy sham vb feign, simulate, counterfeit, pretend, *assume, affect Analogous… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • sham — [adj] artificial, counterfeit adulterated, affected, assumed, bogus*, dummy, ersatz*, fake, false, feigned, fictitious, forged, fraudulent, imitation, lying, make believe, misleading, mock, phony, plaster*, pretend, pretended, pseudo*, simulated …   New thesaurus

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