- A subdivision of Oceania or the Pacific Islands (along with Polynesia and Melanesia), inclusive of more than 2,000 islands east of the Philippines. Like the other subdivisions, it does not always refer to clear cultural or geographical distinctions. Among references to shamans in the region is a Chamorro trickster tale (retold by Bo Flood) in which a shaman called Lepe’ pee’ l mo’ng defeats a cannibal monster having first brewed a protective potion. Combat against malevolent beings is also important in Ifaluk, where shamans are required to exorcise possessed patients or clients and thereby restore social harmony (as discussed by Melford Spiro). The possessing agents are ghosts whose malevolence continues from their bad character during life. Shamans are aided by beneficent ghosts (again, those who established themselves as good people during life). As among the Chewong of Malaysia, Ifaluk shamanic stories and activities serve to encourage people to be cooperative, helpful, and sharing rather than aggressive and greedy.
Historical dictionary of shamanism. Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis. 2007.
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