- A significant role for shamans in many indigenous cultures, part of their mediatory and political functions. Shamans may engage with particular animals, plants, birds, fish, and similar other-than-human persons on whom their communities rely (especially for food) in order to guarantee the availability of future “resources.” Examples include Batak shamans’ participatory role in dispersing honey and rice, Sakha (Yakut) shamans’ knowledge of the whereabouts of reindeer, and Inuit shamans’ mediation with animals who may have been offended and refuse to give themselves to hunters. This shamanic role is generally overlooked, misunderstood, or taken to be merely symbolic or “spiritual,” by many commentators, especially neo-shamans.
Historical dictionary of shamanism. Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis. 2007.
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