Contrary to popular opinion, a shaman is not an Indian medicine man, and shamanism is not a Native American religion. In fact, many Native Americans find the terms shaman and shamanism offensive. The word "shaman" actually originates among the natives of Siberia, where it describes a specialized type of holy person. I think it is a misconception when we associate shamanism with Native Americans. This is what I have always heard. I do beleive that it is a term ,like you mentioned, is a misused term that describes the vastness of all of the different Native American beleifs.
I hope this helps.
Re: Shamanism/Native American By: RhiSabelle / Novice
Post # 3 Nov 26, 2014
That is the post I found, (you practially copied and pasted straight from it). That's why I'm asking the question though, because I'm not sure whether studying Shamanism will actually give me a good idea about what the Native Americans believed.
I am native American and I call myself a shaman, however that's because I practice native American medicine men techniques as well as other practices. I can't really call myself a medicine man because I don't belong to a tribe and use other cultural practices. Its true that native Americans prefer to be called medicine man and many practices they do are passed down to others and that will be the only way you learn.
Yes, please forgive my carelessness, I forgot to site it.
http://www.angelfire.com/journal/cathbodua/Shamanism.html. Thats strange, because my post said more than what is there right now. It does that to me sometimes:|
Actually, according to documentaries upon this subject, Shamans were mainly Indians, it really doesn't matter what they called themselves back in those times, a lot of Native tribes had Shamans, mostly they were the elders, but I am not 100% on that. I know that I believe when America was killing countless of Indians, there was a tribe that predicted the death of themselves, because of their tribe shaman. On any cases, I am not saying that all tribes had Shamans, but in actuallity, Indians for the longest time, didn't want evolution, they liked to live off the land.
If Native American culture/religion is what you want then make sure what you study is at least coming from someone who is apart of a Native tribe. There are some tribes that adopt people into their culture, I think the Cherokee nation does this but don't quote me. I have actually received emails of the black foot tribe taking in some "students" to learn their ways in healing and medicine. Look into which tribes, maybe the tribes you have a blood line with, and see if they do take part in accepting outsiders and adopting them into their tribe.
Re: Shamanism/Native American By: Star.Child / Novice
Post # 9 Feb 10, 2015
Kwai (hello). They are called holy ones, not shamans. They are the ones that have visions, and do some healing. And that tribe that knew of destruction was Navaho, though some survived. I am of northeast tribe, too. Because they were the first to interact with whites, there is not much in the way of info, though I have found some. My tribe taught of the three sisters planting; planting corn, squash, and beans together. And yes, few survivors of tribes were adopted into other tribes. Some were even split due to so-called land management. Great Spirit, Mother Earth, and Father Sky seem to be the main in most northeastern tribes. But they do talk to their ancestors in the stars. They make stories, like we do, to teach the young ones, and for entertainment. Much of the bad is blamed on tricksters. More info is available through research, This is just what comes to me at the moment.
So the actual orgin of the word Shaman that has been cited is correct. According to anthropologists the practice for lack of a better word of a Shaman can be traced back to some of the earliest civilizations and found in most early cultures through out the world. This is using the same criteria of meaning for the word and involves more then just healing. While each culture does have slightly different practices they all meet the same basic criteria. Some people believe it was one of the earliest practices known to man but I have never found a actual article stating this.