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The Beauty of the PrimitiveShamanism and Western Imagination$
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Andrei A. Znamenski

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172317.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2019

 Neurotics to Tribal Psychoanalysts

 Neurotics to Tribal Psychoanalysts

Shamans through the Eyes of Psychology

Chapter:
(p.79) 3 Neurotics to Tribal Psychoanalysts
Source:
The Beauty of the Primitive
Author(s):

Andrei A. Znamenski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172317.003.0003

This chapter looks at shamanism from a psychological perspective. Eighteenth- and 19th-century explorers of Siberia and arctic North America frequently mentioned what appeared to them as extreme nervousness and mental instability of indigenous populations. European observers noted that trivial things or movements, such as a sudden exclamation, an unexpected move, a knock, or a bird flying nearby, sometimes easily drove native northerners to what such writers called hysterical fits. To the Western explorers, such scenes looked abnormal. So did incidents of natives running away to the woods or mountains and remaining there for a few days. This chapter looks at the experience of Russian ethnographer Waldemar Bogoras, who conducted research among the Chukchi and Yupik natives, the indigenous inhabitants of the northeast of Siberia. Shamanism became an important part of his observations. According to his accounts, the shamans he encountered were a weird, abnormal, or at least irritable folk.

Keywords:   shamanism, neurosis, psychoanalysis, ethnography, Waldemar Bogoras, mental disorder

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