“The source of good forces is located in the east...”: Yakut (Sakha) Shamans’ Concepts about the Universe and Spiritual Beings
This paper deals with the concept of the universe and belief in spiritual beings among contemporary Sakha (Yakut) shamans. It is based on field data collected in 1994 among several shamans of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). Since Soviet atheistic policy prohibited shamanic traditions, the idea of the universe and spiritual beings varies depending on the shaman’s own interpretations based on his or her own supernatural experiences. The paper argues that the concepts of spiritual beings reintegrated into a new worldview, and that animistic beliefs can be formed by an interpretation of individual experiences. This also suggests that the belief in spiritual beings is closely related to a shaman’s tradition and influences its forms.
Balzer, M. M. (1996). Changing Images of the Shaman: Folklore and Politics in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Shaman, Vol. 4, No. 1–2, pp. 3–16.
Czaplicka, M. A. (1914). Aboriginal Siberia. 374р. Oxford, The Clarendon Press.
Gogolev A. I. (1994). Mifologicheskij mir Yakutov: Bozhestva i duhi-pokroviteli. [Mythological World of the Yakuts Deities and Spirits-Protectors]. 29 p. Yakutsk, Respublikanskij centr kul′tury′ i iskusstva imeni A. E. Kulakovskogo.
Harva, U. (transl. by Katsuhiko Tanaka). (1989). Die Religiosen Vorstellungen der Altaischen Volker. Tokyo, Sanseido.
Jochelson, W. (1933). The Yakut. New York. (Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History. Vol. 33. Pt. 2).
Program and Abstracts of the 10th Conference of the International Society for Shamanistic Research: Shamanhood and Its Art, Warsaw, 5–9 October 2011. (2011). 96 p. Warsaw.
Romanova, E. (1993). Ojunnara [Oyunnara]. In Ojunn: sbornik po yakutskomu shamanizmu (pp. 7–9). Yakutsk, Yakutskij institut yazy′ka, literatury′ i istorii. (In Yakut).
Romanova, E. (1994). Yakutskij prazdnik Y′sy′ah: istoki i predstavleniya [Yakut Festival Ysyakh]. 159 p. Novosibirsk, Nauka.
Rozwadowski, A. (2014). In Search of Shamanic Themes in Eastern Siberian Rock Art (Yakutis/ Sakha Republic), Shaman, Vol. 22, No. 1–2, pp. 96–118.
Suzdalov-Sappalaj, I. A. (1993). Ajj Ojuuna [Ayii Oyuuna]. In Ojunn: sbornik po yakutskomu shamanizmu (pр. 47–50). Yakutsk, Yakutskij institut yazy′ka, literatury′ i istorii. (In Yakut).
Yamada, Takako. (1993). Spirit Possession and Shamanism among the Ladakhi in Western Tibet. In Mihály, H. & Howard, K. (Eds.). Shamans and Cultures (pp. 214–222). Budapest, Akadémiai Kiadó.
Yamada, Takako. (1994a). アイヌの世界観－「ことば」から読む自然と宇宙 [The World-View of the Ainu]. 278 p. Tokyo, Koudansha. (In Japanese).
Yamada, Takako. (1994b). Animals as the Intersection of Religion with Ecology: An Ainu Example. In Irimoto, T. & Yamada T. (Eds.). Circumpolar Religion and Ecology: An Anthropology of the North (pp. 68–108). Tokyo, University of Tokyo Press.
Yamada, Takako. (1997). The Concept of Universe and Spiritual Beings Among Contemporary Yakut Shamans: The Revitalization of Animistic Belief and Shamanic Tradition. In Circumpolar Animism and Shamanism (pp. 207–228). Hokkaido, Hokkaido University Press.
Zola, L. (2012). The Revival of Shamanism, Shamans, and Contemporary Art: The Case of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Shaman, Vol. 20, No. 1–2, pp. 157–174.