The Background Of Shamanism Theology Religion Essay

Shamanism is a huge element in most traditional religions, some of such as the Africans, Local Americans, many parts of Asia, and also other cultures. Although the definition of an shaman differs from one region to the next, the overall dictionary description of a shaman is "A member of certain tribal societies who acts as a medium between the noticeable world and a low profile soul world and who tactics magic or sorcery for purposes of therapeutic, divination, and control over natural incidents. " The term "shaman" started in the Mongol and Turkish area and it is translated literally as "person who recognizes" which connects to their knowledge of the ways to manipulate spirits and magic. With Shamanism being involved in a wide variety of ethnicities, it's difficult to provide it just one classification, so in this newspaper I will proceed through some of the cultures and explain their specific meaning of shamanism and the various aspects involved in African traditional religions.

African Shamanism

There are numerous different facets to African shamanism. The main meaning of shamanism in Africa has a good connotation and usually entails manipulation of spirits or earthly chemicals to heal, direct, or do beneficial help others. A number of the specific names of the shamans are rainmakers or heaven herders, herbalists or medicine men, and diviners. Not absolutely all people use their resources for good works, so when a shaman commences using his or her techniques for evil doings, then they acquire the name of witch or sorcerer. Such is the truth generally in most other ethnicities as well.

There are two distinctive traditional religions in Africa-Zulu and Yoruba. They have got many similarities as well as dissimilarities. The Zulu stick usually to the hillsides because of their geographical location, and subsequently consider hills to get spiritual value. Because hillsides have such special meaning, the Zulu build their towns, or kraals, on the hillsides in a round development with the gates facing east (do to need for sunlight), the herd in the center of the kraal, and the headman, known as the umnumzane, is on the west area of the kraal. The umnumzane has a whole lot of impact on the tribe. He keeps the political, sociable and religious head roles over the whole tribe, and is usually a diviner.

"The headman of each Zulu kraal is the chief standard of the village and also that person most directly in charge of the performance of the ritual operates expected of most Zulu, especially the ones that address the ancestors. " Besides dealing with disputes or making decisions within his kraal, one of the umnumzane's main functions is connection with the ancestors. He'll perform all the rituals and might be found to please the ancestors for everybody within his kraal. The ancestors play a huge part in Zulu beliefs so the role of the umnumzane is very important. People want to keep carefully the ancestors happy in order that they will continue to have fortune in their lives. Corresponding to most African traditional religions, the ancestors do not cause misfortune, but other people do.

The authority system is quite similar in the Yoruba tribes. Their politics, social and religious innovator is one and the same, but instead than having funds over a hillside where in fact the rituals involve every one of the community under one innovator, the religious responsibilities are placed on the top of the family, or the olori ebi, and that person will the communication with the ancestors, and retains them happy and such. Each family has it's own shrine. The city still gets jointly all together to perform religious ceremonies, but it is more centered on the family.

Divination can be used to determine solutions to problems, to depict reasons of misfortune, or even to predict the future. Inside the Zulu culture, diviners must be called by means of a wish or perspective that is accompanied by aches, pains, or other bodily dysfunctions. Anyone may become a diviner, although typically women take up the positioning. Once called, the person will need to be trained by a skilled diviner. The Yoruba are a lttle bit different using their diviner. They have a priestly cast, and one area of the caste called the Orunmila specifically use divination techniques to contact one particular god for answers. Just like the Zulu though, the one that will become a diviner will proceed through considerable training from an experienced diviner.

Diviners in both circumstances have many means of doing their work. They can use elements such as normal water, flames, bones, sticks, etc. to find their answers, and with these things, they may have created method of interpreting the signs or symptoms from each. In a few circumstances, the diviners will allow themselves to be in a trance that allows them to talk to the spirits, or even be possessed by the spirits and discover the answers because of their clients, but usually the diviners will be the ones manipulating the spirits and getting their knowledge rather than being utilized by the spirits. Once people have determined what their problem is from the diviner, then they go to a herbalist for a remedy. Herbalists could easily be translated to doctors and serve the same role in both the Zulu and Yoruba. These were trained to know well which herbal remedies or remedies proved helpful for the various circumstances. Part of the traditional religions is the fact spirits live in many of the nature elements, and so herbalists used this theology in their works as well. They would use certain plants or locations as a result of spiritual elements included, and would manipulate the spirits so to treat their client. "Whereas most diviners are women, most herbalists are men. Knowledge of drugs is usually handed down from daddy to child. " Along with the passed on knowledge, herbalists were always available to new information. This consists of natural information, as well as religious insights.

Another form of nature manipulation in the Zulu is the izinyanga ezulu, or "heaven herders. " Heaven herders are always men, and also have to be called for some reason by the Sky God. Their job is to control where storms and such go. They may be reported to be disciples of the Sky God, as well as a medium between your people and the Sky God. With cattle and agriculture being truly a huge part of the Zulu culture, it makes sense that the sky is dealt with as cattle are, and that the weather needs to be controlled for the sake of those who own raise crops to feed people. The Yoruba carry no such position, although they do also worship an identical god using their priestly solid.

"They (diviners) are not really the only supernaturally encouraged helpers people consider for advice. Many consuld mediums who communicate with spirits while in a trance. Some may be possessed only once or twice in their life time, but others promise to maintain regular contact with one or more 'familiars' they can identify by name. " The Yoruba called these people elegun. On the list of Zulu, only the diviner could do such, but the with the Yoruba, anyone could be used as a medium; they did not have to be a diviner.

The Yoruba likewise have people who are called the egungun. The egungun are masked dancers that perform for the ancestors. They have special masks that are linked spiritually to the ancestors and are thought to have great electricity. Only men are allowed to be egungun, apart from one woman, who is the director or dresser. One has to earn the title of egungun by going right through a certain process.

While almost all of those positions are extremely open to the public and or the nice of the community, some people misuse their skills. Such people are called witches or sorcerers. Because the peoples think that the spirits do not cause any injury, all bad things are supposedly an outcome from witches and sorcerers. Based on the Zulu, someone is actually a witch without realizing it. Their very presence would bring misfortune to people around them. In most cases though, in both the Zulu and the Yoruba, the witches are shaman that use their abilities for bad. They twist the system from using their power mischievously. They work secretively, and usually only at nights.

Although seeking to identify between witches and sorcerers is difficult, there are many small method of differing them. Sorcerers have a tendency to work alone while witches will accumulate together during the night and work as a team. Another expected trait of sorcerers is the ability to shape-shift. There one tale of sorcerer luring a woman to fall in love with him. He wanted to marry her, and on their trip back again to his community the quit for the night. During the night he changed into a lion to be able to consume her. Luckily on her behalf, her brother didn't trust the man and adopted them, and proceeded to safeguard his sister from being eaten. Other stories describe sorcerers dealing with the form of your owl for method of escaping their house silently and unknowingly. Another expected characteristic of sorcerers is their potential to work with the undead. They are able to kill a person using their dark magic, and then use the individuals dead body for his or her own use.

Witches are most often depicted as using voodoo, charms and curses. Voodoo will involve acquiring a part of someone, such as a hair, nail, or something of the sort, which is added to a certain object that the witch makes. The area of the person connects these to the witches object, and the witch is able to toy with the person in this way. Charms could be an thing that has been chanted over and "charged" with magic. A charm is actually a piece of newspaper with a chant written onto it that might be worn, or a attraction could simply be a chant itself found in occasions of needed safeguard or other. Frequently, people would get charms to protect themselves from witches' curses. The final main thing that witches use is curses. Curses, hexes, spells, or whatever you might call them, have been a get worried of average people for much longer than background can inform. Often this is a chant said with emotion over the person to bring misfortune on them. They can be spoken within an unknown dialect, which is said to have more effect on the target.

Native North american Shamanism

Native American shamanism is similar in a lot of ways, as well as different in a great deal of ways. Shamans are looked at in a good way, where their work is made for the better of the city. "Each nation had spiritual leaders and healers. . . each one had different values of what practices were done. The Lakota assumed that their religious market leaders were in constant communication with Wakan Tanka or THE FANTASTIC Soul. Their role was to get spiritual enlightenment and secure the tribe's good graces with the soul world. They were healers of the mind and body. " They have got healers-which is the same idea as herbalists-diviners, and mediators, as well as witchcraft. Local People in america have strong ties with pets or animals though.

To the Local Americans, the drugs men aren't so much wonderful in their works, nevertheless they are knowledgeable people who have a larger understanding and like to think. Their natural talents make them suitable to be medicine men. Medication men more often came out in tribes which were able to most probably and exchange thoughts and knowledge with other tribes. Frequently fathers would pass down knowledge to their sons and so the title stayed within the family that way.

The Indigenous American divination methods differed from that of the Africans. They often used celebrities, and things of aspect to determine the answers that were sought. Sometimes they might use a tube, and the answers would come through their opened up head from the smoke. They still used divination just as as the Africans, so use the spirits to find answers for his or her clients.

Witchcraft, however is not the technical title, in the Indigenous American tribes experienced a much different feel though. Instead of voodoo and curses, the Indigenous North american bad shamans worked with charms and animals. The charms again were certain made things that had been charged with electricity, and were used to safeguard the person from wicked and misfortune.

The Native Us citizens had an interesting relationship with pets or animals. "A power pet animal protects you physically and provides you with mental support, knowledge, and essential energy. Some individuals think a electricity pet animal is a soul being that continues with you because it cares for you and enjoys having the ability to experience life in a physical body. Others think a ability animal is a symbol for one's subconscious wisdom. Almost everybody has a electric power pet animal; some have several. (Perhaps you possessed an "invisible creature friend" as a child or have always been fascinated with a particular kind of pet. This animal may be your electric power canine. ) A person may in the course of life lose connection with the power pet animal, thereby getting rid of the animal's protection, wisdom, and energy. If you lose connection with your power canine, you may feel dispirited, you might become unwell easily, or you could be accident-prone. The shamanic curing technique of electric power creature retrieval can restore a person's link with a power pet animal. An individual can also journey to find his or her own power animal. " With this focus on animals, often the bad shamans could be connected shape-shifters that caused issues.

The main bad in Local American beliefs was evil spirits. Which has a idea in the ancestor spirits and animism, the Local Americans had to always keep all the spirits happy, and misfortune was often cause by spirits, thus the necessity for defensive charms and distributed power of canine spirits.


Despite having nominal contact between these 2 civilizations, it is shocking that they promote such similar tasks. On the other hand, this shows the nature of humans over all with paranoia of spirits and misfortune, as well as the esteem for ancestors. Shamanism is a large part of both civilizations, and has many different aspects to it.

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