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107. Placings For Spirits And Varia

Among all groups the shamans have special placings for the spirits. These can be divided into permanent and temporary ones. Here I shall confine myself only to a short description of the permanent placings, the temporary ones being reserved for treatment at the corresponding places in the description of performances.

Among the Permanent placings we can distinguish those which are common to all people of the given group and those which are particular to the shamans. The first group has already been described, so that it can now be pointed out that the shamans usually have placings for their clan spirits, which may be large in size and carefully made.

Among the Reindeer Tungus of Transbaikalia. In addition to a great number of bada, there are special wooden placings for various dayachan («master», vide Section 41), such as that of the bear and others. Without their help the shaman «may perish». During performances the placings are hung up at a post or at one of the poles of the wigwam. Apparently some of these placings (sevak'i) are transmitted from one shaman to another. I have seen some of them which were over one hundred years old.

Among the Khingan Tungus I have carefully examined the contents of a box with placings of a female shaman and I have found out that, besides the ordinary malu (kangan) of a larger size than usual, there were Chinese pictures of the Taoistic complex, pictures of various Bodhisattvas, etc., as well as several placings for burkan (apparently jerga and others) and a wooden «tiger».

Almost all shamans among the Tungus of Manchuria have a wooden face deregde (cf. bada) ornamented with glass beads, hair and moustaches. The «face» is attached to the costume only during the shamanizing, when the spirit malu is called in. When the shaman wants the spirit to come in he may also put deregde over his face, and all manifestations of malu (there are at least twelve) may then come into the shaman, for they know that the principal one is in [591].

Together with the placings for spirits tallies must be mentioned, which are used by all shamans of Manchuria. A tally is a wooden stick, sometimes three-angular in cross section, with marks made with a knife, for keeping records of the number of times every spirit has come. One day I saw twenty-six marks of the principal spirit (a female manifestation) which had come to a female-shaman (Khingan Tungus); in other cases the number was smaller. There may be several tallies, if the record is kept of several spirits. The tally may sometimes be supplied with a carved anthropomorphic image. It Is kept with the placings.

Among the Tungus of Transbaikalia there is a special symbol of the earth (dunda), made of chamois, between ten and twelve centimetres wide and from ten to fifteen metres long, so that it may be fixed in the interior of the wigwam on the walls the tail and the head being connected. There are really a head and a tail. It is called javdar (Javdar is the plural of javdan). This term in Tungus may be connected with jabdan (Neg. Sch.) -«the snake» tavjan-jabjan (Bir. Kum.) [jabjan (Manchu Writ. Sp) — the boa-constructor (vide supra)] [592]. Images of human beings various animals and reindeer usually painted or affixed may be seen on the javdar. Together with the latter there are two kulin («snakes») which maintain the Earth in the ocean and which are symbolized in the form of long (the same as javdar) twisted thongs covered either with cloth or with chamois and supplied with eyes and mouths made of glass beads and with tails of chamois split into two or three strips. The snakes are put round the wigwam together with the javdar.

Among the Khingan Tungus the javdar is made of cloth and to the same purpose. They are much poorer than those among the Reindeer Tungus and they may even be reduced to a narrow strip without any design. Among the Birarchen tabjan — «the boa constrictor — plays a part in the shamanism.

Various instruments are used by the Manchu shamans. Such ones are e.g. halberds, swords, tridents, war-axes, arrows etc. When the shaman introduces into himself one of the spirits of the groups mangi, baturi, and others, he uses weapons and instruments characteristic of these manifestations. This group of paraphernalia is an imitation of the Chinese actors performing theatrical pieces and of Chinese pictures of various spirits. Some of them are even not met within the Manchu complex. They do not exist in the complex of the Northern Tungus paraphernalia and in the Manchu complex they are looked upon by the Manchus themselves as elements of a secondary importance. In fact shamans sometimes use these paraphernalia when they wish to produce an impression on the audience; but at least at present most of the shamans do not use them at all.

Besides the above described musical instruments used by p'oyun saman, as well as some special utensils used by the Man-chus and Tungus described in the sections dealing with the sacrifices the Tungus and Manchus have no more special sha-manistic paraphernalia [593].

591. It seems to have been identified as the «sun» by the early travellers, which is wrong. The greatest popularity of masks in Asia is observed among the Koriaks (cf. W. Jochelson, The Koriaks). Still more numerous are masks among the groups of North America, e.g. the Tlinghites (cf. S. A. Sternberg Materiaux du Musee concernant le chamanisme des Tlinghites in Publ. M A. E. Vol. VI, 1927 pp. 79-115 in Russian). Since S. A. Sternberg points out some characters of distinction between the American and Siberian costumes, I want to make some remarks. She points out that the Tlinghit costume has no iron parts, while they abound in the Siberian costumes. But we have seen that the Manchu costume, the Birarchen costume, and even the Reindeer Tungus bird-costume may have not a single iron piece. Moreover the iron was only recently introduced in America S. A. Sternberg says «the iron is here substituted by bone and only partly by brass» (p. 113). She points out the presence of trinkets and says that the drumming is done by the shaman's relatives and guests, which is not typical of Asia. This is also not correct. We have seen that castanets are used in the Manchu complex; at some moment the drumming must be done by other people among all Tungus. As has been stated «masks» are also met with in Siberia. The otter is met with in the Tungus shamanism (Birarchen). True, the neck-lace is lacking in most of the Asiatic costumes, but this is the only distinction of importance. In fact, the style of ornament and an evident fusion of «shamanism» with the «totemistic complex» are an original and local phenomenon. However, it is most evident that in different complexes of shamanism we always meet with «local» phenomena; so to meet with some «local» phenomena in America is still more natural. It should be noted that masks are used in shamanism only in particular cases. It is very likely that in the shamanism of the Manchus and that of some other groups masks were formerly used much more than now. But, the masks in the Tlinghit complex may have another «origin», i.e. an adaptation of an American complex to the needs of shamanism,, and the masks of lamaistic performances (Tsam) must not be overlooked, when some masks and peculiar costumes of the Asiatic shamans are found.

592. This term seems to be met with among the Nomad Tungus of Urulga, as jabdar referred to the strips attached to the shaman's head-dress.

593. In different publications on this subject some other musical instruments were mentioned among other groups, e.g. the so-called Jews' harp, balalaika (Russian) and others. However, admitting that they may be used by the shamans in general and not during the performance, they are not elements which must be included into shamanism as a complex.

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