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111. Shamanizing To The Upper World

This form of shamanizing can be practised only by those groups which have a definite conception of the «upper world» and the shamans who want to deal with the spirits of the upper world. However, some groups, although dealing with the spirits of the upper world, have no specific performances. Some of them I shall now describe.

IN BARGUZIN TUNGUS «shamanizing to the spirits of upper world» is called uyisk'I or n'jan'ja. Uyisk'i is the direction upwards, n'jan'ja is a complex of spirits analysed before. This form of shamanizing is rather short and much more frequent than that previously described. This form is practised among both the Barguzin and the Nerchinsk groups. The following things are prepared:

1. 9 x 3 = 27 young larch trees, which are called cholbol «the birch trees»; the larch tree is used in loco of birch tree which is not very common in the region. There must be at least one young birch tree, which is somewhat larger than the larch tree and the crown of which is preserved. The latter is called charg'i.» The trees are ornamented with coloured pieces of cloth, i.e. just as it is practised among the Buriats.

2. A young larch tree with branches and leaves cut off, turukan (i.e. the small turu) with two cross beams — steps of a ladder — urikon — which may be symbolized by two bindings made of bark or other material. This «ladder» is used by the shaman for climbing to the uyisk'i.

3. 9 times 3 times 2, or fifty-four, birds — diyil, which are supposed to be «ducks» - are made of birch bark and attached by pairs to every colbo. The ducks help the shaman to go upwards.

4. Two long narrow planks with nine holes in which an'jan are fixed; an'jan are anthropomorphic placings cut out of wood, the planks are attached to the cholbol.

5. A platform of usual form on which the sacrifice is put after the performance.

6. There may be some s'ipkan, of a very small size.

The colbol (supposed to be birch trees) are put in but they are not always used.

Three groups, being supported by a cross beam in such a manner that 2×9 with charg'i are directed with their crowns eastward and nine «birches» are turned in an opposite direction.

The sacrificial animal lege artis must be a sheep, bought from the Buriats and sometimes brought from a long distance. In a case which I know the animal was brought on reindeer back by a female shaman from the Buriats who lived at a distance of about 200 miles from the Tungus. However, a young reindeer fawn may also be used, if it is impossible to have a sheep. The reindeer or sheep sacrifice is carried out by the shaman's soul with the help of an'jan who would bring it to dayacan. The ducks help the shaman to fly up.

The purpose of shamanizing is to take the animal to the spirits of the upper world, This may be necessary for various reasons, In two cases, which I knew rather in detail, the reasons were sickness of children. The dayacan was asked to return the soul of the child affected by sickness. The method and kind of sacrifice are defined in a special shamanistic performance, sometimes several days and weeks, even months before the operation.

The first part of performance is similar to the first part of the shamanizing orgisk'i, so I shall now omit the details, except the last section, when by the divination with the drum-stick it is found out exactly and at the last moment, whether the spirit dayacan would accept the animal — a young fawn or sheep. When the answer is positive, the animal is brought to a place cleaned and prepared beforehand, where a big fire is lit. The animal is forced to lie down, and four or five strong and experienced adult men hold it. A man performs a ritual slaughtering: he opens with an ordinary knife the chest and pulls out the heart which naturally requires great strength and skill. Not one drop of blood is allowed to fall on the ground. The blood is collected into a special receptacle. Then the skin, together with the hoofs, antlers and eyes, are taken off and hung up to charg'i. This skin is called dori [608]. The head is separated and cooked together with the heart. The bones are separated, cleaned free from (boiled) meat and put on the platform together with the stomach, liver, bowels and other internal organs. The hair from the neck is cut off and with the lower jaw is hung up to turukan. The latter is brought to the wigwam, where the shamanizing takes place, and put in the middle in an erected position. It is connected with charg'i by a thong with a bell outside of the wigwam. This is the «road» already seen in the shamanizing orgisk'i. In the part of the road which is in the wigwam a small (like a toy) cradle (a child was sick) and some anthropomorphic placings made of chamois are hung up. The javdar and permanent placings for spirits are hung up in the same way as in oryisk'i.

The second part opens with the shaman's drumming and singing. He does not mention bunil, seva and other spirits used in the shamanizing orgisk'i. A little while later he rises to his feet and begins, always drumming, to jump and dance. He approaches the child [609] and waving his drum he takes an anthropomorphic placing, sprinkles it with fresh blood, and hands it over to the child. This is the placing for the spirit which will take the sacrifice. Then the shaman hands over to his assistant his drums and takes two horses-staffs which are a permanent component of his equipment. He smokes four or two pipes of tobacco, takes a big cup of vodka and reaches a state of extasy. A part of the wigwam cover in the south-western corner is raised and the shaman always jumping and dancing while the assistant is drumming, takes the small toy-cradle in his hands and falls into the arms of the people surrounding him. At this moment he has reached uyisk'i — the upper world. The shaman is turned round by the people, sparks are produced with steel and flint, as it is done in the shamanizing orgiski'i. This part ends in the same manner too.

The people and the shaman have some boiled meat and tea. A few hours later the last part is performed. It does not differ from that of orgisk'i. The kettle in which the meat was boiled is hung up on the carg 'i and left there for ever.

The shamanizing uyisk'i can be carried out at night or in the day as well. A very heavy costume must not be used for this shamanizing. For this reason the shaman must have two costumes using the one which has no iron parts.

Before the shamanizing is carried out the shaman may insist upon moving the wigwam to another place; but after the shamanizing the wigwam must remain for three days at the same spot.

It should be noted that paraphernalia are used in multiples of nine; certain actions are repeated three times; staffs-horses are used; the sacrificial animal is a sheep (when possible); the whole performance as far as I could find out is not connected with the clan but it is rather a family business; charg'i and turukan are used which is quite common in the Buriat-Mongol and generally in the Central Asiatic complexes.

A brief comparison of these two forms of shamanizing will be sufficient for seeing the great difference between the two complexes. The above indicated requirements for the shamanizing uyisk'i rather point to their having been borrowed from the Buriats.

607. The term charg'i is perhaps of a Buriat origin; cf. charga || chirya (Mong. Rud.) «the road used for pulling the cart». However, in Tungus we have car (RTM) — a long wooden plank used as framework of a canoe. The etymology is not clear.

608. The etymology is not certain. Perhaps the Manchu doro whence dor'i.

609. I have seen this performance twice, both for the treatment of children.

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