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112. Various Forms Of Shamanizing

Among the Reindeer Tungus of Transbaikalia small performances may be given a great number of times. No sacrifice is offered. The performance always consists of one part and may be carried out at any time of the day with the exception of a special form tuksav'i, which is always done at night after sunset. The term tuksav'i is a derivative of the stem tuksa — «to run perhaps the stem of tuksak'i -the hare — is the same [610]. The skin of a hare is used in this form of shamanizing for carrying the request of the shaman to uyidunda. During the extasy the — skin is thrown out through the smoke aperture in the top of the wigwam. The divination with the drum stick is carried out three times — at the beginning in the middle and at the end of the performance. It may be pointed out that the sending of the hare as a messenger is especially common among the Buriats. The form of shamanizing requires a full costume, while other forms of little shamanizing can be carried out only with some parts of the costume, such as the head-dress the apron and always the drum.

In the performance of small shamanizing the extasy does not always occur, but the whole performance may be confined to a «prayer» followed by some drumming and singing, when the shaman may do, as the Tungus say, only «shaking» of his own savak'i. Indeed, such performance are very common. However, the shaman may also act without any dress and even without the drum, but there will be no proper «performance». Such is, for instance, the case when the shaman «performs» in a half-asleep state, also when he is at home and desires to perform quite aimlessly, or for finding out something (this will be seen later).

Among the Nomad Tungus of Mankova there is a special form of shamanizing — uyila — upwards, which is also called shamanizing baron julask'i; — «right southern» (east south). The shaman offers a sacrifice to the spirits of the upper world and goes there himself. Sheep (cf. the above of the Reindeer Tungus) and a white horse are used as sacrificial animals. However, the horse is not slaughtered (cf. the above case of Mankova Tungus with the black cow).

Among other Tungus groups and Manchus there is no shamanizing to the spirits of the upper world. As shown (vide supra Section 76), these spirits are satisfied with a sacrifice offered by ordinary people (Northern Tungus) and the p'oyun saman (among the Manchus).

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Among all Tungus groups various forms of shamanizing are known which are not connected with the lower or upper world, but which are needed for managing and mastering spirits living in this world. The occasions on which the shamanizing is carried out are numerous. Some of which may be indicated here as instances are: (1) the liberation of a person from the spirits, which may be (a) those of a shaman, (b) clan spirits, © foreign (dona) spirits; (2) the liberation of a group of persons (usually clansmen or rarely co-villagers) from the spirits, as in the first case; (3) the expulsion of malevolent spirits and their mastering, if possible; (4) the sacrifice to the spirits who may be benevolent or malevolent par excellence; (5) the divination of causes of troubles with the help of the shaman's spirits; and other various occasions which cannot be even foreseen, for the combination of the spirits' activity and the character of spirits and methods of managing them depend on the shaman's ability, the existing theories and the ever increasing Tungus knowledge as to the alien spirits and methods used by the neighbours. In the forthcoming pages I shall describe some shamanistic performances.

Case 1. The Khingan Tungus. A man over forty is affected by an unknown spirit (cf. Section 128, Case 4). He himself has made several attempts at shamanizing, but it was supposed that he cannot master the spirits, while the latter master him. The performing female shaman is a young, hut experienced shaman. The aim is to find out what kind of spirit is doing harm. For this purpose she introduces into herself her spirits (sevengkan). By the above indicated method — increase of tempo of drumming and singing — she brings herself into the state of extasy and the spirit enters her. Through the spirit the shaman wants to find he road of the spirit which affects the client. She goes (in her extasy) to the wigwam of the family (the man was travelling with me, so that the family was left some fifty or sixty miles behind) and she reported how the members of the family were doing. Then she dealt with the burkan of the family and found out that the trouble came from the family (can) burkan. A sacrifice of two sheep must be offered to him on the twenty-fifth day of the next moon (month). During the performance the shaman fell down several times, at the moment when the spirit entered into her. The people who were near her supported her and lifted her up «just like a piece of wood», the body and limbs were rigid. Before the entry of the spirit she increased the intensity of the singing and drumming and began to tremble; when she was travelling (her spirit), she jumped and beat the drum with great force. During the shamanizing there was kokunei seven when keku-keku is used as a refrain. The shamanizing began at 10:25 p. m. (in July) and ended at 11:25 p. m. There were two male-assistants, while a large number of women present at the performance repeated the refrain. The reaction of the audience was positive, i.e. the people who were present did not disturb the performance — the shamanizing was not interrupted by jokes and various tricks, which is rather common, especially if there are foreigners and foreign influence is strong in the group.

Case 2. The Khingan Tungus. An old woman of over sixty years who herself used to be a shaman, had a year previously been disabled and could not walk. She was lying half-naked under the jampan (mosquito-net covering her bed). Her placings for spirits, as well as the greater part of her belongings were burnt the previous year in an accidental fire. The wigwam (in July) was partly covered with a winter cover, partly with a summer cover, a sign of great poverty. Her daughter-shaman visited her and wanted to find out the source of her mother's trouble. The daughter put on herself the shaman costume of the old woman and called to herself her seven. During the extasy another spirit (dalkur) visited her, but she could not recognize this spirit. However, this spirit entered the old sick shaman and through the old woman declared that it wanted a sacrifice — a wild boar. This revelation was communicated as follows: in front of the old woman there was put the end of a long thong which was put on the shoulder of the acting shaman, the latter reported in singing that the old woman would give a sheep instead of a wild boar. At the same time the shaman insisted that the spirit must immediately leave the old woman. The shaman tried to push away the spirit by smoking laedum palustrum and by frightening the spirit with drumming and singing and even simply threatening it. The shaman was assisted by a great number of women who were making a great noise.

Case 3. The Khingan Tungus. The purpose of shamanizing was to find out how I would travel with my expedition. The performer was the same as in Case 1. The shaman made a general call for all spirits chuvun whereupon a seveng) arrived. This is a spirit which is dangerous for children. All children were therefore sent out of the wigwam. This spirit also «eats» buttons and all people present had therefore to button their coats to protect the buttons. Before its coming a javdar was put round the wigwam [611]. The shaman «made stick» — body and limbs were rigid — «arch». She fell down to the ground before a young man had time to support her. (This occurrence produced general laughter). The spirit wanted to have some boiled millet. A cup of millet was brought in and was passed round to the people present, and a portion of the millet was thrown into the air. The people shout ge! (in approval). After the departure of this spirit the children were allowed to come in. For the sake of safety the spirits were sent off by a movement of the drum in front of the children. A dog was brought into the wigwam and waved over the head of Madame Shirokogoroff who was also concerned in the shamanizing for she was travelling with the party». Another seveng arrived. In order to help the introduction of the spirits, the people present at the performance produced excitement in the shaman by their yelping and cries, always increasing in tempo. She did the same by means of turning faster and faster. After the spirits left her, a purification with smoke was made — a bunch of burning grass was waved between her legs. The result of the shamanizing was that the travelling would be successful and three deer (Cervus Elaphus) with antlers would be killed.

Case 4. The Birarchen. The purpose of shamanizing was to ask for the help of a seveng for curing a boy. There had been two shamanizings three days previously — one in the day time and the other at night — but no definite result has been obtained. The boy was brought from the school where he was living [612] to the house of his relative who was performing (rather poorly) the function of the assistant. After the shamanizing the arkaptun (with a brass-mirror, vide supra) was left above the boy's bed.

When the spirit was introduced, the shaman (a female) was helped by the assistant. The spirit declared that the child would perhaps die. This produced a reaction on the part of the assistant (he was a relative of the boy) who protested against the coming of the spirit if it could not help the boy. The spirits required a pig as sacrifice. The assistant replied that he was a poor man and could not afford it. However, after a long bargaining, it was decided that the sacrifice would be offered two weeks later, on the first day of the next month. After the shamanizing, a piece of yellow cloth was given to the spirit and hung up together with the arkaptun. The operation lasted until over one o'clock a.m.

About ten days later, i.e. before the term fixed at the shamanising, another shamanizing was performed. In the meantime the boy had been cured and a pig had been bought. The shamanizing consisted of two parts performed at night, and on the next morning. As far as I could find out, the sacrifice was offered to the spirit of the shaman which had been helpful in the sickness of the boy.

This time the shamanizing was performed outside of the house. The shaman put on the costume and prepared herself for the extasy. The boy was sitting in the middle, while the shaman went round him with her drum. This time the shamanizing was not easy, for there was no assistant to help her. There were also present some people who interfered with her performance. The Chinese teacher, who was present, was a man of «modern style»: he did not believe in shamanism and tried to disturb the shaman. Every time when she parsed near him, he pushed or kicked her with his heavy leather shoes of European style. The shaman became nervous and could not concentrate. During the performance a spirit arrived who had nine female and nine male manifestations. Eighteen people wore thus required to go rhythmically dancing around the boy, the shaman being in the centre. However, there were only seven women to perform and they were shy in the presence of the sceptically behaving Chinese teacher and the indifferent Tungus men who did not dare to join them in the presence of the teacher. The shaman became still more nervous, so that, when the women did not follow the increase of tempo in her movement, she slightly beat them with the drum stick. No effect was produced. Her spirits became angry and the shaman beat vigorously the women who ran away. Thus the performance failed. The second part was performed in a very simple manner, as an ordinary sacrifice, with the usual incantations and prayers.

Case 5. The Manchus. The purpose of shamanizing was to cure five members of the family who were sick for several days (seemingly of some usual infection in the winter season). There was a large gathering of people who occupied the bed-stoves and stood up near the entrance. The sick members of the family were lying and sitting on the parts of the stove-bed near a small table put on the principal bed in front of the entrance. The sacrifice consisted of two cups of gaolan brandy, 3×5 = fifteen rolls of Chinese bread, a boiled chicken (it was brought later) and of burning incense sticks fixed in a big cup with sand.

The shamanizing began after eight o'clock in the evening. The shaman put on his full dress. As usual he was supposed to bring himself into ecstasy. The assistants, as well as other people present at the shamanizing, repeated the refrains. The spirit entered the shaman, he trembled; his forehead was covered with perspiration. The shaman then fell asleep. This is a somewhat theoretical sleep, not  «sincere». The people who are present at a performance evidently realize the conventional character of the performance, and thus they act according to the requirement of the ritual. While the shaman «slept», being surrounded with burning incense, the people chatted by way of pastime.

The next day the shaman came again (to the village from another village). In the evening he lay down on the stove-bed and, being surrounded by burning incense, fell «asleep». A man was sitting near him and watching him. During the sleep (evidently concentration of power) the shaman began to tremble and to roll about violently on the bed. He cried out the name of the spirit which did harm to the child. As quickly as possible an instrument, consisting of a wooden plank, about sixty centimetres long was brought, at one end of which four sticks, about twelve centimetres long, were fastened with a piece of paper around them to form a lantern. A bunch of burning incense sticks was placed inside this lantern. The spirits were supposed to come into the lantern. All lights were blown out. The incense was kept by the shaman and put in front of the usual place for placings. The shaman called the spirit, the people present at the performance replied with refrains. This continued for two hours and a half. The shaman looked into the lantern from time to time, but the spirit did not wish to come in. Everybody was tired. The shaman drank tea several times and was evidently very tired. It was decided to stop the shamanizing — the spirit would not consent to enter. The shamanizing, carried out during two days, practically failed.

Case 6. The Manchus. (This case is a continuation of a shamanizing to the lower world described above, vide supra.). Another attempt was made at bringing back the soul. The cup with the papers was put on the head of the child, and the head with the cup was covered with a heavy fur hat. This operation apparently failed — the soul did not return. After a short extasy the shaman decided to find out what kind of mafa was making the trouble. The way chosen was to allow the spirit to talk through the child. Burning incense was put near the child in such quantity that the child was half-asphyxiated — he was evidently suffering from both his physical condition (very severe oedema: the abdomen was swollen as well as the face) and the smoke; he was screaming the whole time.

The shaman was sitting by his side drumming and exiting the child with his harsh voice, calling the spirit to come and speak. However, the child did not move and did not tremble, which would be considered as a sign of spirit's presence. The spirit — so it was decided — did not want to come in. The shaman suggested an immediate sacrifice of blood (of a pig) to the spirit mafa. The people rushed out of the house and tried to catch a pig [613]. The only pig which they possessed ran away. The sacrifice could not be offered. I had a suspicion as to the sincere desire of the family members to slaughter the last pig. Then the shaman made a new attempt at helping the child with a spirit from the group batur'i, namely jaya vochko — «the fire spirit». The spirit was introduced by means of ordinary methods. The assistant handed over to the shaman a bunch of sticks of burning incense. The shaman put the burning ends into his mouth for a second, and then blew immediately against various parts of the child's naked body. Then the incense was dipped in oil, lighted again and the ends thrust into the mouth of the shaman for a moment after which he again blew on the child. The shaman did this with evident effort: he was heavily breathing and spitting out oil. Afterwards, when the whole bunch of incense was burnt, the shaman began to massage the entire body — the abdomen, chest, back, alms and legs with burning alcohol. A big cup of Chinese wine (xanshin, made of gaolan, from sixty to sixty-five per cent alcoholic) which was burning, was brought in by the assistant and the shaman took the burning wine with his hands and smeared it on the body rubbing it in. Then, from a distance the shaman sprang upon the child and sucked the body at different parts of the abdomen (especially the naval region, that of the liver, stomach, bladder, appendix and spleen) so that blood appeared; the shaman spit the blood and seemed to be nauseated. After every sucking he cleaned his mouth with wine, but did not vomit [614]. During the presence of the spirit of fire, which is considered as a very important and dangerous spirit, one of the assistants produced very intensive drumming and all people present sang (refrains) and screamed the whole time. The excitement was general. The performance was concluded by a declaration of the shaman, in the state of extasy, that the spirit ecstasy, that the spirit mafa wants to have a sacrifice consisting of  «ten kinds of food»: The whole performance lasted five hours and thirty minutes. It was finished at 2:30 a m. The child was very tired, as well as the shaman, his assistants and the people present at the performance.

Case 7. The Manchus. A man of thirty years old was sick and lying in bed for two months. This was a complex case in which the cause of the trouble was not definitely established, but from the previous shamanizing it was found out that the source of the trouble might be either a mafar'i, or a saman-xutu (soul of a dead shaman), or even a group of various spirits. The shamanizing lasted three days. In the first night it was found out that the cause of the sickness were combined (put together) roads — kamchibuye joyun. On the second day an attempt was made at curing with the help of the shaman's spirit. There was a treatment with the brass-mirror; the shaman massaged the abdomen and the back of the patient; the same was done with ten Chinese rolls of bread (mantou). After being used the breads were thrown through a closed window. If they go through, breaking the paper (paper is used instead of European glass), it is considered as a good sign, if the breads fall back, it is considered as a bad sign. The treatment was not successful, and it was decided to carry out a big shamanizing in order to send off all spirits of the three roads.

Prior to the beginning of the shamanizing various placings were made, needed for all three groups. A part of the placings would be used for the introduction of harmful spirits, another part for indicating to the spirits the way out and a third one to bar the passage back. After the shamanizing the first and second groups would be thrown away, the third group would be brought outside and buried about one metre deep in the ground at a place where three roads (ordinary men's roads) would meet.

The shamanizing of the third day began (night time) by the preparation of the performance. Two tables were put (a small table on short legs) covered with red, white, and black cloth, so that every colour covered a third of the tables. On one of them (the left table) placings were put for mafar'i — a male (mafa) and a female (mama) — and a corresponding sacrifice — a boiled chicken — and 5×3 or fifteen rolls of Chinese bread. By the side of this table sula mafar'i xutu (vide infra) was fixed — an anthropomorphic placing which was later thrown away. The  «blooming tree» ilgar'i or ilxa fodoxun «the blooming willow tree» — was fixed on the table (it could also have stood behind the table). It was supposed that the spirit would be attracted to the tree by  «pleasant words» and a net (sugdun degderebure asu, «vapour-lifting net», where «vapour» is identified with the immaterial substance of the spirit or the disease). Near the tree Chinese «paper money», as used in funeral ceremonies, was put. The performance was opened by a prayer baire g'izun - «praying words». The shaman put on himself a special headdress used for going to the lower world. After the introduction of the spirit, the shaman went to the lower world, the spirit asked the dead shaman, who, according to the acting shaman, was the cause of the trouble, what was the reason for disturbing the man. The reason was that the sick man was jarun of the dead shaman, i.e. he belonged to the family which had used the dead shaman. When the shaman died, all his spirits remained without a master and made trouble to jarun. The dead shaman was asked to leave the man alone and was promised a sacrifice. What was needed for this operation had been already prepared on the right table. The placings: the shaman, the assistants, an animal (gurgu — «a quadruped wild animal covered with hair») and a bird (gasxa, — «wild bird in general»), paper money, and the net were taken outside, partly burnt (paper money) and partly thrown away, together with a  «blooming tree». The operation with the mafar'i was much simpler: after a prayer inviting mafar'i to come in, the placing were taken out and thrown away. This operation was done in ordinary head-dress, after an interval lasting about half an hour. When this operation with the saman xutu and sufu mafar'i xutu was over, a special bunch of other small things was used. These were to take away the small, sometimes unknown, spirits called nadan xachi saxalin xutu, i.e. «seven kinds of black (road) spirits». Since these spirits were those of the lower world, the shaman again put on a special kind of headdress naiikse (vide supra). A string connected with the bunch was attached to the index of the shaman's left hand. (The string is taken off the finger when the shaman falls down, i.e. when he reaches the lower world.) Thereafter the shaman and the assistants took a bunch of objects, including a small bow and arrow, and various sharp things (called joyun meitera jaka, i.e. «road cutting things»), took them out and buried them at the spot indicated by the shaman. In this way the road of the spirit was barred, the spirits (for they are afraid of sharp things) could not return. The chicken and cloths as well as other things which were used on the table were handed over to the shaman. As they had been used in the performance, they could not be taken back to the house, for the spirits might find their way back.

The place for the burial of the above indicated things was found at the distance of five hundred metres from the house, at the crossing of three roads (used for carts). A pit eighty centimetres deep was dug. All  «sharp» things were put in and covered with earth. The shaman drummed and rhythmically pressed the earth with his feet to make the spot even. Then the shaman returned to the house, where the people were waiting for him. Near the entrance a fire had been made in order to prevent the return of the spirits together with the shaman. The shaman stopped at the door and continued drumming, while all the people who had gone with him to bury the  «sharp things» passed under his arm, as he held the drum. This operation was for purification.

After this the guests, the shaman and the masters of the house ate a supper consisting of a pig slaughtered on this occasion, but not as a sacrifice to the spirits.

610. Cf. tuksa (Bir. Khin. Nerc. Mank.) (Ur. Castr.), cf. tuksi (Bir.) tuya (RTM) tuch (Tum.) [suju (Manchu Writ)]. In spite of the fact that tuksa may be the stem of tuksav'i (the form of shamanizing) [tuksak'i «the hare», and tuksa, etc. — «to run»], I am not absolutely certain as to the connection of tuksav'i and tuksak 'i, although the hare is used as a messenger. As a matter of fact, tuksav'i; may be one of the forms derived from the stem tuk (V) — «to bring up, to erect, to lift up, to send up» used in Barg. Nerc. Bir. Kum, Khin. as a term designating the act of communicating with the  «upper world» spirits.

611. javdar was simply a rope covering only a part of the wigwam.

612. The school established by the Chinese government. Some of the children lived in the school.

613. The pigs are sometimes living in a half wild state. Cf. SOM. pp. 131 et seq.

614. It was suggested to carry out another operation with four red-hot irons (for pressing) but there were no irons in the house.

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