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124. Ritualism In Shamanistic Performances

We shall call shamanistic ritual any action of the shaman and participants in a performance which is invariably repeated in various performances. I shall not distinguish the rituals according to the reasons for which they exist for that may lead to an error due to the rejection of some elements and the preservation of some others and to the confusion of rituals of distinct types in our groups. However in order to reach an understanding of the nature of ritualism in shamanism we must classify the rituals. The fact that ritualism exists in shamanism becomes quite clear when one observes a great number of performances. In fact, it can be noticed that the shamanistic performances include a great number of elements which are perfectly identical in different performances. A comparison of these common elements shows that certain elements are imposed by (1) the conditions of the milieu; (2) the instruments, implements and, in general, by the paraphernalia used; (3) the theories forming the basis of shamanism; and (4) the need of influencing a person, an audience and the shaman himself. When these conditions are the same, the elements of the performance may also be the same. For illustration, I give here some instances.

The movement of the shaman around the fire-place will not be met with among the groups living in houses; the slaughtering of the sacrificial animal will not be carried out in a house, as well as a performance among the Reindeer Tungus and Tungus of Manchuria whose wigwam is not roomy enough for the operation; while when a pig or a chicken is used, the slaughtering can be done in the house among the Manchus; «complete darkness» in the room, where the performance of going to the lower world is carried out, is required among the Manchus; while among the Tungus who live in wigwams it is not required, for the fire cannot be extinguished and relighted in the wigwam and the nights are seldom very dark.

The Manchu and the Tungus of Manchuria use the same type of instrument for drumming — a shallow drum — whence there is no difference in using a drum for calling the spirits, and the music is nearly the same; the Manchus have a special drum borrowed from the Chinese, and castanets, which permit the increase of musical effects, while these instruments are lacking among the Tungus; the Manchu shamans have belts with trinkets which impose special movements with the back while the Tungus (e.g. of Transbaikalia) have bells on the coat, which require another kind of movement backward and forward for producing rhythmic music.

All groups believe in the existence of a spirit which may be «placed»; whence among all groups there is a special operation of calling spirits to enter the «placing». The Manchus have a theory that in the lower world there are trees attractive for the spirits; so the Manchus have a special performance with a tree while the Tungus who have no such a theory have no tree performance The Manchu theory does not recognize that there are spirits of the upper world which can be influenced by the shaman' spirits, so there is no performance of this type; while the Reindeer Tungus of Transbaikalia have this theory and so their shamans deal with the spirits of the upper world.

The number of instances can be increased ad libitum for proving that the elements of performance are sometimes imposed by the above indicated four conditions. A similarity between these elements of performance observed in ethnical groups clans and individual shamans may be due to the similarity of conditions and a dissimilarity may be due to the dissimilarity of the underlying conditions.

As soon as the conditions are changed the elements of performance must also be changed. This can be observed among the Tungus of Manchuria who sometimes live in houses of a Manchu (Chinese) type.

However there are some ritualistic elements which cannot be understood as a direct effect of the conditions of the milieu and the paraphernalia and even as a result of adopted theories the latter being needed as a justification of certain ritual elements and easily taken as an explanation of the existence of rituals. Thus there are some elements which are imposed by the reasons residing in the nature of shamanism, in its theoretical setting and practical methods, and there are entire rituals which are justified by the theory and practice. I shall confine myself now to the ritualism which depends upon the nature of shamanism and also to that which depends neither upon it, nor upon the above indicated conditions.

First of all, it must be pointed out that the shamanistic ritualism has nothing «sacred» in it. Any ritual may be changed, if such a change should be useful for the practical aims of shamanising. So it is in principle, but there is one exception, namely, that of the Manchus, when they deal with clan spirits (p'oyun saman). Since this exception is very important from the ethnographical point of view, I shall revert to it. On the one hand, we have seen that the aims of shamanizing are very definite and clear; on the other hand, the methods of achieving these aims are subject to variations which depend on the shaman's ability and general knowledge as to the nature of particular spirits. In these conditions, if we have a more or less definite group of aims of shamanizing (subject to some variations, chiefly under the influence of the penetration of new cultural complexes), and if no strong alien influence is found in the work, the choice of methods for dealing with the spirits is not great. So the methods — elements forming a complex of performance are fixed in conformity with the aims of shamanizing. In this way, methods become ritualistic — they are performed, for they are known to be effective. No stimuli to change them would appear, so long as they are believed to be effective. However, since the complex of rituals may consist of various elements and the reason for the existence of these elements may be forgotten, the shamans would not risk altering them, and they will be repeated, for fear of failing in dealing with the spirits. In the shamanistic performances we often meet with such elements as, for instance, the repetition of certain acts (elements) a definite number of times, e.g. three times, four times etc. No shaman can explain why the same act must be repeated three or four times. At most, he would refer to the practice of his predecessors. In such cases there is no need to see in these numbers a hidden sense, a «mystic influences etc. - they may have been mere accidents in the performances of the predecessors [632].

In fact, an able shaman, owing to an accident, may omit a certain detail of the ritual, and if the result of the shamanizing is satisfactory, he will not be very careful as to the observation of this particular detail, which may disappear altogether. The loss of elements may also be imposed by the change of the cultural complex or the change of paraphernalia and milieu. It may also be replaced by another element, either created by the shaman himself, or borrowed from other ethnical groups. However, there is a limit to the simplification of the ritual, namely, something must be performed, for otherwise there will be no sign that the shaman was dealing with the spirit. There is also a certain limit to the change of elements, namely, if the shaman would change them at every shamanizing, the audience would not be able to understand with which spirit the shaman was dealing and how successful this new method (not yet verified) might be; so the introduction of a new element requires a certain time. It should be noted that some performances are not repeated by the shaman every year, and practically it would require the whole life of a shaman to introduce a new element. He would be in a better position, if the new element is known to the audience from their contact with other ethnical groups; but still a negative reaction against an alien complex is always a great impediment to innovation. Anyhow, as shown, in case of a dissension between the shaman and the audience, the performance, in so far as it is based upon the assistance of the audience, may fall altogether, for even permanent assistants will not be able to follow the shaman, and thus the psychological effect of the shamanizing will be missed. It is thus evident that two mechanisms independent of the shaman's will are at work, namely, an accidental loss of elements and an intervention of circumstances, which usually requires a restoration of the complex by means of an invention and by the borrowing of new elements the mechanism of changes; and the preservation of the complex imposed by the necessity of having some complex and by the need of being understood and accepted by the audience — the mechanism of preservation [633]. As a matter of fact, the mechanism of preservation, in order to be understood, needs no deep psychological speculations as to the character of the primitive mentality, nor of the inherited conditions of «human races». If there is no general change of the ethnographical complex, no strong inter-ethnical pressure, and if the shamanistic art is carefully transmitted, the ritualism will persist without any essential change for a very long time, the only source of changes being some accidental loss of elements.

* * *

I shall now give some examples of a ritualism resulting from the pre-existing theories and that of a rationalized ritualism of various origin (invention and borrowing).

The ritualism of «posts» and «roads», on and along which the spirits are descending, going away and generally moving, is widely practiced by all Tungus groups here discussed. This use is conditioned by the theory concerning the nature of spirits which must know where they can descend (on the post) and by which «road» (a string, a thong) they may reach the placing, or the sacrifice, or the shaman, and how they can return. However, among the Reindeer Tungus of Transbaikalia, the ritual itself seems to have been borrowed from some other ethnical groups (I think the Buriat-Mongols) and applied to the spirits which do not follow the upper roads, among the Manchus the post is used only for the spirit of heaven, while among the Tungus of Manchuria posts are used only for the shaman's spirits, among the Manchus the ritualism of «post-road» for the shaman's spirits, as shown before, uses special placings. The Tungus of Manchuria and the Manchus are certain that the spirits will come, even without «roads»; however, the Tungus groups would use «roads» and «posts», even when they are dealing with some spirits of the burkan group without the shaman's assistance. If the «post-road» ritual were excluded from the complex of the Birarchen sacrifice to the burkan group, doubtless almost nothing would remain. In all of these cases the idea is to create the best conditions for calling in the spirits and for managing them.

The theory teaches that the spirits of the dark lower world are fond of fresh meat and blood. This theory may be explained by the ethnographers in various manners [634]. The Tungus explanation is that these spirits (souls) like meat and blood, and in this form the sacrifice is easily assimilated especially after sunset. Owing to this, all operations with the souls of the dark lower world are carried out in the dark and they form quite a special ritualism. It should be noted that this ritualism includes the element of supplying souls with travelling facilities e.g. dogs (Manchus), reindeer (Reindeer Tungus), horses etc. In fact, these are needed and maintained for the practical purpose of dealing with such spirits. The introduction of a new element - e.g. the canoe among the groups which do not use dogs and reindeers as draught animals quite possible but not necessary. However, the latter may be retained because the souls prefer dogs or reindeer. New elements may be introduced, if the ethnical group learns of them from another group which is considered to be clever in managing souls. Among the Birarchen the ritualism is rather strict as regards the sacrificial animals the day road spirits (or rather some spirits and particular manifestations) may use any kind of animals with the exception of the pig while the night road spirits must have a pig. Since the pig is not an animal domesticated by the Tungus (they buy them from the Manchus and Chinese) it would be easy to suppose that the complex of night road spirits ritualism is borrowed from the Manchus (and Chinese?). However, the lower world spirits (the night roads) among the Reindeer Tungus require a reindeer (as opposed to the upper world the day roads). Therefore it is more likely that the reindeer was replaced by the pig owing to the fact that the Birarchen ancestors were even until recent times reindeer breeders and they were in all probability familiar with the shamanism and the theory of roads (spirits) prior to their loss of the reindeer.

The theory teaches that in the lower world the shaman is in the dark. To help him to find his way out he needs the road to be lighted. The light cannot be produced for the shaman is in the lower world; therefore sparks are produced with steel and flint — they are like lightning for the shaman — whence the ritualism of producing sparks e.g. among the Reindeer Tungus of Transbaikalia and among the Tungus of Manchuria (I cannot assert this in reference to the Nomad Tungus) [635].

The character of spirits sometimes requires a definite ritualism. For instance, among the Manchus the spirits (vochko). (l)wolf (n'uxu), bear (lefu), snake (meixe), dragon (mudur'i) and other «animals» — the shaman roars and scratches the earth (wolf, bear); the head-dress is taken off;

(2) deaf — the shaman cleans his ears, does not correctly answer questions, as if being deaf, until some brandy is sprinkled on him;

(3) group of «heroes» (buku and mangi) — the shaman takes off his head-dress and uses special instruments, such as a spear, a glaive, a trident, etc.; buku and magi in ritualism are distinguished by their movements.

(4) naijulan — the shaman puts on a special head-dress (with iron antlers) and follows a strictly elaborated ritual when going to the lower world;

(5)group of Tungus (kilin) spirits — the shaman does not speak Manchu, nor Chinese, but he uses a few Tungus words;

(6) various spirits — when the shaman has his hands occupied by weapons and instruments he hands over his drum to the assistant.

Such a ritualism, connected with different spirits, has been elaborated among the Manchus to such a degree, that an assistant, familiar with the spirits, may guess which spirit is introduced by the shaman. During the performance, when several spirits are changed, with every new spirit the shaman asks his assistant (it is supposed that the spirit asks): takam'i takaraku?. — «Do you recognize (me)?», and the assistant must tell the name of the spirit. If the assistant cannot do it (usually when many spirits are called, which rarely appear, so that the assistant cannot know them - e.g. on the day when all spirits are «fed»), the shaman gives a hint as to the row, and the assistant enumerating one after another arrives at the right spirit's name.

The ritualism required by the character of the spirits may greatly differ in different clans, although the names of the spirits would be the same. For instance, in the nara clan the sacrifice to five mafa consists of a domesticated goose, duck, chicken, hen and cock, while in other clans birds are not sacrificed.

We have seen that new spirits are always introduced because of discoveries and because of the increase of the number of souls of dead shamans. New spirits may also have a distinct ritualism in which some distinct characters may be introduced. Thus the ritualism would be increased. However, the ritualism imposed by the spirits is still more stabilized in the performance of the p'oyun saman. Almost every clan has its fixed nearly «petrified» ritualism.

Among the Northern Tungus groups the ritualism resulting from the character of the spirits is also widely practiced. For instance, among the Birarchen some spirits of the group malu have their own rituals by which the assistants and the audience may know which of the manifestations is introduced; e.g. (1) one legged — the shaman would become a «lamb»; (2) with a broken chest (samyali) — the shaman would cough and touch his chest; (3) when the spirit sunusun is introduced -the shaman would speak in different voices imitating all three generations of sunusun; (4) once I observed a female shaman who produced swelling of the abdomen, when she introduced one of her female dona spirits as though she had become pregnant; (5) there are spirits which destroy buttons (the Khingan Tungus), which take away and break pipes, etc.; therefore buttons and pipes must be hidden [636].

Among the above instances the fourth is especially interesting, for the spirit was an individual shaman's spirit and the ritualism was created by the shaman. Naturally it can be practised only by female shamans.

Dancing and singing in the shamanistic performance is also closely connected with the character of the spirits, and still more with the other conditions of shamanizing which will be discussed later. Here I give a list of refrains connected with some spirits, as these refrains are used among the Birarchen;

I. INTRODUCTIONS (sung by the shaman) AND REFRAINS (sung either by the shaman or by the assistant shaman), corresponding to the spirits:

1. Adar, — adar-odin-jor, adar-odin-jor, odin-jor;

2. anggna, — guang- go-gu-su-dai, guang- go-gu-su-dai, gosudai;

3. daril, — ogdi- xaja, ogdi- xaja;

4. daril (us'i dolbor), — dolbor-kojo, dolbor kojo; jerg'i, — ja-jai, ja-jae;

5. kadar, — kadai-xaja, kadai-xeja;

6. — kadar- kangg'er, devar-dauser; — kadar- kangg'er, daisar-dauser;

7. kadar (dolbor), — dolbor'jo-dolbor, dolbor'jo-dolbor,

8. karol, — kau-kau-kaoi, kau-kau-kaoi, lamalaichen, - lamalai-xaja, lamalai -xaja,

9. malu, — sangk'iravei-saravei;

10. n'angn'ang, - n'ang'ai-xaja, n'ang'ai-xaja; — bajukei, bajukei, bajukejuja (it is used when the child soul is handed over to the shaman);

11.n'irgir, — k'ing-k'ing'ir-uja, k'ing-k'ing'ir-uja

12. s'era jergi, — seru-seru-seru, seru-seru- seru (the last seru- is very long)

13. sunusun, — sui-du-suja, sui-du-suja, suidu, suidu; — suilasun, suilasun, suila, suila

II. ORDINARY INTRODUCTIONS AND REFRAINS (for various spirits on various occasions)

1. bajukei bajukef, bajukejuja (cf. n'angn'ang spirit)

2. dafsak'i-dafsak'i

3. dav'i-dav'i-dav'idai.

4. daviisa-kandavai, daviisa-kandavai; jajakuila, jajakuila, jakuila;

5. gaja-gaja-(especially used when there are sick people)

6. gawk'iraji-ga-ga;

7. gijel-gijel-gaja;

8. ir'i-ulaja; ir'i-ulaja;

9. (ja-ga, ja-g'i, jaga-jai) recited three times, and (ja-ga-neja,-jaga-jai) recited twice, (used when a spirit tells its history, also at the conclusion of the periodical shamanizing, at the end of a sacrifice offered to the spirits.)

10. ja-g'i, ja-g'i, ja g'i jai; ja-g'i, ja-g'i, ja g'i, jai,

11. fo-go jo, fo-go-joi; jo-go-jo, jo-go-joi.

A special refrain known under the name kokunei {kadar-complex), — ka'u- ka'u- ka'u, ka'u-jan'i- ka'u — is used indiscriminately. When shamanizing is carried out for illness, etc., the refrains are used: ja-ga, ja-ga, ja-ga-jei; ja-ja-g'i: (simplified, vide supra, 10). The following refrains are used for prayers (buachin):

1. julask'i, — ja-gu-ja-ga, ja-ja-gu, ja-ja-ja-ga, jei; (ja-gu-ja-g'i, ja-ja- gai) twice

(ja-ga-ja-gai, ja-ge- jei) twice

2. bunildu, — (gaja'mei- gajamei) twice

3. najil burkan, — (keku-keku-kekuja) twice

Specialization of refrains is also practised among the Man-chus. For instance, the Tungus (K'ilin) spirits require either jaga-jaga, or nega-nega, but other Tungus refrains are not used; the female spirits usually require keku-keku, etc. However, some refrains are used for several spirits [637]. The rhythm of these refrains (and naturally of the texts) are not alike, and the tunes are different too. Together with the rhythm and the music there is also «dancing», which is also different. For instance, in the Manchu clan n'imachi, the shaman makes a step crossing his feet, as it is often done by the Tungus shamans; but this is not done in other Manchu clans. Among the Manchus the shamans (great shamans, but never the p'oyun saman) introduce additional movements (e.g. the drum is thrown up in the air and caught), which produce special musical rhythmic effects and which are connected with the introduction of the particularly skillful spirits.

As soon as the refrains are stabilized, the stabilization of the tunes and the dancing is also likely to occur, thereafter, one step more, and the texts may also be stabilized. Under these conditions the ritual may be established which will be invariably performed during the shamanizing.

The influencing of the sick person, the audience, and the shaman himself by the latter may also become a source for the creation of a ritualistic complex, in the description of performances we have seen that the shaman's aim is to influence those who have come for treatment, chiefly adults, by means of suggestion and hypnotism. These methods are gradually worked out by particular experiments of the shamans through the trial-error method. The shaman may also apply some new method which may be purposely invented by him. Those of the methods which have proved to be effective are adopted and used, in the cases of various spirits, by the generations of shamans. The Tungus and Manchus do not hesitate to use methods practised among other ethnical groups. If these methods are effective, they would be adopted as well. All the methods, at a certain moment, may become stabilized and repeated on identical occasions (spirits) as a ritual, in a great number of cases it is even impossible to distinguish where a ritualistic act is performed or more or less unconsciously reproduced, and where an act is consciously performed by the shaman who understands its «meaning» and effect. This becomes very clear when we analyse performances carried out by shamans-beginners, and by experienced shamans. But first I want to give some instances of «ritualism» of these three groups.

I. First I shall give some cases with patients:

(1) The shaman approaches the drum to the mouth of the patient and orders the sick person to vomit the contents of the stomach, or the spirit. This is being done in all cases when it is supposed that the curing by vomiting is possible. Indeed, the same performance takes place as a simple ritual, even when the sick child is too small to respond, or when healing is not the direct aim of the performance, but rather an effect on the audience. (All groups) [638].

(2) The increase of the tempo of drumming and the singing and dancing become a ritual when the shaman does it for influencing the patient, but does not feel himself to be in extasy. This method may become one of the formal components of a performance, as an element of the latter without any direct aim — it would be done because it is always done under the given circumstances. (All groups).

(3) The shaman passes over and touches the chest of the patient with the brass-mirror, which is a suggestive movement, quite effective when the patient believes that the spirit that attacks him may be removed into the brass-mirror and neutralized by the shaman. The latter and the audience may have the same idea. However, this operation becomes a mere formality, when there is no belief, and it is merely done, because it had been done before. (Tungus of Manchuria, Manchus).

(4) The shaman sucks blood from different parts of the patient's body; the patient, the shaman and the audience may believe in the sucking of the spirits together with the blood. However, this operation, even without a sincere belief in its effectiveness, may be maintained in similar circumstances, the chief active element of the performance being some new method somehow connected with the sucking, but not yet ritualized (Manchus).

(5) For sending off a spirit located in the abdomen the shaman puts across the patient's back or abdomen a sword and hammers it with an ax. No harm to the patient's abdomen is supposed to be produced by this blow. However, since such an operation is physically impossible, the performance includes this number as a mere ritual, (at present seldom used). It is most likely that this method was used by one of the shamans who knew some trick unnoticed by the audience and the patients. The operation was repeated, but since it was not artistically performed, the patients and the audience do no more believe in it, although it is repeated as a part of the formal ritual connected with a certain spirit. (Manchus).

II. Cases with the audience.

(1) For the creation of a mass extasy the audience repeats refrains with gradually increasing emotion chiefly produced by an increase of the tempo, intensity, and expression. This is a technical method for producing an extasy, usually connected with important moments of the performance. Since it is required so, the audience responds according to the pattern-ritual; but there may occur no extasy if, for instance, the audience does not consider the moment to be of a real importance. This is a common occurrence, for the important and real key or performance may be shifted to another part of the performance and extasy must be postponed. So the whole operation with the supposed extasy may become merely a formal ritual. (All groups).

(2) The participants of the shamanizing feel themselves touched by the spirits which are called by the shaman during the performance; so they carry out purification which consists in going through a special apparatus supplied with hooks or indentations on which spirits are supposed to remain. This is usually done when the shaman deals with the dangerous spirits of the lower world. However, I have observed a case when the shaman was not dealing with the dangerous spirits, but was talking with one of the ancestors, and still the purification was performed, for «the shaman was dealing with the spirits of the lower world». The purification has become a ritual, and its original meaning has been forgotten. (Barguzin Tungus).

(3) Nine participants in a performance in a state of extasy imagine themselves to be placings of nine manifestations of the spirit, and they follow the shaman in rhythmic «dancing». This forms a very complex performance in which the shaman is in a complete psychological fusion with the participants. However, I have seen a case when there were only seven participants who were not at all in extasy and some of whom laughed and made jokes. It was thus merely a formal ritual. (Birarchen).

III. Cases with the shaman

(l)The aim of the shaman is to bring himself into a state of extasy, which is achieved by various means — rhythmic drumming with an increase of tempo, singing, «dancing» and even drinking wine. When all this is done, it is supposed that the shaman is in extasy and then possesses a particular power of seeing and hearing spirits. However, as the observation shows, the shamans do not always attain a complete extasy, but perform everything which is required, including the peculiar trembling of the body, etc. When the shaman is disturbed by the audience, this cannot be reached at all. This is a fact well known to the shamans and the audience in spite of this, every important shamanizing includes performances of calling in and introducing of the spirits. So this operation has turned, at least in some cases, into a ritual. (All groups).

(2) It is supposed that when the shaman introduces into himself the spirit of fire he loses the sensitiveness to the greatest heat, which is quite possible if the shaman reaches a state of extasy. However, as stated, this is not a very common occurrence, but the spirit of fire is often needed for treatment. The shaman produces evidences that the spirit is introduced, and he manipulates with fire, hot irons, etc. However, all his operations are made in such conditions that he does not burn himself. These operations are by no means believed by the audience, but they are carried out, because they were used by other shamans and have already become a ritualistic formality. (Manchus; Chinese).

(3) The introduction of spirits, as will be shown later (vide Chapter XXIX), followed by an extasy, is an extremely tiresome operation, so that the shaman, during the evening, can produce a very limited number of extasies. in imitation of the clan priests, the Manchu shamans established a new practice of revision of all spirits once a year (on the second day of the year). It was supposed that the shaman must introduce all his spirits one by one. No one believes it to be possible, for there may be other sixty spirits in the list of a shaman, but the shamans perform as though the spirits were actually introduced. So here the ritual of introduction of spirits has grown into a secondary complex of pure and simple ritualism. (Manchus; Chinese).

(4) The shaman naturally knows all spirits which come to him. among the Manchus the number of spirits attained a very large number, which is partly due to the writing (vide infra, Section 126). It is supposed (a theory!) that the new shaman must know all clan spirits, and during the performance of initiation he must name them and introduce them into himself. The elders and former assistants of the shaman are not supposed to tell the new shaman about the spirits. When the performance of initiation is carried out, the new shaman cannot name all the spirits. However, since a new shaman is needed, the elders and former assistants make hints to the candidate, so that he can perform this formality. So this important moment in the initiation has turned into a ritual. (Manchus).

(5) When the soul of the shaman is absent from the body for a long time, and the shaman remains unconscious (even the temperature of the body may decrease and the pulse diminish in frequency and strength!), he cannot stand, and falls. However, such a state cannot be attained in all cases of such performances, but the shaman falls down and gives the appearance of being unconscious, and he will not respond for some time, sufficient to show that it is difficult to call him back. So the unconsciousness of the shaman has become, at least sometimes, a mere ritual. (All groups, especially Manchus).

(6) Before carrying out his performance the shaman lies down and sleeps during a few hours. There may be two purposes, namely, that of taking a rest before a difficult performance, and that of having revelational dreams. However, very often the shaman does not sleep at all, but merely pretends sleeping. When the time needed (it may actually last only less than half of an hour!) is over, he jumps up as though he had introduced into himself a spirit during the sleep. This is performed even when the shaman cannot fall asleep and when the shamanizing is not difficult. So the preparation for a serious shamanizing has turned into a ritual. (Manchus).

I do not think that other illustrations are needed to show that the most important methods of regulation of the psychology of the person to be treated, the audience and the shaman himself may change into a rigid ritual. However, in a great number of cases the same «rituals» remain effective methods, and may become a simple formality gradually dying away. This depends on the ethnical groups and individual shamans — in one group the method will not be a ritual, while in another group it may become a ritual, and in a third one it may change into a dying formality.

The answer to the question as to how these methods turn into a ritual seems to be as follows. First of all, a general critical attitude toward shamanism destroys the necessary psychological conditions for maintaining certain methods; secondly, some methods may turn into a ritual, when they cannot function as they did before, e.g. in the hands of the inventors of those methods; thirdly, when new methods are introduced which lead to the same end, but are not noticed, while the old methods are preserved as rituals; fourthly, when these methods are intentionally turned into rigid rituals and fixed. In fact, although we may observe all these cases in the shamanism of the Tungus, the Manchu ritualism is especially interesting, for it demonstrates all cases in the most striking form, owing to a very strong alien influence, which leads to a critical attitude, and a continuous introduction of new methods, as well as to the fixation of the methods in a written form.

It should be noted that sometimes a new method of reaching the aim does not at all consist of a great number of new rituals, but finds expression in a few phrases uttered and acts performed by the shaman at some moment of the performance. Still, a shamanizing consisting only of rituals may be effective in its totality; it would influence the audience and the sick person as it is, for instance, with the famous ceremonial and ritualism of Lamaism. On the other hand, an important condition of functional efficiency of shamanism is its continuous remodeling, by the mechanism of the loss, already discussed in a detailed manner, in which the shaman's initiative and invention may save the complex from the reduction to a ceremonialism. Quite a contrary effect is produced by the mechanism of preservation which, as I shall now show, in the case of some Manchu shamans, may turn shamanism into an inefficient ritualism. Here I have in view the fixation of methods and theories by means of written records and pictures.

632. The search for and guesses as to a hidden sense and mysticism have become so common in ethnographical writings that mere imagination of the authors sometimes form the bulk of investigations. The above given instance of «mystic numbers» clearly shows that since there must be some ritual repeated several times, and since there is a rhythm in the performance and since the numbers are limited (practically from two to ten), there must be coincidence without any «mystic reason». By this remark I do not altogether deny the possibility of the existence of mystic numbers. However their function would be different.

633. I do not mention now the written records of ritualism, which are a powerful means of preservation, for I shall revert to this question later on.

634. E.g. the ethnographers may suppose that uncooked meat and fresh blood are early forms of food of the time when fire was not used. But such a supposition presumes a series of hypotheses: creation of the managing of souls prior to the use of fire for cooking, late discovery of cooking and maintaining of fire hypothesis as to the «conservatism» of «primitive mind», etc. all of which are elements of the European ethnographical complex, from which the ethnographers can hardly desist.

635. The Manchus now do not use the production of sparks. There is no doubt that the flint-and-steel fire production is a new method received by the Tungus from or through the intermediary of the Mongols and Chinese in very recent times. Nowadays this method of fire production is gradually disappearing, being partly replaced by matches and partly rendered useless by the practice of carrying a piece of burning touchwood (especially among the Tungus of Manchuria) so the flint-and-steel have been included in the complex of shamanistic paraphernalia. When they are lost and cannot be got from the neighbours, the use of sparks must be discontinued, or the instant lighting must be produced by something else. I should not be surprised, if in place of flint-and-steel, an electric torch light would be used, made in U.S.A. or Japan.

636. It should be noted that in the Tungus complex both the buttons and tobacco pipes are innovations.

637. Cf. for instance, refrains used in Nishan Saman.

638. Manipulations with the drum are especially used. Among the Khingan Tungus the shaman, when going to the upper world, strikes the drum vigorously three times, and lifts it up; when going to the lower world, he makes movements downward, also three times. When a patient has a pain in the back, or the chest, the shaman makes movements with the drum as near as possible to the painful spot. If there is pain in the arms, the shaman blows into the drum in which a hole is supposed to be through which the spirit leaves the affected part of the limb. If the shaman wishes to harm people, he may do so with his drum: first the drum is passed up and down the chest then twice put on the rim, to symbolize a cross. For sending off the spirits, a series of quick movements are made with the drum, as though the spirits were being thrown away. Among the Birarchen the bad blood from the affected internal organs is supposed to be collected in the drum.

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