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90. Conclusion

In this chapter I have reviewed various cases of psychomental conditions disabling the Tungus from acting as «normal» persons, i.e. persons who may develop a maximum of their social (ethnical) adaptive activity. We have seen that the Tungus distinguish different forms of incurable and curable disability, as well as of temporary acute and chronic disability. They distinguish conditions due to physical sickness and to spirits and, also those due to «bad habits».

Owing to the fact that the cases of pathological insanity among the Tungus are exceedingly rare, I have not treated them in detail, for they have no great weight in the psychomental complex of the Tungus. In fact, these cases form no special problem among the Tungus, for their mode of life is not of the nature to protect «wild insane persons», even for a short time, and harmlessly «insane» persons they will protect for only a little longer period. However, the Tungus have to deal in their daily life with very numerous cases superficially considered by the observers as «pathological» and as real insanity, while they are not so. A great number of these cases are nothing but a different ethnographical phenomenon unknown among the observers' ethnical group. No fewer groups of other phenomena are due either to the spreading of a certain ethnographical complex, as we have seen in the case of «olonism», or to the acceptance of the possibility of «relaxation», at least for a while, or to the pre-existing theories and ideas, the acceptance of which results in various conditions. All these cases are not at all due to «pathological conditions», but to a temporary disfunction of the psychomental complex, as a complex that regulates the relations between the individual and milieu, and within the individual himself regulates reactions, which are called into existence by the milieu or the internal equilibrium of the complex itself. Owing to the fact that these conditions are not of yesterday, the Tungus had time to create various methods the regulation of the complex in such a way that the equilibrium is restored almost automatically, or by the affected person very soon after the disabling, or, lastly, by the ethnical unit through the special mechanism of shamanism. However, this mechanism of self-regulation cannot always follow the tempo of variation of the secondary milieu, whence a great number of cases of individual disequilibrium originates. The latter cannot be immediately restored, whence a seeming susceptibility of the Tungus to the psychopathological conditions may be suspected. In conclusion of the present work I shall show that this situation is not characteristic of the Tungus alone, but the need of a correct diagnosis usually escapes attention of the pathologists».

Individual cases treated in the present chapter cannot give a picture of the actual importance of these phenomena in the Tungus ethnographical system. Neither do they suffice to explain the anxiety of the Tungus which prevails among them, when they meet with these phenomena. Finally, these phenomena are not sufficient to explain how the Tungus have come to create their clumsy mechanism for the regulation of the psychomental complex under the varying conditions of the milieu. These aspects will be clearer, when we discuss the conditions which are created by the spreading en masse of these phenomena.

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