§ Широкогоровы §
toggle menu

143. List Of Shamans Among The Groups Investigated

In the present section I shall give an enumeration of the shamans personally met with, also heard of from the Tungus. Such a list cannot be complete, for I did not myself meet with all of the shamans and some of them may easily have been forgotten by the Tungus. I made no detailed inquiry about it; but when I had an occasion to speak about the shamans whom I did not know personally, I asked about them. However, only a very limited number of them might escape my recording in spite of the incompleteness of my material concerning the number of shamans, I give a list of them, for it may give an idea as to how numerous they are, and this alone may be indicative of the actual importance of shamanism in the Tungus complex.

It should be kept in mind that shamanism among the Tungus is essentially a phenomenon connected with the clan organization. As can be seen from the preceding chapters, the shamans of the clan are in a more difficult position than the clan shamans. However, sometimes the clans have no shamans, for years, so that the calculation of the number of clans (given in my SONT) will not give an exact number of acting shamans. There are also shamans who act outside of the clan. Moreover, a disorganisation of the clan does not mean the disappearance of shamans, as observed among the Reindeer Tungus of Manchuria, but sometimes, on the contrary, the shamans multiply and become «family-shamans» or simply free shamans, as it is common e.g. among the Manchus [681]. Naturally, it depends upon the general condition of the psychomental complex, particularly on the extent of the psychoses and whether the complex of shamanism is abolished together with the clan organization, or whether it is replaced by some new complex.

TUNGUS OF TRANSBAIKALIA. During my work among these groups not all clans had shamans. I have personally seen five acting shamans, all of whom were connected with the clan activity. Among the Barguzin Tungus there were: (1) a very old shaman, of 86 years, who did not regularly shamanize and who transmitted his functions to his niece; this shaman was considered as a very strong, good shaman although at the time of my seeing him he was undoubtedly affected by his age, (2) the female shaman mentioned in the preceding case, who was a beginner, but who could already perform a great shamanizing going to the upper world; (3) the female shaman described in the preceding section (Section 142) under Case 2, who could go to the lower world (as far as I know, she was the only one who could do it); (4) the male shaman described in the previous section under the Case 1; (5) a male shaman of middle age, not very talented, but who could help the souls of dead people to go to the lower world. I was told that there were some two or three shamans more.

Among the Nerchinsk Tungus several shamans were known: (1) an old, very good male shaman mentioned in Case 1 of the preceding section, who could go to the lower world, whom I had no chance to meet personally; (2) a young female shaman whom I saw only once and about whose ability I was not informed; (3) a female shaman, middle aged, who emigrated from among the Nomad Tungus of Urulga and settled down among the Nerchinsk Tungus in Utesina, near Tekser on the Akima River (vide SONT), she shamanized and her paraphernalia were the same as those now observed among the Nomad Tungus; I knew her personally. It is very likely, that there were two or three other shamans. However, the Nerchinsk Tungus asserted that the shamans were not as numerous as among the Barguzin Tungus.

Among the Nomad Tungus of Urulga (they now speak a dialect related to the Buriat language) I saw only a male shaman in Narin Talaca (a Nomad Tungus summer settlement to the north of the railway station Urulga). I did not see him shamanize, although we lived with him nearly two weeks. There was another male shaman in Delun (a summer settlement near to Nerchinsk), but I have no details about him. The third was the female-shaman, mentioned above, settled among the Nerchinsk Tungus.

In these three groups with a population of slightly over two thousand there were at least fourteen or more shamans of whom less than a half were females.

I have no information regarding the Angara and now extinct Samagir groups. From the Tungus I know that the Barguzin Nomad Tungus had some shamans, but they were not numerous. Some shamans existed among the Mankova Tungus, and among the Borz'a Tungus. I saw one of these. All of them were of the type of the shaman observed among the Nomad Tungus of Urulga.

TUNGUS OF MANCHURIA. As stated, there were no more shamans among the Reindeer Tungus, the last one having died in 1912. He lived on the upper course of the Kumara River [682]. However this does not mean that shamans have not appeared since, for the memory of shamanism was still vivid [683]. One of the causes of loss of shamanism was the abolition of the clan organization, and another one was the strong Russian influence.

Among the Khingan Tungus not all clans had shamans. I have seen: (1) a female shaman living at the jodun River (a tributary of the Gan River) described as «Case 3» of the preceding section; (2) an old male shaman, not active, who was living on the upper course of the Gan River; (3) a very old half-paralyzed female shaman who was living on the Derbukan River, who did not often shamanize (cf. supra p. 312). I was told that there were probably one or two shamans more, whom I did not see. During my stay among this group the question had arisen as to the creation of a new shaman (bajagir clan).

Among the Kumarchen there was at least one shaman in every clan. Since this group had six clans, it might be supposed that there have been six shamans. However, not all clans were then entirely separated, so that there might have been fewer. I have seen: (1) an old male shaman who lived on the middle course of the Kumara River, who seldom shamanized; (2) a male shaman, very good and very active, who lived on the Warakan River (a tributary of the Kumara); (3) an old male shaman, little active, who lived during the winter season in the locality of Orodon [684].

Among the Birarchen the shamans were more numerous than among the Kumarchen: (1) a female shaman described under Case 4 of the preceding section; (2) a male shaman who lived on the jumbira, a tributary of the Sun River, whom I had no chance to see; (3) a female-shaman who gave up shamanizing (cf. supra, p. 382); (4) a female-shaman about twenty-eight years old who lived a few kilometers from Chelu, who did not very often shamanise, and who had become shaman after a love drama; (6) a male shaman, a beginner who had only a few spirits and who was dona shaman [685]; (6) a female shaman whose shamanism was greatly influenced by the Goldi shamanism. In the Malakul clan after its division there were three clan-shamans. In addition to the above mentioned shamans there were some Dahur and Manchu shamans who lived for longer or shorter periods among the Birarchen.

In so far as I could gather, there were some shamans among the Mergen group and Solons. But I did not see them and I got no details about them.

As can be seen from the above mentioned facts, the total number of shamans among the Tungus of Manchuria was no less than seventeen and, including the Solons, probably far over twenty, for a population of over five thousand souls.

MANCHUS. P'oyun saman and amba saman must be distinguished. Every clan of old Manchus has a p'oyun saman, so that the number of p'oyun saman is very large, according to the number of mokun [686]. The amba saman are not numerous for the reasons shown before, so that in all villages of the Aigun district, at my time, there were only ten or eleven shamans. However, the majority of them did not carry on their duties because of lack of paraphernalia which had been burnt in 1900, and the clans had not consented to bear the great expense of their restoration. I saw most of the shamans, and all those who were acting, namely, four shamans, one of whom was a female, besides the newly created male shaman (vide supra section 131). In addition to the Manchu shamans there were two Chinese {n'ikari) shamans, whom I frequently saw, who performed among the Manchus. One of the Manchu shamans usually performed in Chinese. The Dahur shamans, the number of which I cannot now establish, were also known to act among the Manchus. However, the Manchus decidedly preferred Chinese shamans.

From the above review of the number of shamans among the various Tungus groups it can be seen that the shamans are numerous, and as a phenomenon shamanism, during my living among the investigated groups, was not in a state of decline, but only in a state or continuous readaptation. I shall revert to this subject in one of the following sections.

681. Perhaps the presence of a great number of «shamans» among the Chukchis is due to the disintegration of the clan organization.

682. He was buried in the ground and his paraphernalia were put in a store having a platform. The house was probably burnt during a severe forest fire. He had been a very good shaman, according to his relatives.

683. In fact, there were some shamans who lived in the Amur Prov., but there was no close connection between the group living in Manchuria and that living in the Russian territory.

684. I was told about another male shaman who lived on the Kamala River, but I could gather no detailed information about him.

685. From this shaman I gathered a good collection of folklore in which he was also versed.

686. Vide SOM pp. 20-28. As shown, the old Manchu -fe manju — have p'oyun saman, while the New Manchus — iche manju — do not have them, as it is among the Chinese (n'ikari) and Tungus groups.

Электропочта shirokogorov@gmail.com
© 2009 - 2024