Shamans and Elders: Experience, Knowledge, and Power among the Daur Mongols

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byCaroline Humphrey, Urgunge Onon

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Shamans and Elders is a major study of Mongolian shamanism and society, past and present. It presents a wealth of new information, and offers a fresh understanding of the widespread phenomenon of shamanism. This unique and detailed analysis of a fascinating subject combines a discussion of Urgunge Onon's memories of shamanism with Caroline Humphrey's text- and field-based analytical knowledge of Central and North Asian shamanism. It covers among other things: notions of gender in Mongolian society, including male and female traditions in ritual, female shamans, and goddess worship; attitudes to death, and funeral rituals; the importance of old men and of ancestors; and Daur notions of landscape within their direct experience (the importance of the sky, of the mountains, of the forest, rivers, etc.) and beyond. In covering these diverse areas, the authors depart from the general cultural models usually offered in discussions of shamanism, providing a new vision of 'shamanism' as made up of fragmentary, non-formularized parts. It presents much-needed insight on a little-known world, and points to an original new way of doing anthropology.

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Shamans and Elders is a major study of Mongolian shamanism and society, past and present. It presents a wealth of new information, and offers a fresh understanding of the widespread phenomenon of shamanism. This unique and detailed analysis of a fascinating subject combines a discussion of Urgunge Onon's memories of sham...

Caroline Humphrey is at University of Cambridge. Urgunge Onon is at Cambridge University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:410 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198280688

ISBN - 13:9780198280682

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`Though valuable for its detailed ethnographic accounts of Daur shamanism and culture, the book is vastly more than a straightforward ethnography ... an engrossing journey of interpretation through the ideas and recollections of a manifold, challenging "Other", on which readers arecontinuously challenged to reflect upon and mitigate for themselves.'Mark Bender, Central Asia