Shamanism Among Eskimo Peoples

Shamanism Among Eskimo Peoples

Shamanism among Eskimo peoples refers to those aspects of the various Eskimo cultures that are related to the shamans’ role as a mediator between people and spirits, souls, and mythological beings. Such beliefs and practices were once widespread among Eskimo groups, but today are rarely practiced, and it was already in the decline among many groups even in the times when the first major ethnological research was done. For example, at the end of 19th century, Sagdloq died, the last shaman among Polar Eskimos who was believed to be able to travel to the sky and under the sea, and many other shamanic capabilities such as ventriloquism and sleight-of-hand were lost then too.

The term "Eskimo" has fallen out of favour in Canada and Greenland, where it is considered pejorative and "Inuit" is used instead. However, "Eskimo" is still considered acceptable among Alaska Natives of Yupik and Inupiaq (Inuit) heritage, and is preferred over "Inuit" as a collective reference. To date, no replacement term for "Eskimo" inclusive of all Inuit and Yupik people has achieved acceptance across the geographical area inhabited by the Inuit and Yupik peoples. The Inuit and Yupik languages constitute one branch within the Eskimo–Aleut language family and the Aleut language is another. (The Sireniki Eskimo language is sometimes seen as a third branch, but sometimes as one of the Yupik languages.)

Read more about Shamanism Among Eskimo Peoples:  Connection To Shamanism, Shamanic Initiation, Special Language, Techniques, Social Position, Soul Concepts, Some Kinds of Magic Requiring Secrecy (or Novelty), and The Neutralizing Effect of Publicity, See Also

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