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SELKUP SHAMANS – “Women of Yamal”


The Selkup shaman’s gift was inherited from father to son or grandson. If in a family where the father was the shaman, the son did not become a shaman, that grandson sure is getting them. In songs, the tunes of the Selkup shaman learned songs and tunes of his father and grandfather. In shaman songs shaman-grandson is often called the grandfather of the assistants (spirits), urging them to follow the road laid down by his grandfather.

The child, who was destined to become a shaman, there are signs recognized from childhood. Such child has “clear” hair curls on the nape of the neck, high forehead and sharp look. Subsequently, he preferred to be alone with the approach of the teenage years all the more notable oddities. At age 14-15 or 20-21 years, Selkup, which was to be a shaman, called in sick weird mysterious disease. Disturbed sleep, hallucinations, the depression possessed him. Often these mental problems had worsened, the patient fainted, raged, sang. Then the relatives spoke to an old experienced shaman. The shaman camel, driving away evil spirits from the patient (“vote”), learned, whose band patrons encourage young Selkup to shamanism.

Then he declared the family that the spirit of the shaman-father or grandfather demands that this son or grandson also became a shaman. The Selkups believe that intended to refuse the shamanic gift cannot: refuse shamanic activity Selkup spirits”band” of his father or grandfather-the shaman was tortured to death.

The shaman ordered for this designed to make the first shamanic attribute – beater (“captin”). While the future shaman did beater, an old shaman had given him his tambourine, and with him the young shaman began Kamlat. While his mallet in his left leg and sang their first songs. It was timed to coincide with the arrival or departure of birds.

After some time the young shaman became calmer, painful seizures took place. He stopped to avoid people, shamans openly, in the presence of strangers. Surrounding songs on estimated strength and readiness of the young shaman to shaman the following attributes. Following made of diamonds. In the preparation of beater, tambourine, parks, the headdress for the new shaman was attended by many men and women, but personally, the shaman never any items shaman’s costume and attributes did not.