shaman


shaman
shamanic /sheuh man"ik/, adj.
/shah"meuhn, shay"-, sham"euhn/, n.
(esp. among certain tribal peoples) a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc.
[1690-1700; < G Schamane < Russ shamán, prob. < Evenki šaman, saman]

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Person who uses magic to cure the sick, divine the unknown, or control events.

Both men and women can be shamans. Shamanism is classically associated with certain Arctic and Central Asian peoples, but today the term is applied to analogous religious and quasi-religious systems throughout the world. As medicine man and priest, the shaman cures illnesses, directs communal sacrifices, and escorts the souls of the dead to the other world. He operates by using techniques of ecstasy, the power to leave his body at will during a trancelike state. In cultures where shamanism occurs, sickness is usually thought of as soul loss; it is thus the shaman's task to enter the spirit world, capture the soul, and reintegrate it in the body. A person becomes a shaman either by inheritance or by self-election. See also animism.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • shaman — (n.) 1690s, priest of the Ural Altaic peoples, probably via Ger. Schamane, from Rus. shaman, from Tungus shaman, which is perhaps from Chinese sha men Buddhist monk, from Prakrit samaya , from Skt. sramana s Buddhist ascetic …   Etymology dictionary

  • Shaman — Sha man, n. [From the native name.] A priest of Shamanism; a wizard among the Shamanists. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shaman — [n] religious specialist healer, medicine man, priest, sorcerer, witch doctor; concept 361 …   New thesaurus

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  • shaman — [shä′mən, shā′mən; sham′ən] n. pl. shamans [Russ < Tungusic šaman < Prakrit s̍amana, Buddhist monk < Sans s̍ramaṇa, orig., ascetic, akin to s̍ram, to fatigue] a priest or medicine man, esp. among N Asian peoples, who is believed able to… …   English World dictionary

  • shaman — chaman [ ʃaman ] n. m. VAR. shaman • 1699; probablt du toungouze saman « moine » ♦ Ethnol. Prêtre sorcier, à la fois devin et thérapeute, dans les civilisations d Asie centrale et septentrionale, et par ext. dans d autres civilisations. « l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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