Via 100 entries or "mini-chapters," 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook highlights the most important topics, issues, questions, and debates any student obtaining a degree in the field of anthropology ought to have mastered for effectiveness in the 21st century. This two-volume set provides undergraduate majors with an authoritative reference source that serves their research needs with more detailed information than encyclopedia entries but in a clear, accessible style, devoid of jargon, unnecessary detail or density.Key Features- Emphasizes key curricular topics, making it useful for students researching for term papers, preparing for GREs, or considering topics for a senior thesis, graduate degree, or career.- Comprehensive, providing full coverage of key subthemes and subfields within the discipline, such as applied anthropology, archaeology and paleontology, sociocultural anthropology, evolution, linguistics, physical and biological anthropology, primate studies, and more.- Offers uniform chapter structure so students can easily locate key information, within these sections: Introduction, Theory, Methods, Applications, Comparison, Future Directions, Summary, Bibliography & Suggestions for Further Reading, and Cross References.- Available in print or electronically at SAGE Reference Online, providing students with convenient, easy access to its contents.
Chapter 20: Shamanism
Shamanism has commanded scholarly and intellectual attention in Western academia since the 18th century. Current anthropologists discredit much of the historic literature as methodologically unscientific, revealing more about the biases and fascinations of Western writers than about their subjects. Nevertheless, the ethnographic record on shamanism is rich and has informed scholars from numerous disciplines, including religious studies, history, and psychology.
Anthropologists use shaman in several different ways. Most narrowly, and arguably most appropriately, it denotes magicoreligious specialists of the Siberian Tungus people. The word saman comes from the Tungus verb sa-“to know.” Noting similarities and cultural diffusion, scholars expanded the term to indicate similar practitioners in other circumboreal cultures and central Asia. Most commonly, shaman refers to a theoretical category of magicoreligious specialists in cultures ...