Shaman's Costume and Its Symbolism

Shamanic attire with all its additions is a microcosm, a mystical <code> that can only be understood in the context of shamanic worldview. Therefore, the process of putting it on becomes a sacred act, helping the shaman transcend the mundane space and enter the sacred realm where communication with spirits is possible.
shamanic attire
Dressing in shamanic attire, as part of the numerous preparations for a shamanic journey, tunes the shaman's consciousness to a different tone, enabling the perception of subtle vibrations. It can be said that the shamanic costume and attributes are trigger mechanisms that bring the shaman into a special state from which it is easier to enter the spirit world. By wearing the costume, the shaman attains a mystical state that has been discovered and reinforced through long experiences and initiation ceremonies.

When making their costume, shamans often decorate it with elements carrying animal symbolism. The most common images found in shamanic attire are birds, deer, and bears. By adorning their costume with feathers, bones, teeth, and animal skins, shamans create a "second body." Wearing such attire helps overcome the boundaries of their own physical body and undertake a shamanic journey in the form of an animal.

It is difficult to find a shamanic costume that does not include bird feathers. The use of feathers on the shoulders and elbows of a shamanic robe is typical for Altaians, Khakas, Tofalars, Yukaghirs, Tuvans-Todzhins, and Mongols.

In many cultures, the eagle is considered the father of the First Shaman and plays an important role in the shaman's initiation. It is central to the entire mythological complex associated with shamanism and is also seen as representing the Supreme Being. Therefore, the eagle, from which feathers are obtained for decorating the shamanic attire and other shamanic attributes, is often released into the wild.

For this reason, the structure of the shamanic attire strongly emphasizes the desire to accurately convey the form of a bird.

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