The journey undertaken by a shaman to the Underworld to return the lost guardian spirit to a sick person is usually made by him alone. But there is also an unusual, carefully developed version of the return of the guardian spirit to a sick person - the group journeys simultaneously performed by several shamans. For such a journey, shamans create a "spiritual boat" or "spiritual canoe".
On the appointed night, the shamans created two "imaginary" canoes, becoming two parallel rows inside a large house. Next to each shaman was his magical cedar board, dug into the earthen rampart. Each board was decorated with images of what its owner saw in his first spiritual canoe. In addition, each shaman had a pole with which he pushed a canoe or rowed. The shaman sitting on the bow of the canoe was considered the leader, and the one sitting on the stern was the helmsman.
Accompanied by rattles, drums and singing, shamans "fell" through the ground, "floating" in a spiritual boat with the power to "dock in the water" wherever they traveled. Each shaman who was in the spiritual canoe sang the song of his guardian. The audience sat along the walls, joining in the singing to help the shamans. Traveling in a spiritual canoe sometimes for 5-6 days, shamans slept during the day, and in the evenings pushed the canoe from the place where they stopped at dawn. Most often, the journey lasted two nights. The first night was a journey to the land of spirits, and the second was a return from there. Shamans began the return journey as soon as they became owners of the client's guardian spirit. After the guardian spirit was returned to the patient, he stood up and danced.
The spirit canoe is used not only for the return of guardian spirits, but also for research in journey. A research journey requires the presence of a client in the middle of the canoe. At the same time, the drummer occupies a key position; it is better if this role is assigned to an experienced shaman.
The team shares their experience after each journey in order to accelerate the accumulation of shamanic knowledge. During research journeys, a shaman acquires spirit helpers and knowledge about how to treat various diseases. In such journeys, he is led by a guardian spirit, who leads the shaman to the habitats of special spirits