Becoming a shaman among different peoples of Siberia

In different cultures, the definition of who can become a shaman varies. The main methods are considered to be the inheritance of the shaman profession and the summoning of spirits. But, for example, among the Altai people, one can become a shaman by one's own will, while among the Tungus people, it is based on the will of the lineage. When the choice is made by the lineage, attention is primarily paid to the ecstatic experiences (trance, visions, dreams) of the candidates. If such experiences are absent, the candidacy is simply not considered.
A shaman performs a ritual near the campfire
A shaman receives recognition only after undergoing dual apprenticeship, which is given by the spirits in the form of dreams, visions, and trance instructions, as well as experienced shamans who transmit shamanic techniques and knowledge about spirits. Such apprenticeship, sometimes happening publicly, is equivalent to initiation. However, this ritual can also take place without the involvement of people during sleep or trance states.

Among the Mansi (Voguls), shamanism is inherited, sometimes even through the maternal line. A future shaman stands out among his peers from a young age. He may be prone to seizures of epilepsy, which others regard as encounters with spirits. In the beliefs of the Khanty people, a shaman receives his power at birth, so shamanism is considered a gift from Heaven.

The same is believed in the Irtysh region: the abilities of a shaman are granted by the god of Heaven, Sanke, and they manifest themselves from childhood.

Often, both forms of acquiring shamanic skills coexist. The Vyatka people recognize shamanism as hereditary, but the supreme deity endows a person with the necessary abilities and trains him through visions and dreams.

The hereditary transmission of shamanism among Siberian Samoyeds is interesting. After the death of the father, the son carves a wooden hand through which the predecessor's abilities are transmitted. However, it is not enough to simply be the son of a shaman. It is also necessary to be accepted by the spirits and approved by them.
The Nenets identify a shaman on the day of their birth. Children who are born "fully clothed" become shamans. Those who only have a "cap" on their heads are destined to become lesser shamans. When the candidate grows up, signs of his calling begin to manifest strongly: visions appear, the person starts singing in his sleep, and he enjoys solitude. After going through this period, the candidate must contact an elder shaman for training.

The Yakuts do not consider shamanic abilities to be hereditary. According to their beliefs, a guardian spirit, emegen, does not disappear after the death of a shaman. It tries to find embodiment in one of the members of the same family. This embodiment occurs as follows: the person chosen by emegen becomes overwhelmed by madness, then loses sanity and runs away into the forest. There, he feeds on tree bark, throws himself into fire and water, and harms himself with knives. The chosen person's family seeks the help of an old shaman, who takes on the training of the young person and introduces him to the spirits of various lineages, the ways to summon them, and how to master them. But this is only the beginning of the initiation, which includes numerous ceremonies.

The Trans-Baikal Tungus people rely on the dreams of a future shaman, in which a spirit of a deceased shaman must appear and command to perform his functions. However, this statement must be accompanied by an obvious mental disorder.

Among the Turukhans Tungus people, the one who is destined to become a shaman is visited by the spirit Hargi in his dreams. Hargi performs shamanic rituals, and the candidate, taking advantage of this, learns the secrets of the shamanic craft.
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