The Shaman

Referring to the spirituality of Mongolia and Siberia as shamanism is
somewhat misleading, because a shaman is not revered himself but rather
respected because of his special relationship with the spirits. Some
scholars have taken to calling this traditional religion Tengrism, which is
more appropriate because worship is centered on Tenger and the spirits.
Everyday religious practices honoring the spirits does not require a
shaman; only when his powers are needed to restore balance or heal illness
will a shaman be called for assistance. Some tribes have more than one type
of shaman, among some groups they are ranked by their power, or they will
be differentiated as white or black depending on what spirits they use and
where they travel. Among the southernmost Mongolian groups, such as the
Dagur shamans work alongside other shamanlike practitioners such as
bonesetters and other folk doctors some of whom also have helper spirits.
Many groups have only one kind of shaman who is capable of doing the work
of white or black shamans as well as folk doctors. For the sake of
simplicity this type of shaman will be the model for the description in
this paper.

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