Oceania

Oceania – Although some scholars insist that shamanism is the preserve of circum-Arctic regions, the peoples who live in the many islands of Oceania in the Pacific often employ religious leaders who use trance and manipulate sources of power to engage with otherthanhuman persons to the benefit of their communities or in their defense against aggressors. If the boundaries between shamans, on the one hand, and mediums and prophets, on the other, are fluid, the subject matter for consideration is vast. Also, since shamans elsewhere are frequently employed as diviners and mediators and are frequently accused of being sorcerers or witches, plenty of Oceanic equivalents can be found. It has become traditional to divide the islands of Oceania into Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Regional influences from South and East Asia, Aboriginal Australia, North America, and South America have also been present in traditional cultures even prior to the effects of colonialism and globalization.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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