Resource management

Resource management – A significant role for shamans in many indigenous cultures, part of their mediatory and political functions. Shamans may engage with particular animals, plants, birds, fish, and similar other-than-human persons on whom their communities rely (especially for food) in order to guarantee the availability of future “resources.” Examples include Batak shamans’ participatory role in dispersing honey and rice, Sakha (Yakut) shamans’ knowledge of the whereabouts of reindeer, and Inuit shamans’ mediation with animals who may have been offended and refuse to give themselves to hunters. This shamanic role is generally overlooked, misunderstood, or taken to be merely symbolic or “spiritual,” by many commentators, especially neo-shamans.

SOURCE:

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

BOOKS FOR YOU TO READ IN OUR LIBRARY:

Related Articles

Batak

Batak – Indigenous people from the remaining forests of Palawan, the Philippines. Their shamans share many of the functions of shamans elsewhere, but a principal…

Animals

Animals – Shamans engage with animals in a range of significant ways. In societies that live by hunting, shamans may journey beyond their physical location…

Other Worlds

Other Worlds – Many shamanic cosmologies posit the existence of lands, realms, or dimensions accessible to shamans after initiation and training. These are rarely if…

Elders

Elders – Shamans are rarely the only social and ritual leaders in their communities. Caroline Humphrey, Urgunge Onon, and Marjorie Balzer clarify the role of…