White Shamanism

White Shamanism – A term like plastic medicine men that alleges that some or all neo-shamans are frauds. In articles called “The Great Pretenders: Further Reflections on Whiteshamanism” and “Just What’s All This Fuss about Whiteshamanism Anyway?” Wendy Rose carefully explains the problematic dynamics of the continuing colonization of indigenous peoples and their practices by a globalized culture founded on a notion that knowledge is universal property. In asking for respectful interactions between indigenous people and those who wish to learn about or from them, she proffers a useful parallel. She might be happy to write imaginatively about the Roman Catholic Mass, but she would not pretend to be a priest or attempt to persuade others that she can facilitate their experience of the transubstantiation of the Host. Equally, she demonstrates that indigenous cultures have protocols, boundaries, rules, expectations, and requirements that cannot be set aside, especially in favor of those who demonstrably ignore existing indigenous ceremonial leaders and writers who usually offer more complex introductions to the kinds of events and experiences desired by “wannabe Indians.”


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


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