Shamanism: An Introduction
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
- Publisher : Routledge (November 27, 2002)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 148 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0415273188
- ISBN-13 : 978-0415273183
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.43 x 0.34 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,517,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This format for discussing shamanism has merits. There are many similarities in shamanic cultures so it can be interesting to compare them. However, the book does have some problematic features.
Many over generalisations, have been made. For example, Stutley writes that, in shamanism "the most important object is the drum". This statement is true for some shamanic cultures, but some others do not make use of drums at all. Statements such as "shamans have peculiar brilliant eyes which enable them to see spirits", and "shamans do not age as ordinary people do", are a little off-putting.
There are also some worrying ambiguities in language and unusual, confusing paragraph structures. For example, a heading reads, "Lapp, Sami and Tatar drums", this implies that Lapp and Sami are two separate things, don't you agree? In fact, these two terms denote the same group of people ("Sami" [or Saami] is the preferred name for the Indigenous people of Northern Europe most English speakers know of as "Lapps".) In the subsequent discussion, the terms Lapp and Sami are used in alternating paragraphs and nothing is done to inform the reader that these are two names for the same people. Adding to the confusion is the discussion of drum iconography. Paragraph one of this sub-chapter gives a list of icons often found on "Lapp" drums and paragraph three gives a similar list for "Sami and Tatar" drums. This treatment misleads the reader, and makes me wonder about the descriptions of the other cultures I know less about.
Ultimately, this book may be interesting, but as an introduction, it isn't very useful. It does give some ideas of common themes in shamanic cultures, but, it could definitely have benefited from a a tidy-up of the language and few extra pages to clarify the geographical and temporal contexts.