Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(1,737 words)

1. Concept

The word “shaman” is derived from saman, which Russian travelers borrowed from the Tunguz (Evenks) of Siberia in the 17th century. Of unknown origin, the Tunguz word denoted a person who could control spirits, meaning the helper spirits with whom shamans came into contact during their ritual ecstasy [10. 431]. Missionaries and travelers of the early modern period frequently equated the concept with devil worship, sorcery, or charlatanry (Missionary report 3.), and the meaning of the …

Cite this page
Gareis, Iris, “Shamanism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027001>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

▲   Back to top   ▲