Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Does Shamanism Have a History? With Attention to Early Chinese Shamanism

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Numen

The article examines various options that scholars have explored in their efforts to construct a history of shamanism. Recognizing Eliade’s promise that such a history lies in the near future, the article then explores the important ways in which this has been undertaken. It specifies four such ways: with prehistoric rock art, the origins of cultural myths, memory studies, and movements of cultural resistance. Ultimately resisting each of these four options while paying particular attention to the case of early Chinese shamanism, its concluding sections recognize the work of Mircea Eliade and Roberte Hamayon as providing two alternative pathways that might lead into possible constructions of this history, and it then attempts to locate a third way between them.

Affiliations: 1: School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University No. 19 Xinjiekouwai, Beijing 100875


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Bahn Paul G. 2001"“Save the Last Trance for Me: An Assessment of the Misuse of Shamanism in Rock Art Studies”" Francfort Henri-Paul, Hamayon Roberte The Concept of Shamanism: Uses and Abuses Budapest Akadémiao Kiadó 51 94
2. Balzer Marjorie Mandelstam 1999 The Tenacity of Ethnicity: A Siberian Saga in Global Perspective Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press
3. Balzer Marjorie Mandelstam 2013 Interrelating Politics, Ecology and Spirituality in Siberia’s Far East: Sakha, Buryatia and Tuva Seattle, WA University of Washington Press
4. Besmer Fremont 1983 Horses, Musicians and Gods: The Hausa Cult of Possession-Trance South Hadley, MA Bergin and Garvey
5. Beyer Stephan V. 2009 Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon Albuquerque, NM University of New Mexico Press
6. Binnick Robert I. 2011 The Past Tenses of the Mongolian Verb: Meaning and Use Leiden Brill [Crossref]
7. Boileau Gilles 2002"“Wu and Shaman”" Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African StudiesVol 65 2 350 378 [Crossref]
8. Boileau Gilles 2014 Politique et rituel dans la Chine ancienne Paris Institut des hautes études chinoises
9. Boltz William 1994 The Origin and Early Development of the Chinese Writing System New Haven, CT American Oriental Society
10. Brewer Carolyn 2004 Shamanism, Catholicism and Gender Relations in Colonial Philippines, 1521–1685 Aldershot Ashgate
11. Burkert Walter 1979 Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual Berkeley, CA University of California Press
12. Buyandelger Manduhai 2013 Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia Chicago University of Chicago Press [Crossref]
13. Chang Kwang-Chih 1983 Art, Myth and Ritual: The Path to Political Authority in Ancient China Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press
14. Chang Kwang-Chih 1994"“Shang Shamans”" Peterson Willard J., Plaks Andrew H., Ying-shih The Power of Culture: Studies in Chinese Cultural History Hong Kong Chinese University Press 10 36
15. Chao Emily 2012 Lijiang Stories: Shamans, Taxi Drivers, and Runaway Brides in Reform-Era China Seattle, WA University of Washington Press
16. Chen Mengjia 1936"“Shang dai de shenhua yu wushu”" Yanjing xuebao Vol 20 485 576
17. Childs-Johnson Elizabeth. 1995. "“The Ghost Head Mask and Metaphoric Imagery”" Early China Vol 20 79 92 [Crossref]
18. Csordas Thomas J. 1996"“Imaginal Performance and Memory in Ritual Healing”" Laderman Carol, Roseman Rosina The Performance of Healing New York Routledge 91 114
19. Desjarlais Robert R. 1992 Body and Emotion: The Aesthetics of Illness and Healing in the Nepal Himalayas Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Press
20. Diaz-Andreu Margarita 2001"“An All-Embracing Universal Hunter-Gatherer Religion? Discussing Shamanism and Spanish Levantine Rock-Art”" Francfort Henri-Paul, Hamayon Roberte The Concept of Shamanism: Uses and Abuses Budapest Akadémiao Kiadó 117 134
21. Dixon Roland B. 1908 "“Some Aspects of the American Shamans”" Journal of American Folklore Vol 21 1 12 [Crossref]
22. Duncombe Stephen 2007"“Cultural Resistance”" Ritzer George Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology London Blackwell Blackwell Reference Online:–179
23. Durkheim Émile 2001 The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life Cosmon Carol Oxford Oxford University Press
24. Eberhard Wolfram 1968 The Local Cultures of South and East China Eberhard Alide Leiden Brill
25. Eliade Mircea 1964 Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy Trask Willard R. Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press
26. Falkenhausen Lothar von 1995 "“Reflections on the Political Role of Spirit Mediums in Early China: The Wu Officials in the Zhou Li”" Early ChinaVol 20 279 300 [Crossref]
27. Flaherty Gloria 1992 Shamanism and the Eighteenth Century Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press [Crossref]
28. Francfort Henri-Paul 2001"“Prehistoric Section: An Introduction”" Francfort Henri-Paul, Hamayon Roberte The Concept of Shamanism: Uses and Abuses Budapest Akadémiao Kiadó 31 49
29. Frankfort H., Frankfort H. A. 1946"“Myth and Reality”" Frankfort H., Frankfort H. A., Wilson John A., Jacobsen Thorkild, Irwin William A. The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East Chicago University of Chicago Press 3 27
30. Geertz Clifford 1985 Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology New York Basic Books
31. Ginzburg Carlo 1991 Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath New York Pantheon Books
32. Glass-Coffin Bonnie 1999 "“Engendering Peruvian Shamanism through Time: Insights from Ethnohistory and Ethnography”" Ethnohistory Vol 46 2 205 238
33. Goody Jack 1986 The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society Cambridge Cambridge University Press [Crossref]
34. Granet Marcel 1994 Danses et légends de la Chine ancienne Paris Libraires Félix Alcan
35. Halbwachs Maurice 1992 On Collective Memory Coser Lewis A. Chicago University of Chicago Press
36. Hamayon Roberte 1990 La chasse à l’àme: Esquisse d’une théorie du chamanisme siberien Nanterre, France Société d’Ethnologie
37. Hamayon Roberte 1995 "“Pour en finir avec la ‘transe’ et l’‘extase’ dans l’étude du chamanisme”" Études mongoles et sibériennes Vol 26 155 190
38. Hamayon Roberte 1996"“Shamanism in Siberia: From Partnership in Nature to Counter-power in Society”" Thomas Nicholas, Humphrey Caroline Shamanism, History, and the State Ann Arbor, MI University of Michigan Press 76 89
39. Hamayon Roberte 1998a"“ ‘Ecstasy’ or the West-Dreamt Siberian Shaman”" Wautischer Helmut Tribal Epistemologies: Essays in the Philosophy of Anthropology Aldershot Ashgate 175 187
40. Hamayon Roberte 1998b"“Sens de l’ « alliance » religieuse: « mari » d’esprit, « femme » de dieu”" Anthropologie et sociétés Vol 22 2 25 48 [Crossref]
41. Hamayon Roberte 2014"“Postface, un regard d’anthropologue antique par Roberte Hamayon”" Boileau Gilles Politique et rituel dans la Chine ancienne Paris Institut des hautes études chinoises 433 448
42. Hamayon Roberte 2015 Le chamanisme: Fondements et pratiques d’une forme religieuse d’hier et d’aujourd’hui Paris Groupe Eyrolles
43. Hocart Arthur M. 1970 Kings and Councillors Chicago University of Chicago Press
44. Hoppál Mihály 2007 Shamans and Traditions Budapest Akadémiai Kiadó
45. Hultkrantz Åke 1995"“The Shaman in Myths and Tales”" Kim Tae-gon, Hoppál Mihály Shamanism in Performing Arts Budapest Akadémiao Kiadó 145 158
46. Humphrey Caroline, Onon Urgunge 1996 Shamans and Elders: Experience, Knowledge, and Power among the Daur Mongols Oxford Oxford University Press
47. Hutton Ronald 2001 Shamans: Siberian Spirituality and the Western Imagination London Hambledon Continuum
48. Kehoe Alice Beck 2000 Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking Prospect Heights, IL Waveland Press
49. Klein Cecelia F., Guzman Eulogio, Mandell Elisa C., Stanfield Maya, Volpe Josephine 2001"“Shamanitis: A Pre-Columbian Art Historical Disease”" Francfort Henri-Paul, Hamayon Roberte The Concept of Shamanism: Uses and Abuses Budapest Akadémiao Kiadó 207 224
50. Kim Chongho 2003 Korean Shamanism: The Cultural Paradox Burlington, VT Ashgate
51. Kracke Waud H. 1992"“He Who Dreams: The Nocturnal Source of Transforming Power in Kagwahiv Shamanism”" Matteson Langdon E. Jean, Baer Gerhard Portals of Power: Shamanism in South America Albuquerque, NM University of New Mexico Press 127 148
52. Krippner Stanley 1988"“Dreams and Shamanism”" Shirley Nicholson Shamanism Wheaton, IL The Theosophical Publishing House 125 132
53. La Barre Weston 1979 "“Shamanic Origins of Religion and Medicine”" Journal of Psychedelic Drugs Vol 1 1 2 7 11
54. Lavriellier Alexandra 2011"“The Creation and Persistence of Cultural Landscapes among the Siberian Evenk: Two Conceptions of ‘Sacred Space’ ”" Jordan Peter Landscape and Culture in Northern Eurasia Walnut Creek, CA Left Coast Press 215 323
55. Lévi-Strauss Claude 1963 Structural Anthropology New York Basic Books
56. Lévi-Strauss Claude 1983 The Raw and the Cooked. MythologiquesVol Volume 1 Chicago University of Chicago Press
57. Lévi-Strauss Claude 2012 Tristes Tropiques New York Penguin Classics
58. Levin Theodore 2011 Where Mountains and Rivers Sing: Sound, Music, and Nomadism in Tuva and Beyond Bloomington, IN Indiana University Press
59. Lewis I. M. 1989 Ecstatic Religion: A Study of Shamanism and Spirit Possession 2nd ed. London Routledge
60. Lewis-Williams D. J. 1998"“Quanto?: The Issue of ‘Many Meanings’ in Southern African San Rock Art Research”" South African Archaeological Bulletin Vol 53 168 86 97 [Crossref]
61. Lewis-Williams D. J. 2002 A Cosmos in Stone: Interpreting Religion and Society through Rock Art Walnut Creek, CA Alta Mira Press
62. Lin Fu-shih 2007"“The Image and Status of Shamans in Ancient China”" Lagerwey John, Kalinowski Marc Early Chinese Religion, Volume One: Part One: Shang through Han (1250 BC–220 AD) Leiden Brill 397 458
63. Maspero Henri 1971 Le Taoïsme et les religions chinoises Édition posthume Paris Éditions Gallimard
64. Michael Thomas 2015"“Shamanism Theory and the Early Chinese Wu”" Journal of the American Academy of Religion Vol 83 3 649 696 [Crossref]
65. Michael Thomas 2017"“Shamanic Eroticism and the Nine Songs (Jiu Ge) of Early China”" Monumenta Serica Vol 65 1 1 20 [Crossref]
66. Neihardt John G. 2014 Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition Lincoln, NE University of Nebraska Press [Crossref]
67. Nelson Sarah Milledge 2015 Shamans, Queens, and Figurines: The Development of Gender Archaeology Walnut Creek, CA Left Coast Press
68. Niemi Jatkko 2001"“Dream Songs of the Forest Nenets”" Pentikäinen Juha Shamanhood: Symbolism and Epic Budapest Akadémiai Kiadó 135 154
69. Norwalk Margaret, Durrant Stephen 1977 The Tale of the Nisan Shamaness: A Manchu Folk Epic Seattle, WA University of Washington Press
70. Novik Elena S. 1997"“The Archaic Epic and Its Relationship to Ritual”" Mandelstam Balzer Marjorie Shamanic Worlds: Rituals and Lore of Siberia and Central Asia Armonk, NY North Castle Books 185 234
71. Pedersen Morten Axel 2011 Not Quite Shamans: Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia Ithaca, NY Cornell University Press
72. Perrin Michel 1994 "“Quelques relations entre rêve et chamanisme”" Anthropologie et sociétésVol 18 2 29 42 [Crossref]
73. Rasmussen Knud 1999 Across Arctic America: Narrative of the Fifth Thule Expedition (Classic Reprint Series) Fairbanks, AK University of Alaska Press
74. Ricoeur Paul 1984 1988 Time and Narrative (Temps et Récit) 3 vols. McLaughlin Kathleen, Pellauer David Chicago University of Chicago Press
75. Rogers Richard A. 2007 "“From Hunting Magic to Shamanism: Interpretations of Native American Rock Art and the Contemporary Crisis in Masculinity”" Women’s Studies in Communication Vol 30 1 78 110 [Crossref]
76. Roseman Marina 1996"“ ‘Pure Products Go Crazy’: Rainforest Healing in a Nation-state”" Laderman Carol, Roseman Rosina The Performance of Healing New York Routledge 233 269
77. Sagant Philippe 1996"“De la chasse à l’élevage”" L’Homme Vol 36 138 127 135
78. Saladin d’Anglure Bernard 2006 Être et renaître inuit, homme, femme ou chamane Paris Éditions Gallimard
79. Sansonese J. Nigro 1994 The Body of Myth: Mythology, Shamanic Trance, and the Sacred Geography of the Body Rochester, VT Inner Traditions International
80. Shirokogoroff S. M. 1999 [1935] The Psychomental Complex of the Tungus Berlin Reinhold Schletzer
81. Smith Jonathan Z. 1988 Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown Chicago University of Chicago Press
82. Smith Jonathan Z. 1993 Map Is Not territory: Studies in the History of Religions Chicago University of Chicago Press
83. Stein Rolf A. 1990 The World in Miniature: Container Gardens and Dwellings in Far Eastern Religious Thought Brooks Phyllis Stanford, CA Stanford University Press
84. Sukhu Gopal 2012 The Shaman and the Heresiarch: A New Interpretation of the Li sao Albany State University of New York Press
85. Sullivan Lawrence Eugene 1988 Icanchu’s Drum: An Orientation to Meaning in South American Religions New York Macmillan
86. Sutton Donald S. 2000"“From Credulity to Scorn: Confucians Confront the Spirit Mediums in Late Imperial China”" Late Imperial China Vol 21 2 1 39 [Crossref]
87. Taussig Michael 1987 Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing Chicago University of Chicago Press [Crossref]
88. Tomásková Silvia 2013 Wayward Shamans: The Prehistory of an Idea Berkeley, CA University of California Press [Crossref]
89. Tong Enzheng 1995"“Zhongguo gudai de wu”" Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Vol 5 180 197
90. Tong Enzheng 2002"“Magicians, Magic, and Shamanism in Ancient China,”" von Falkenhausen Lothar Journal of East Asian Archaeology Vol 4 1 27 73 [Crossref]
91. Townsley Graham 1993"“Song Paths: The Ways and Means of Yaminahua Shamanic Knowledge”" L’Homme Vol 33 126 449 450
92. Trevor-Roper Hugh 1965 The Rise of Christian Europe London Thames and Hudson
93. Waida Manabu 1994"“The Patterns of Initiation in Japanese Shamanism”" AnthroposVol 89 461 469
94. Weber Max 1978 Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology Berkeley, CA University of California Press
95. Whitehead Neil L. 2002 Dark Shamans: Kanaimà and the Poetics of Violent Death Durham, NC Duke University Press [Crossref]
96. Wilson David Gordon 2013 Redefining Shamanisms: Spiritualist Mediums and Other Traditional Shamans as Apprenticeship Outcomes London Bloomsbury
97. Wilson Peter Lamborn 2002 Ayahuasca and Shamanism: Michael Taussig Interviewed by Peter Lamborn Wilson Brooklyn, NY Autonomedia
98. Winkelman Michael James 1990"“Shamans and Other Magico-Religious Healers: A Cross-Cultural Study of Their Origins, Nature, and Social Transformations”" Ethos Vol 18 3 308 353 [Crossref]
99. Wright Pablo G. 1992"“Dream, Shamanism, and Power: Among the Toba of Formosa Province”" Matteson Langdon E. Jean, Baer Gerhard Portals of Power: Shamanism in South America Albuquerque, NM University of New Mexico Press 149 174

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Numen — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation