And so it is, because being a Shaman is not gender specific.
But this is what my husband and I found out:
Female shaman history is very interesting and found in female shaman names.
There is no single word or even agreement amongst archaeologists as to what a shaman is.
The word shaman just describes the role of a tribal sage, of one particular Siberian culture, which was brought to the west centuries ago.
The word shaman probably derives from the Manchu-Tungus word šaman, meaning "one who knows".
It was discovered by Russians interacting with the indigenous peoples in Siberia. For the male shaman there are many names given to him in this region. For the female shaman there is a fascinating consistency to her name. More on this in a bit.
In terms of shamanic practises, there appears to be no great difference in the role carried out as a male or female Shaman. Being a Shaman is not gender specific.
Many of what is commonly practised today more likely came from the female intuition in the first place, and there is some proof of this which I will explain later.
Female Shaman History: General Shamanic Practices
Shamanistic cultures are not all the same. Shamanic practices vary. But generally speaking, shamans travel to the "spirit world" through portals.
They achieve this through trance, or by effecting a transition of consciousness, entering into a state of ecstasy. This can be done through drums, dance, song, fasting, meditation, and more.
Then the Shaman acts as a mediator, to communicate with the spirits on behalf of the community, including the spirits of the deceased. They can communicate with both living and dead to alleviate unrest, unsettled issues, heal illness, find answers to questions, and to deliver gifts to the spirits.
Shamans often have enlightening visions in their dreams, which was given to them by good or bad spirits.
Shamans may also claim to heal within the spiritual dimension by returning lost parts of the human soul from wherever they have gone. They also cleanse excess negative energies, which are said to confuse or pollute the soul.
Yet there are many different ways, rituals and practises to achieve the above, depending on the shamanic culture.
So to get back to the origin of the word shaman, let’s look at the difference between female and male terminologies, within the region where this word came from.
There Is Evidence In Female Shaman History That Females Were The First Shamans
In this Siberian region there are several tribes. The names given to male Shamans vary greatly, not so the Female equivalent. The Yakut people, for example, call male shamans “khamma or ayun”. But simultaneously Mongols and Buryats call them “buge or bo”. “Kam and gam” is what the Tartars and Altaians call them. And “baksy” is the male shaman of Kyrgyzstan. The Samoyed people call them “tadibey”.
A woman shaman in Siberia is called something different.
Yet her name is spoken very similarly everywhere in this wide geographical area. For six different tribes in this area a woman shamans name is exactly the same. In the Mongols, Buryats, Yakuts, Altaians, Turgout, and Kyrgys cultures, the word for a woman shaman is “udagan”. There may be some variation like: utagan, ubakan, utygan or utugun. This word probably originates from the Mongolian word “Etugen” which is the name of the ancient hearth-goddess.
Thus, “udagan” is an ancient prehistoric word because of its wide usage. It is much older than all the words for a male shaman, which is a likely indication that female shamans have been around a long time.
Language experts would say a lot longer than the word for male shamans have been used.
Our first Shamans Were Women
This doesn’t exclude men from this role, not at all. But there is an inherent wisdom and intuition that goes back a long way for the female shaman. The Female Shaman name is honorable. Through countless selfless acts of healing and support for their communities a woman shaman deserves respect. Today Some Give The Female Shaman The Name: Shamanka, but that’s just the gender specific way of saying female shaman in Russain by adding the “ka” at the end. The female shaman in other cultures have been called Seers, Wise Women, Medicine woman, Pipe Holders, High Priestess, and dream seers. There isn’t really just one name to describe a female shaman. It’s what they do, which is similar all over the world. They are, for example, Ritual Specialist, Diviners, Healers, and Ancestor Dreamers. A woman shaman can do many different tasks within her culture. She can do everything from Shamanic Journeying for others, soul retrievals, to fortune telling, and storytelling. The female shaman is a brave, honourable, and integral part of bringing protection and healing to their people, and imparting their great wisdom through teachings! In conclusion Daniela Hills is a teacher of shamanic practices, like Shamanic Journeying, to find your Power Animal, find answers to questions, or Symbols, as well as Soul Retrieval and Shamanic Dancing.
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