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Can Shamanism be misunderstood by outsiders?

Our book warns that admiration of shamanism can be potentially problematic because the romanticizing of shamanism by outsiders can lead to shamanistic practices being used in ways other than for their original purposes or in their intended context.

Give examples of an “intended context” and “original purpose” for shamanistic practices from the perspective of a particular culture discussed in our textbook. You may choose one of the cultures from our chapter (Siberian Shamanisms, Tahono O’odham Christian-Shamanism, and Shamanism Terror, and the Putumayo of Colombia) or you may discuss shamanism in general.

{Be sure to define shamanism from the perspective of that culture in your answer.

Please use examples from the text and/or our class videos.}

An article from American Indian Quarterly that might help you formulate your answer can be found here:

http://native-way.blogspot.com/2004/10/plastic-shamans.html

Plastic Shamans and Astroturf Sun Dances:
New Age Commercialization of Native American Spirituality
by Lisa Aldred

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