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Uralic Shamanism

p. 84-85 star-names

Pleiades sieve
polar star north-end-nail
galaxy way of birds (of Lunt-Oter ‘gander-chief’)

p. 86 words for ‘god’

in __ language ‘god’
Estonian JUMAL
Finnish JUMALA
C^eremiss JUMO
Mordwin JUMI

p. 88 [Mansi] entry into the world of the dead

p. entry
88 "There is a small opening through which the kingdom of Xul’-oter, prince of the nether world, can be entered It is found where heaven meets earth; there is an opening in the cliff there, barred with seven fowler’s nets {cf. the infernal fowler’s net waylaying one’s soul, mentioned in THLYM 91:3; 124:7; 6:5} and seven fishing nets {cf. Daoist succession of nets obstructing the way for a shaman into heaven}. At the entrance to the opening sit and old man and an old woman, keeping watch over it. The hero [shaman] arrives in the shape of a bird; crashing against the iron nets, he ... falls into the water, in which he turns into a pike. Only in the form of a fish is he able ... to enter the realm of the dead." {cf. Loki located in the netherworld}
93 "Finally World Surveyor Man finds the weakest point in both nets, and he swims through the fish-net in the shape of a small pike. {cf. Loki, in the form of a salmon, escaping the fish-net of To`rr} The old woman holds the little pike and the old man hits it with an iron hammer. {cf. To`rr smashing divine beings with his iron hammer}
93-4 But he misses and smashes the old woman’s arm. {cf. East Indonesian myths of goddess’s arm being cut off}
94 He catches the pike {cf. To`rr grasping with his hand the escaped salmon-form of Loki} ..."
By the same hero, a woman (S^ahas) "is accused of being pregnant" with a "bastard" foetus. {cf. accusations of sexual misconduct made by Loki concerning several goddesses, in the Lokas-Enna}

p. 107 [Vogul] deities

divine inhabitants of the sky
meaning name
Sun Lady Xatel-e`kwa:
Moon Elder Et-pos-ajka
Star-Dwelling Hunter Mosxum
divine inhabitants of the air
meaning name
Wind God Elder Vuot-pop ansux
Beautiful Fire Lady Teren-naj
Fire prince Najin xan
Winged One Soaring on High Kalm
divine inhabitants of the earth
meaning name
people of the forest vo:r-xumit
giants menkw
beast-people ujtsit
fairy folk mis-mam
devils kul’t
witch folk por-mam
divine inhabitant of the water
meaning name
Water Prince Vit-xan
divine inhabitants of the southern regions
meaning name
Morti-maxum bird-wanderers
divine inhabitant of the underworld
meaning name
Painful Disease Spirit Teren-xul’, Xin

A "profusion of minute details such as gestures, postures, and forms of behaviour attending the sacrifices" are listed ny Berna`t Munka`csi in his Collection of Vogul Folklore.

p. 117 [Samoyed] plants for shamanic initiation

"... a fire of juniper branches. The candidates while chewing juniper berries and buds jump over the fire several times. Inhaling the smoke and smell they hope to acquire the easy flight of smoke and the powerful properties of fire.
In addition to juniper berries the candidates frequently eat fly agaric ... to make themselves more open to contact with spirits."

p. 119 [Nenets] shaman’s encounter with fly-agaric spirits

"the shaman was able to see the spirits of fly agaric in human shape and began to chase them. At the end they got into total darkness where the spirits disclosed what the shaman wanted to know. After he reached a light[ed] spot in the other world ..., the shaman found a post with seven holes and seven threads. ... the spirits of fly agaric were tied to this post by the shaman".

p. 119-120 [Nenets] "singing over" the souls of the dead "to the other world"

p. shaman’s journey (as described in the 2nd song)
119 "On his way to the land of the dead the shaman has to cross three rivers while carrying the soul of the dead until he reaches a waterway with the help of a yorra-bird. On the other side of this waterway there is a land where the dead are "living" as if in this world while becoming younger and younger. The shaman is looking for the late relatives of the dead ... Before the carrying the dead relatives would reach the shore, the shaman leaves the dead and departs in a hurry ...
119-20 Then he is returning to this world by another route. ... On his way back he follows a river upstream and having got it its source he reaches this world where the throws the shadow of the dead into the fire ..." {cf. [Aztec] fire-god Xiuh-tecuhtli who stayeth in "the shadows in the world of the dead"}

pp. 123-124 [Nenets] cosmology

p. cosmology
122 "the inhabitants of the land of nga, the Underworld, insects and beetles, all those creatures whose shape the God of the Underworld can put on in order to make possible for himself to enter the body of a sleeping person ..."
123 "In Nenets mythology Heaven is a living being {this is Confucianist} and so is Time {Zaratustrian god Zrvan}. Heaven has a spine {cf. DD backbone of WSI,R (Osiris)}, nuw pud ‘Milky Way’ at the end of which there stands num’s hut and along this way num is proceeding ... num has seven sons, siqiw nuw ngacy ... Heaven consists of seven sacred lands whose lords of the deities of Heaven : num ‘Heaven’, xaeh ‘Thunder’, yiba-syey ‘Heart of Warm’, nger-syey ‘Heart of Cold’, numkimboy ‘Stary’, pae-mal ‘Mountainous land’ and jaw-mal ‘Ocean Land’."

pp. 124-125 [Nenets] singing by spirits

"Every spirit had its own song which indicated ... at the se’ance that the invoked spirit had already appeared. ... The songs of the spirits [differ] from each other in melody and rhythm, so their identification was not difficult." {Likewise each there is a distinct drum-rhythm for each possessing-deity in West African ritual.}

p. 131 [Yurak-Samoyed (Nenets) (cf. p. 118)] legend about shaman

a shaman "went up into the sky to Nushu. Nushu said that he had not called him, and ordered him to go to Ngaah, that is to Death, and become his son-in-law. After seven days of wandering underground the shaman found Death’s hut. Death, however, did not want to marry either of his two daughters to him, but said instead that the shaman should become his servant, and should he say no, he would devour him. ... That is how the shaman became the son-in-law of Death." {cf. Ya<qob becoming son-in-law (marrying both of the 2 daughters of his father-in-law) by praeviously acting as servant to his father-in-law Laban for "seven years" (B-R>S^YT 29:20)}

p. 132 [Buryat] legend of rescue, by shaman, of a soul

"he found the soul in God’s heaven, hidden in a bottle {cf. Daoist practice of confining deities to bottles}, and the bottleneck was plugged by the right hand of God. ... So the shaman went ... in the shape of a wasp, and he stung God’s forehead."

mystical dismemberment (in dream) of shaman

p. account
134 [Yakut of the Vilyuy] "The would-be shaman ... can see that a large number of spirits approach him, cut his head off ... The spirits who cut his head off will hack his body into very small pieces (according to some accounts 99 parts) and put it in three separate piles. Then they take the pieces into their mouths and spit them out to the spirits, from the first pile to the spirits of the Upper World, from the second to the spirits of the earth, and from the third to the spirits of the Lower World, while calling each spirit by its respective name. If during the cutting up the spirits (iccia:) of herbs and trees manage to steal some pieces from the body, the shaman, though ordained for good deeds, can become evil. Then somehow the spirits put all the little pieces back ..., they stick them together with their saliva, and when the body regains its former shape, they replace the head".
"I began to hear that voice : ‘We are going to take you to the Northern One!’ – then they took me to a lowly, dirty and dark {cf. "total darkness" on p. 119} yurt, then they cut my head off. I felt terrible pain, and they proceeded to cut my body into little pieces, and together with my head, they put them in an iron cradle. In that cradle the little pieces of my body joined back together and I regained my usual shape. They bound me fast with colored ropes {cf. colored strings in Daoist rites for the dead} and began to rock the cradle {cf. maha-vrata of the swing, in the Aran.yaka}. After a certain time they untied the rope, and piercing with a sharp object they counted all my bones {cf. numbering of the human ribs in the Brahman.a}, and all the fibers of my muscles (atim shasin) [should be "tendons", supposedly transmuted in Daoist exercises]
134-5 and declared : ‘It has been proven that one bone and three muscle fibers [tendons] of yours are superfluous’."
135 [tribe? – quoted from :- Vilmos Dio`szegi : Tracing Shamans in Siberia, p. 61] "In my dreams I had been taken to the ancestors and cut into pieces on a black table. They chopped me up and threw me into the kettle and I was boiled. ... While the pieces of my body were boiled, they found a bone around the ribs, which had a hole in the middle. This was the excess-bone. {cf. the extra bone, extracted from the vicinity of the ribs, from the body of the sleeping >adam (B-R>S^YT 2:21)} This brought about my becoming a shaman." {is this the conversion of from >adam Qadmoni^ ?}
136 [Buryat] "The would-be shaman thus undertakes sufferings for the good and the service of the community ... The body of the shaman is cut up and his flesh is boiled. This makes him able to transcend the limits between the categories ... of nature and culture."

p. 137 [C^ukc^i] climate in world of the dead

"everything is full of ice there ... a giant icy mountain would rise up where the dead live. There are some kind of cave-like holes in it, but some people appeared in those."

ETHNOLOGICA URALICA, 4 = Miha`ly Hoppa`l : Studies on Mythology and Uralic Shamanism. Akade`miai Kiado`, Budapest, 2000.