From Siberia to North America

Andrei A. Znamenski

in The Beauty of the Primitive

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780195172317
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785759 | DOI:
  From Siberia to North America

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This chapter outlines several sources of a later rise of popular interest in shamanism. The discussion starts on Siberian regionalist writers and ethnographers, who, in their attempt to shape and underline the unique cultural identity of Siberia, looked into indigenous northern Asian archaic traditions. The focus then shifts to North America's American southwestern regionalists, who worked to ground themselves and their compatriots in soil that was not indigenous to them. Ethnographic books about Native Americans heavily affected the print culture of modern neo-shamanism in the West, so the world of American anthropology is explored and its attempts to capture the traditional cultures of indigenous peoples before their extinction — another project that was informed by German Romantic philosophy — are discussed. The chapter also shows how the shamanism idiom became gradually transplanted from Siberian ethnography to North American ethnology. Finally, a unique group of people — “exiled ethnographers” — is studied.

Keywords: Siberia; North America; ethnography; ethnology; indigenous primitives; regionalists; anthropology; exiled ethnographers

Chapter.  17169 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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