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The Shaman

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  145 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A richly illustrated guide to the world of shamanism, this book looks at both its historic and its present-day manifestations, from the snowscapes of Siberia to the jungles of the Amazon.

Includes more than 250 illustrations, mostly in full-color, presenting a unique pictorial record of shamanism

Describes key themes such as healing, visions, initiation, cosmology, the shama
Paperback, 184 pages
Published August 2nd 2001 by Duncan Baird Publishers (first published 1995)
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Oct 31, 2016 Jimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
The description of this book on Goodreads is way off the mark, and, apparently, is meant for another book altogether. If anyone can solve this mystery, please let me know. The Piers Vitebsky book I am holding in my hand is about shamans, not about some Lebanese story.

An entertaining view of shamans around the world.
Tim Martin
Wow, what a slippery subject this book tackles. What is a shaman? Possibly the oldest form of something that could be called more or less organized religion in the world? Yes, that seems to be case, though it is not “just” religious, as a shaman is interested in a great many practical, hands-on things, like healing. The most widespread religious phenomenon in the world, with shamans being found everywhere from north of the Arctic circle to the Amazon rain forest to modern South Korea and with ap ...more
Jan 18, 2012 Antonomasia rated it liked it
[3.5] This was an impulse purchase over ten years ago, so I can't really blame it for not being structured as I'd like now.

Laid out like a kids' or coffee table non-fiction book, it has plenty of pictures, short 'articles' of 2-5 pages and text boxes all over the place with tangentially related info and anecdotes. It's arranged thematically, using examples from all over the world (particularly a handful of Siberian tribes, the Sora of India, and Amazonian and Central American groups); whilst so
Mar 06, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, I don't have this exact book. The copy I have, I could not find on GoodReads.

The book I have is titled "The Shaman: Voyages of the Soul Trance, Ecstasy an Healing from Siberia to the Amazon" by Piers Vitebsky, copyright 1995 by Duncan Baird Publishers, 184 pages, ISB-10: 1-4351-0616-4

The information in the book is great, and is why I gave this book 5 stars. The layout of the book, however, I found to be lacking. The edition I have listed above has additional text articles in the middl
Roman Stadtler
Jul 29, 2009 Roman Stadtler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great historical & cultural overview of the subject. I especially liked the sociological/anthropological approach, which included New Age shamanism (which sometimes annoys me, with it's cultural appropriation poseurs renaming themselves "Otter Willow" and such), but the bulk of the book is a serious, in-depth scholarly examination of shamanism. Cultural, spiritual, ethno- and social impacts are looked at, ancient and modern aspects are presented, even trance-like states in raves, a ...more
Ruby Hollyberry
So far there is a lot of interesting detail and information both general and specific. Which is what I bought it for. BUT, the author manages to repeatedly misunderstand shamanic motives and lifestyle, and does NOT seem to have a high opinion of women. :(

Having read the book, I agree with what I said above after reading only the first bit. I find it odd how academics can study something all their lives, become greatly respected experts on it, and never understand anything about it. And he really
Matt Holmes
Fun book! Full of colorful paintings of hallucinogen-trips-turned-belief-structures and photos of filthy, unhappy indigenous people playing with animal parts. I appreciated the way Vitebsky kept explaining all the stuff about shapeshifting and astral projection and nocturnal DBZ spirit-battles as though they were all going on, instead of beginning every sentence with "The shaman BELIEVES that...". Made for a couple of double-takes, but ultimately worth the price of admission.

I got this book for
Jun 06, 2011 Eglė rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really great introduction to shaman world, their beliefs and religion, which was formed over a thousands years ago.
Oct 07, 2010 Wasabi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic introduction to the world of Shamanism
Jeff La Marca
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Piers Vitebsky is an anthropologist and is the Head of Social Science at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, England.
More about Piers Vitebsky...

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