Nov 01, 2016
from 04:30 PM to 06:00 PM
|Where||Seminar Room, The Mond Building, Free School Lane|
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Uranchimag Ujeed (University of Cambridge)
Becoming Shamans to be Healed: Reasons for Contemporary Proliferation of Horchin Shamanism
Healing through ritual is a common facet of shamanism throughout the world. Catching "shamanic illness" is recognised as a sign of a candidate in some cultures. However among the Horchin Mongols in China, this phenomenon has taken on a modern twist. Many individuals, who are afflicted by so called "incurable" illness, are turning to shamanism. What is interesting is that they don't do this to get healed, but rather self-heal through initiation as a shaman themselves. Horchin shamans provide less healer services but take on hundreds, and even thousands, of "disciples" who would cure themselves in this way.
This phenomenon occurs among more rural folk. Key reasons appear to be the negative effects of modernisation coupled with the failure of medicine and health services to catch up to the rapid development and expectations in China, and particularly in Horchin Mongolia. This paper investigates the reasons for the dramatic increase of the number of people who catch the "shamanic illness" and become shamans to heal themselves.