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Welcome to African Shaman
The word shaman is said to come from the Turkic word `šamán`. The Java also have `saman’ who communicate with the ancestors and gods. Another approach explains the etymology of word “shaman” as meaning “one who knows”.
To quote Eliade, `A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = techniques of ecstasy`.

The shaman is a person who is an expert in keeping together the multiple codes through which this complex system appears, and has a comprehensive view on it in their mind with certainty of knowledge. The shaman may serve the healer's role in shamanic societies; shamans gain knowledge and the power to heal by accessing the spirit world. Shamans perform a variety of functions including healing and the guiding of souls.
The shaman knows the culture of his or her community well, and acts accordingly.

The shaman traverses the axis mundi or world tree and enters the spirit world by effecting a transition of consciousness.
This is done by entering into an ecstatic trance or altered state of perception; either autohypnotically or through the use of plants.
The methods employed are diverse, and are often used together.Some of the methods for effecting such trance states include :Drumming, dancing, singing, fasting, sweat lodge, vision quests, etc.

Shamanistic practices are claimed to predate all organized religions, dating back to the Paleolithic, and certainly to the Neolithic period.Archaeological evidence exists for Mesolithic shamanism.In November 2008, researchers announced the discovery of a 12,000-year-old site in Israel that they regard as one of the earliest known shaman burials. `It seems that the woman … was perceived as being in a close relationship with spirits, researchers noted.
The grave was located in a cave and belonged to the Natufian culture, but is said to be unlike any other among the Natufians or in the Paleolithic period.Some forms of African traditional religion are sometimes also subsumed under `shamanism`. In the early 19th century traditional healers in parts of Africa were often referred to in a derogatory manner as `witch doctors` by early European settlers and explorers.
The San or Bushmen ancestors who were primarily scattered in Southern Africa before the 19th century, are reported to have practiced something similar to shamanism.
In areas in Eastern Free State and Lesotho, where they co-existed with the early Sotho tribes, local folklore describes them to have lived in caves where they drew pictures on cave walls during a trance and were also reputed to be good rain makers.
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