Historical knowledge

What is a shaman?

Many hunting peoples have shamans. They can go into a trance under the influence of drum music and rhythmic dancing. During the trance the soul leaves the shaman’s body and travels to ‘the other world’. Some Mesolithic objects from Denmark display incised figures which may represent shamans. A decorated elk antler from Vedbæk may be compared to the drum hammers used by the shamans of the Sámi people. The shamans may have worn animal skin costumes during ceremonies, but these clothes are not preserved today.

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