View Chapters

Book: Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes

Chapter: 31. Can we still use the term “shamanism”? 

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43146


Shamanism refers to the belief that certain religious practitioners are able to communicate with supernatural entities, often through a trance state and after undergoing training and initiation. While shamanism is seen as a worldwide phenomenon, its connections to Western-centrism, cultural appropriation, and hierarchical understandings of religion make its usage problematic.

Chapter Contributors

  • Emily Simpson ( - ebsimpson) 'Dartmouth College'