"Patterns of Siberian and Ojibway Healing"

p. 218, n. 4:10 "manido (singular) and manidog (plural)"


pp. 3-32 = Chapter 1. "Introduction".

p. 5 "a place where power rests"

[Dakota] "Everything as it moves now and then, here and there makes stops. {"the sign of your Father in you ... is movement and rest." (GTh50)} ... So the god (Wakan) has stopped. The sun ... is one place where he has stopped. The moon {cf. [<arabi^] manzil ‘reposing-place (of moon)’}, the stars ... he has been with. ... the Indian thinks of these places and sends his prayers to reach where the god has stopped and to win ... a blessing." (P&R, pp. 84-5)


GTh50 = Gospel according to Thomas, logion 50

P&R = Christopher Dawson : Progress and Religion. NY : Sheed & Ward, 1933.

p. 10 the thunder of silence [for a quotation of this Dakota passage, in more context, see also LR, p. 54]

[Dakota] "The wicasa wakan [sacred person, shaman] loves the silence, wrapping it around himself like a blanket – a loud silence with a voice like thunder which tells him of many things. {Thunder of Silence (music -- S). Thunder of Silence (outline of book by Joel Goldsmith. 1961. -- ThS). lectures on the same (HF).}
Such a man likes to be in a place where there is no sound but the humming of insects. He sits facing the West, asking for help. He listens to the voices of the plants and they answer him." (LD, pp. 145-6) {[Morocco] "protective gnawa spirits. Between the call to prayer and the humming of insects" (MM). [Sudan] "humming of insects" around white rhinoceros (LF).}


LR = Mary Pat Fisher : Living Religions. 1997.

S =


ThS =


HF =

LD = Richard Erdoes : Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions. NY : Simon & Schuster, 1972.

MM =


LF =

p. 31 [Dakota] powers obtained by medicine-man from deities in the cardinal directions (LD, p. 153)

in the __ (direction) power from __
west buffalo
north "thunder beings"
east elk
south "ghost"
above (sky) great eagle
below (earth) food


pp. 32-55 = Chapter 2. "Siberian Shamanism".

p. 38 [Yakut] description of other world, called "the middle world" {this is the regular Bon term for the lower set of heavens, hovering in the air}

"No shadows are visible -- ...
the milky lakes are covered with foam;
the soil there is curds;
the salt-flats stores of milk;
the black boulders, oil with sour milk;
the forest[-]lakes of butter;
the mountains of intestinal fat;
the cliffs of lard.
There is no winter, but summer reigns forever in that country.
There are no nights, but bright day stands always in that country.
The sun never sets there, nor is the moon extinguished." (Y, p. 264)


Y = A. P. Okladnikov (transl. by Dr. & Mrs. S. P. Dunn) : Yakutia. Montreal : McGill-Queens U Pr, 1970.

[for other countries made of foodstuffs, vide :- Herman Pleij (trans Diane Webb) : Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life. Columbia U Pr, 2001.]

p. 39 Yakut shamanism

"The ancestral-shaman, a spirit-personality, who initially chooses the Yakut shaman, is said to reside in the roots of a ... birch tree. ...
The Yakut shaman’s drum is commonly cut from a tree that has been struck by lightning. ... the tree’s wood provides an appropriate drum with which to ascend to the upper heavens or descend into the underworld."
"The shaman’s garb is heavy with iron disks and pendants, which make of the dress a jangling instrument when the shaman dances. The most important of these ... pendants is the amagyat ... copper plate with ... the shaman’s ancestor-spirit and his or her contact with the mysterious regions."

p. 48 consecration of shaman’s drum

[Sagay] "Although the drum might be finished, it is still unusable, first it must be given to a small child to play with for a few days and then the so-called "reviving" ceremony must be performed. The shaman must look for the spirit of the animal which gave its skin to be stretched over the drum. He must follow the path where the animal had wandered, right back to its birthplace, because only there can its spirit be caught. After that the drum "comes to life."" (TShS, p. 74)
[Sagay : autobiographical account of consecration of drum in spirit-world (during dream of speaker)] "When I got there, he [the ancestral-shaman] measured my drum, its circumference, its length, and its height. He counted the pendants hanging from it. When he was ready, he gave me the men. (The shamans call their spirits "men".) They are my friends. Sometimes they come upon me unexpectedly, then they disappear again. ... It is to them that I owe my well-being, that when I hold the pulse of a sick person, it becomes clear to me what is wrong with him." (TShS, p. 75)


TShS = Vilmos Dioszegi : Tracing Shamans in Siberia. NY : Humanities Pr, 1968.

p. 52 shaman’s communication with spirits during trance

[Yakut] "the shaman addresses his amagyat and other protective "spirits"; he talks with the kaliany, asks them questions, and gives answers in their names. ... When the amagyat comes down to a shaman he arises and begins to leap and dance" (AS, p. 237).


AS = M. A. Czaplicka : Aboriginal Siberia. Oxford : Clarendon Pr, 1914.


pp. 56-73 = Chapter 3. "Ojibway Shamanism and Its Historical Background".

pp. 65-71 shamanic vocations in the [Ojibway] Mide Society

p. vocation function
65 tcisaki "a male diviner who "reveals hidden truths" while in communication with the manitou in a shaking tent. ... the contact of a ... tcisaki with ...
66 manitou who aid his search for lost objects or tribespeople. In some performances ... the tcisaki may be bound and suspended within the conjuring lodge. The shaman contacts his helping manitou, who loosen his bonds as they reveal the desired information. The tent shakes violently with spirit presences".
nanandawi "the tribal doctor. He cures by
67 evoking his manitou patron, who locates the cause of the illness and directs the shaman in removing it ... by ritually applying small bones to the affected area. He either sucks or blows into the bones, depending on the manitou direction."
wabeno " "men of the dawn sky," manipulating fire in order to interpret dreams ... They ... briefly seize hot coals without being affected by the burning. ... They also interpret dreams by entering into the trance state, which is often induced by singing ... staring fixedly into the coals of fire." {"dream ... interpretation" (Dani^ye>l 2:36) is done by means of the technique whereby "walking in the midst of the fire, ... they have no hurt" (Daniye>l 3:25).}
meda "who "sounded the drum" for sick members of the isolated Algonkin hunting groups. The meda also maintained dream contact with the manitou to assure success on the hunt ... From these ancient activities the meda, or family shaman , most probably developed other shamanic techniques, such as ... naming."
68 "The word midewiwin derives from mide, meaning "sound of the drum," and wiwin, meaning "doings.""
71 " "the recently dead are addressed by the Mide Society shaman: ... The shaman encourages the dead soul to join his ancestors ... by ... assisting the soul into the Land of the Ghosts. ... the ghost midewiwin harkens back to the early shamanic practices of the meda, or family, shaman, who assuaged the terror of death in isolated ... groups."

p. 66 [Ojibway] tatooing

"Tatooing was a shamanic technique applied as a cure for lameness and rheumatism."


pp. 74-92 = Chapter 4. "Cosmology".

p. 77 [Ojibway] cosmology (WChM, p. 41)

"this earth has four layers."
bottom layer of those 4 : "It is night there all the time. That is where the manitou is who rules ... earth. {This manitou is named ‘Shell’ on p. 79.} He rules all four layers."
"The sky has four layers too.
In the top layer of the sky there is a manitou who is equal in power to the manitou in the bottom of the earth. It is always day there. ... This manitou ... you can call ... Gicimanitou (Great Spirit)."
"We’re right in the middle in between the four earth layers and the four sky layers."


WChM = Victor Barnouw : Wisconsin Chippewa Myths and Tales. Madison : U of WI Pr, 1977.

pp.78-84 [Ojibway] myth of origin of midewiwin

p. myth
78 "Then one (drum) sliver our Grandfather (Bear) took. Then, far, far above (from the bottom layer of Earth to the top, fourth layer of the Sky) he (the drum man) stretched himself, so that he reached the Sky. Halfway up the Sky {this would be through the 2nd layer of Sky that the drummer-god reached with his hands, thrusting the sliver into the 3rd layer} he spread four limbs (now the sliver had turned into a tree, Grandmother Cedar. {Impliedly, the cedar was rooted in the 3rd layer, with its branches perhaps growing into the 4th layer.} ... Four holes did our Grandfather (Bear) make (through the drum) and said, "Here is where the Indian will state his wants." {prayers uttered through holes in the wood of the drum into the drum’s interior?} Four times he stretched his legs to the ends of the Earth : "From here ... they (manitou) will attend to the Indian’s wants."" (OR&M, p. 104) {will send blessings from outside the (wooden? [-- cf. "hylic" = ‘material’ but literally ‘wooden’]) enclosure of the universe, inwardly through 4 apertures in the 4 directions, into the material part of the universe to the person making the requaest}
79 "The Great Spirit advised him (Shell, the deepest earth manitou) {cf. [Navaho] "Whiteshell Woman", creatrix together with "Changing Woman’s skin" (NR)} : "... (to bring midewiwin from ... the ... earth). You (and Bear) be the first ones to lift it out. {similarly these 2 , a pair [in the Navaho scheme] (Badger & Coyote) together penetrated from the earth-layer just below here, upward through their sky, exiting onto this earth} ..." ... As they came through successive layers to the top layer of Earth, ... other manitous commenced to move it (the mide ceremony). ... At the last layer of Sky they paused, then they met at the mid-point between Earth and Sky and there was a terrible noise for a long time, indeed, a great noise." (OR&M, p. 103)
84 "He (Shell) told our Grandfather Bear he was to handle that (gift of midewiwin) ... and bring it ... Bear ... turned around once, and he was black. He found near him a mide (cedar) tree. He pushed the mide tree up through earth’s layers. {cf. the [Navaho] myths of divine trees growing up from lower layers of earths through to apertures in successive skies.} He reached up through the layers of Earth pushing the tree through, and made a hole where he built a manitou wigwam. There he placed two manitou." (OR&M, pp. 98-99)


OR&M = Ruth Landes : Ojibway Religion and the Midewiwin. Madison : U of WI Pr, 1968.

NR =

pp. 86-91 [Ojibway] myths about Nanaboz^o

p. myth {comparative}
87 "Then Wenebozo [Nanabozho] just sat down by the beach ... in the water, ... and said, "Whoever is underneath the earth down there, I will pull them out ..." (WChM, p. 41) Those underneath the beach underwater must be shellfish (clams, etc.). {[Nauru] Old-Spider Goddess opened Clam (DG1:1)}
86 That he said because "the evil underwater manitou have caused his wolf companion’s death". {Luk-astos (‘wolf’s compatriot’) was father (GM 88.h) of the sea-king Minos.}
91 "He decided to become a tree stump that had been burned a long time ago." (WChM, p. 35) {cf. [Dakota god] I[n]ktomi, who became a tree-stump}
This "enabled him to wound the evil manitou, but ultimately he had to kill a shamanic healer[ess] and don her skin in order to overcome the manitou." {[Menomini] Manabus^ disguised himself in old woman’s skin after slaying 2 bears who had killed his brother Wolf (FS)} {[S^os^oni (of Nevada)] after strangling 2 female bear-cubs, Coyote disguised himself in old woman’s skin in order to revive Wolf (C&BC)}


DG1:1 = "Cosmogony Myths", in :- William C. Saslaw : The Distribution of the Galaxies. Cambridge U Pr, 1999.


GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

FS =


C&BC =


pp. 93-119 = Chapter 5. "Tribal Sanction".

pp. 102-105 [Ojibway] evaluation of dreams

p. value of dreams
102 They "are much given to dreams and are so much persuaded that it is their spirit who gives them to them, that they absolutely must carry them out. ... It is also these dreams that give them their spirit, or to use their term, their manitou, which ... takes care of them in all the acts of their lives." (IWGL, pp. 351-2)
103 "All their wisdom and knowledge came to them in dreams. They tested their dreams, and in that way learned" (TS&C, p. 25).
104 [shaman’s autobiographical account of childhood initiation in dream] "When I was a boy ..., I was always dreaming about snakes, that wherever I went I was being covered by them. ... Two (garter) snakes came ... I heard a Voice say (in vision), "You will have this till you die." So these are my two manitos (in the body)." (OR, p. 40)
105 "The nanadawi ... is given his tube-sucking technique in a dream or vision. The wabeno’s vocation is signified by a dream of a certain horned manitou who teaches him healing and divining songs. The tcisaki must receive the dream call four times from Mistabeo, the master spirit of the conjuring lodge, before his vocation is confirmed. Similarly, entrance into midewiwin is usually initiated through a dream call."


IWGL = W. Vernon Kinietz : Indians of the Western Great Lakes (1615-1760). Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1965.

TS&C = Gerald Vizenor : Tribal Scenes and Ceremonies. Minneapolis : Nodin Pr, 1976.

pp. 107-108 treatment of ailing patient by nanandawi shaman (WChM, pp. 256-6)

p. 107 "When a sucking doctor starts to cure, he first tells the people there about the dream he had at the time he was fasting. [The nanandawi] shook a rattle while me doctored me. ...
p. 108 The two bones were lying there. ... He didn’t touch them with his hands but picked them up with his mouth. ... His power was so strong that when [the nanandawi] leaned over ..., the bones stood up and moved towards his mouth. Then he put the bone to my side. After he’d finished sucking, [the nanandawi] drew out some stuff and ... showed it to me and to the others and then threw it into the fire."

p. 111 shaking-tent service by tcisaki ‘divining shaman’

"a sweat tent. Into this, the doctor retires alone, and communes with his guardian turtle, mikinak. The following night the doctor enters the divining tent ... He asks his guardian turtle to summon the other supernaturals for consultation. The people outside the tent hear the tones of this colloquy ... Each manitou has a distinctive intonation which is traditional. Thus, the turtle has a shrill voice, the eagle has a "gentle" (pleasant) voice. The spirits make a great noise when they enter and leave the tent; and at these times the tent shakes with fearful violence." (OS, p. 122)



pp. 114-117 power from manitou

p. power
114 "manitou "pity" stays only with the youth who is modest and reflective, who seeks more and more visions, in order "to learn" and secure mystic protection, until by his early middle age the "power" has matured." (OS, p. 37)
117 "The never-cured doctor [the dream-validated shaman] meets on common ground with the non-doctoring cured one [the midewiwin-sanctioned shaman] inasmuch as both have had contact with the same supernaturals : the patient in being cured with supernatural power, and the doctor in getting hold of this power to use for the patient." (OS, pp. 126-7)


pp. 120-137 = Chapter 6. "Ritual Ree:nactment".

p. 126 revelations of futurity

"If ... the people believe that he has the art of looking into futurity, the path is open to the highest honors. The [shaman] begins to try his power in secret, with only one assistant, whose testimony is necessary should he succeed. As he goes on, he puts down the figures of his dreams or revelations, by symbols, on bark or other material ’til a whole winter is sometimes past in pursuing the subject and he thus has a record of his principal revelations." (SAA, p. 44)


SAA = Joan M. & Romas K. Vastokas : Sacred Art of the Algonkins. Peterborough (ON) : Mansard Pr, 1973.

pp. 127-128 curing by nanadawi reciting & re-enacting his dream

p. 127 "water in which he put a hollow bone. The bone was ... about two and a half inches long from the leg of some bird. He beat his rattle ..., and commenced to "talk about his dream." ...
p. 128 After he said his dream, he started rattling and singing. He said he was singing to his dream ... that the Thunderbird could see everything in the ground ... that everything is scared of the Thunderbird." (OS, p. 121)

p. 133 Bear-dance within the midewiwin lodge

"Before the ritual purification begins, an elaborate dance is held that recreates the path that Bear manitou followed when he brought the midewiwin ceremony onto the present earth. The dance is called "eluding the manitou," and it recreates the circuitous route that Bear took to escape the Evil Manitou who sought to destroy the midewiwin power."


pp. 138-167 = Chapter 7. "Trance Expereince".

pp. 141-142 shamanic trance of nanandawi

p. 141 "The part he [the nanandawi] plays is certainly humble to all appearance ... At intervals the [nanadawi] dances, chants, makes ... grimaces, rolls his eyes and casts them down, turns up his nose, thrusts forward his jaws and dislocates
p. 142 the lower jaw; his neck now stretches and now shortens; ... and he tears and pierces his skin". (IWGL, pp. 305-6)

p. 143 initiatory dream of nanandawi woman

"One time she fell asleep and dreamed of the time she had been lost. She dreamed that someone gave her a rattle and other things they use when they doctor, and spoke to her saying, "Try this ..."". (OW, p. 139)
"All that time she dreamed that ... she was blessed so that she could nanandawi i we (cure by sucking.)" (OW, p. 7)



pp. 147-148 wabeno specialties

p. wabeno
147 "Waw-be-no" : "The Ta-wa-e-gun used for a drum in this dance, differs from the Woin Ah-keek, or Meti-kaw-keek, used in the Metai, it being made of a hoop of bent wood ..., while the latter is the portion of the trunk of a tree hollowed by fire, and having the skin tied over it. ... In the Waw-be-no, men and women dance and sing together ... The initiated take coals of fire, and red hot stones in their hands, and sometimes in their mouths." (ThYC, p. 122)
148 wabeno woman : she "had received the visionary powers of a wabeno but did not think of employing them until she was urged by her husband. ... She said that she would, for ... she had dreamed of these things". (OW, p. 159)


ThYC = Edward James (ed.) : Narrative of John Tanner’s Thirty Years of Indian Captivity.

pp. 149-155 "shaking-tent" trance-ritual of the Tcisaki

p. tcisaki
149 "The tcisaki’s vocation requires dream validation by the master spirit of the conjuring lodge. In the dream the tcisaki receives the chants with which to invoke his familiar spirits."
154 "After sunset the tcisaki enters the shaking tent, which had been built ... in strict accord with the tcisaki’s dream authorization. ... The "winds" of the manitou presence are said to cause the structure to move."
155 "hearing voices and seeing bright lights are traditional signs of a visionary experience among the Ojibway."
autobiography by a retired "jossakid" (tcisaki) : "the lodge ... was shaken by the power of the spirits. ... I only repeated ... what the spirits said to me. I heard their voices. The top of the lodge was filled with them, and before me the sky and the wide lands lay expanded. I could see a great distance around me, and believed I could recognize the most distant objects." (K-GW, p. 280)
statement by another tcisaki : "I held communication with supernatural beings, or thinking minds or spirits which acted upon my mind or soul, and revealed to me such knowledge" (HMAS, pp. 286sq.).

K-GW = J. G. Kohl (translated from the German by Lascelles Wraxall) : Kitchi-Gami Wandering around Lake Superior.

HMAS = Emma Hardinge : History of Modern American Spiritualism. NY : Wm. C. McClelland, 1870.

pp. 152-153 (Fig. 2) pictographic text of Chant of the Tcisaki (M, pp. 253-4)

p. # text explication
152 1st "I go into the Jessakan to see the medicine." jessakan = tcisaki’s lodge, containing "magic stone"
2nd "I was the one who dug up life". Otter manitou received midewigan from Kitshi Manitou
3rd "The spirit put down medicine on earth to grow". "supernatural origin of the migis shell", "magic plants"
4th "I am the one that dug up the medicine". Otter is emerging from the shaking tent.
153 5th "I answer my brother spirit". "The Otter Manitou responds to the invocation of the tcisaki."
6th "Rest or pause." (silent prayer) ["he then acknowledges the presence of the supernatural power" (p. 154)]
7th "The spirit has put life into my body". Kitshi Manitou placed "magic power" into sides of tcisaki with migis
8th "This is what the medicine has given us". the guardian manitou at the midewigan
9th "I took with two hands what was thrown down to us". "The tcisaki grasps life ... to secure the mysterious power".


M = Walter James Hoffman : "The Mide`wiwin or ‘Grand Medicine Society’ of the Ojibwa." In :- SEVENTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY. Washington (DC), 1891. pp. 143-300.

pp. 158-160 accoutrements of the midewiwin

p. accoutrement
158 initiation caerimony inducting candidate into the midewiwin : "After an offering to Kitshi Manitou, with the pipe, they expose the articles contained in their Mide sacks and explain and expatiate upon the merits and properties of each of the magic objects. The candidate for the first time learns of the manner of preparing effigies, etc., with which to present ... demonstration of the ... divine origin of the Midewiwin" (M, p. 204).
"Traditional tricks are causing beads to roll as if animated and making wooden dolls move unaided or a mide sack (midewayan) speak."
160, illus. "Midewiwin instruments" : "a log drum partially filled with water used for midewiwin ceremonies. On top of the drum is a loon-shaped drumstick".

pp. 159-160 origin-myth of "the drum, called mitig wakik."

p. 159 Having been found by Bear, "an old man ... (the oldster)", at the requaest by Shell to find a "voice" not "inadequate to assemble the spirits", "went to the center of the Earth. ...
p. 160 The manitou guardians supposed that if the entire man turned into a drum, the result would be far too cumbersome ... The he (the old man) flew to pieces (by whirling clockwise a number of times, the number being that of the patient’s grade.) Our Grandfather then took one piece (for the midewiwin drum)." (OR&M, p. 101)

pp. 162-163 (Fig. 3) Midewiwin Chant during ritual placement of shells (M, p. 218-9)

p. # text explication
162 1st "The spirit has made sacred the place where I live". "the shamans look out from the midewiwin lodge".
2nd "The spirit gave the medicine which we receive". "the "sky regions" send down the manitou".
3rd "Pause." (silent prayer)
4th "I too have taken the medicine which he have us". "The medicine power is shown as within the speaker’s arm".
5th "I brought life to the people". "The shamans’ ... identification with Thunderbird."
163 6th "I have come to the medicine lodge also". "shaman’s ... identification with Bear manitou."
7th ‘We spirits are talking together". "the sacred power presences – manitou kazo."
8th "The migis is on my body". "The migis ... is ... being placed within the patient-candidate’s body."
9th "The spirit has put away all my sickness". "shaman radiates the intensity of manitou presence".

p. 164 public ritual at midewiwin initiation

"A previously killed dog is cooked and served in a public feast. This dog, which is laid across the western entrance, symbolizes the Lion [cougar? {– but cf. the Nemean lion slain by Heraklees (GM 123); as well as Chinese chow-hounds repraesenting lions}]
After the meal the Bowman ... takes up the medicine bundle of weasel {cf. the weasel goddess at the birth of Heraklees (GM 118.g)}


pp. 168-179 = Chapter 8. "Stages in the Formation of the Shaman".

pp. 170-171 autobiography : vision during puberty fast, in southwest Ontario

p. 170 "He came to me where I lay. There was a light glowing all around him; it even looked as if the light shone right through his body. And his whole body was covered with hair from head to foot. I could not recognize the face because it was hidden behind the hair.
p. 171 ... When he first spoke to me his voice sounded like an echo from the sky above. ... He spoke to me again : "I know what you want without asking. I will help you as long as you live. You future is clear and bright. If you follow my wisdom I will protect you from harm."" (GLO, pp. 25-6)


GLO = James Redsky : Great Leader of the Ojibway. Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 1972.


CIVILIZATION OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN SERIES, Vol. 165 = John A. Grim : The Shaman : Patterns of Siberian and Ojibway Healing. U of OK Pr, Norman, 1983.