▪ Scandinavian shaman
      in Sami religion, a shaman who mediated between the people that he served and the supernatural beings and forces that he either confronted or made use of for the benefit of his clients.

      The shamanic practices of the Finno-Ugric peoples have been best preserved among the Khanty (Ostyak) and Mansi (Vogul), as well as the Sami. Basically they consist of the manipulation of the supernatural by a specially trained, usually naturally gifted, sensitive person in order to aid people in various serious troubles, of which illness was probably the most common. On being asked to help, the noiade performs a dramatic séance with a traditional sequence of steps, including divinatory procedures, falling into trance, confrontation of supernatural beings either to fight them or to receive aid from them, and the actual ritual treatment of the patient, in the case of illness. The noiades can perform both good and evil and formerly were much feared owing to their powers, which they also used to political and economic advantage. In Finland the term noita survives mainly in the sense of an evil-working sorcerer, with another term, tietäjä (q.v.), applied to the specialist in beneficial mediation with the supernatural.

      The word noiade is genetically related to several other terms used by the Finno-Ugric peoples for their religious specialists. Finnish noita, Mansi nait, and Estonian noit belong together linguistically, and their origin may be traced back to the common Finno-Ugric period before 2500 BC.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • kobdas — Drum used for inducing trances and for divination by Sami shamans. It consisted of a wooden frame over which a reindeer hide was stretched; the hide was covered with designs representing spirits or deities. In divination, the drum was beaten with …   Universalium

  • saivo — One of the Sami regions of the dead, where the deceased lead happy lives with their families and ancestors, acting in every way as they did on earth. In Norway the saivo world was thought to exist in the mountains, whereas in Finland it was… …   Universalium

  • tietäjä — ▪ Scandinavian shaman       the principal religious specialist of the Baltic Finns, functioning in the tradition of the Finno Ugric shaman. Operating in a more complex, agricultural society than his more primitive counterparts, such as the Sami… …   Universalium

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