1. An animistic religion of northern Asia having the belief that the mediation between the visible and the spirit worlds is effected by shamans.
2. Any animistic religion similar to Asian shamanism especially as practiced by certain Native American tribes.
Possibly the oldest world religion, originating among the Tungus peoples of Siberia over 8,000 years ago and spreading into China and SE Asia and across into Russia and into North and Central America via the land bridge that then existed between Siberia and Alaska. The core belief is in two worlds: the spiritual world and the material world.
Shamans, or priests of shamanism, are able to be possessed by spirits and they can then be called upon for help or forgiveness in the curing of illness or the remedying of ill fortune. Shamans are usually associated with the ability to turn into animals, of which the bear is the most revered and popular.
Shamanism is still practiced in China, Japan, Siberia, and in many areas of North and Central America. It has recently undergone a revival of interest, especially in the West, where its links with nature have struck a chord with many seeking a more ecological spirituality and world view.
Animistička religija poreklom iz severne Azije, medijacija između vidljivog sveta i sveta duhova.