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Article

Animals in Saami Shamanism: Power Animals, Symbols of Art, and Offerings

1
Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
2
Museum of Norway and Academy of Arts (UMAK), The Arctic University, 9019 Tromsø, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robert J. Wallis and Max Carocci
Religions 2021, 12(4), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12040256
Received: 3 March 2021 / Revised: 29 March 2021 / Accepted: 31 March 2021 / Published: 7 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art, Shamanism and Animism)
In this paper, we study the role of power animals in contemporary Saami shamanism and how past and present are entwined in the presentation of power animals. In the old Saami worldviews, in addition to animals, spirits and sacred rocks (sieidi, SaaN) were also considered to be able to interact with people. Animals were an important part of offering rituals because livelihood and rituals were intertwined. Past “religions” are used as an inspiration for contemporary shamanistic practices, in line with one of late modernity’s core concepts, namely creativity. Present-day shamanistic practices can be described as ritual creativity, and they combine traces of old and new ritual activities. At the shamanistic festival Isogaisa, organized in northern Norway, these different roles of animals and ritual creativity become evident. Here, animals appear as spirit animals, as well as decorative elements on drums and clothes and as performance. In this paper, we combine material culture studies, interview data, and participatory observations in order to reflect the meanings and use of power animals in contemporary spiritual practices. How are traces of the past used in creating contemporary spirituality? How are animals and their artistic presentations entangled in contemporary shamanism? View Full-Text
Keywords: Saami shamanism; animals; power animals; ritual creativity; Isogaisa Saami shamanism; animals; power animals; ritual creativity; Isogaisa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Äikäs, T.; Fonneland, T. Animals in Saami Shamanism: Power Animals, Symbols of Art, and Offerings. Religions 2021, 12, 256. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12040256

AMA Style

Äikäs T, Fonneland T. Animals in Saami Shamanism: Power Animals, Symbols of Art, and Offerings. Religions. 2021; 12(4):256. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12040256

Chicago/Turabian Style

Äikäs, Tiina, and Trude Fonneland. 2021. "Animals in Saami Shamanism: Power Animals, Symbols of Art, and Offerings" Religions 12, no. 4: 256. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12040256

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