The Evolution of Chinese Shamanism: A Case Study from Northwest China
AbstractThis paper presents information on the shamanic religious system practiced among the Tu ethnic group of Qinghai Province in Northwest China. After presenting ethnographic information on the spirit beliefs, rituals, and shamanic specialists of the Tu, the paper will use a systemic definition of religion to (1) identify changes that have occurred in the focus of Tu shamanism and the role of the shaman, and (2) identify a cluster of causal factors—techno-economic, sociopolitical, and ideational—exogenous to the religious system itself that appear to have played a role in generating these changes. The paper will focus on two specific changes: (1) a decrease in the frequency of private shamanic healing rituals, and (2) a corresponding increase in the importance of shamanic leadership in collective rainfall rituals that affect the entire community. The explanatory paradigm utilized is a modified adaptation to contemporary Chinese reality of the Historical Materialist paradigm pioneered by Marx and Engels and the Cultural Materialist paradigm developed by Marvin Harris. While continuing to emphasize the causal power of technological and economic factors, the Chinese experience, both at the macro level of transformations of the Chinese economy and at the micro level of Tu shamanism, forces analytic attention on the causal impact of socio-political and ideological variables. View Full-Text
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Xing, H.; Murray, G. The Evolution of Chinese Shamanism: A Case Study from Northwest China. Religions 2018, 9, 397.
Xing H, Murray G. The Evolution of Chinese Shamanism: A Case Study from Northwest China. Religions. 2018; 9(12):397.Chicago/Turabian Style
Xing, Haiyan; Murray, Gerald. 2018. "The Evolution of Chinese Shamanism: A Case Study from Northwest China." Religions 9, no. 12: 397.
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