SAI Kathmandu Office Lecture Series -- September 2015
The notion of shamanism is a much debated term in the field of Religious Studies and Anthropology. Over time, this concept has been used to describe several religious expressions from different contexts: from Siberia, where the word was first used and registered, to South America; from Finland to Australia; from indigenous traditional healers to western neo-Shamans; from rock art to the internet.
But what is a shaman? After a brief introduction to the history of the word, this talk will be devoted to explore some of the main characteristics, ideas and recurrent themes usually associated with it. The last part will be devoted to some examples of shamanism from Nepal, and especially from the Helambu (Hyolmo) region.
Davide Torri is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cluster Asia and Europe at Heidelberg University's Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies. He received his PhD from the University of Naples and went on to become a Lecturer at the University of Chester. Davide Torri's research focuses on shamanism among indigenous communities and marginalized groups of India, Nepal, and Mongolia.