Shamanism facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Kyzyl Shaman
A shaman doctor of Kyzyl, 2005.
Goldes shaman priest in his regalia
Shaman priest of North America, 1897.

Shamanism is a practice where a practitioner reaches altered states of consciousness. Supposedly, the shaman perceives and interacts with a spirit world, and channels these energies into this world.

A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and bad spirits. They usually enter into a trance state during a ritual, and do divination and healing. To become a shaman, a person has to have had a near death experience (a "shamanic illness").

The name "shaman" comes from the Evenki people in Siberia.

Shamans play a central role in these movements, as they can be in both worlds, this one, and the world of spirits.


  • Spirits are real and can do things in the real world.
  • There are good and evil spirits.
  • Healing can be done in the spirit and real world.
  • A person's spirit can leave their body and go into the world of the spirits.
  • Animal shapes are used to interact with the spirits.

Shamanism is different from animism.


  • Quantum Men (Carlos Serrano Azcona) Spain 2011
  • Other Worlds (Jan Kounen) France 2004
  • Bells From the Deep (Werner Herzog) Germany 1993
  • The Mad Masters (Jean Rouch) France 1955
  • Au pays des mages noirs (Jean Rouch) France 1947

Images for kids

Shamanism Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.