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The Beauty of the PrimitiveShamanism and Western Imagination$
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Andrei A. Znamenski

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172317.001.0001

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 From Siberia to North America

 From Siberia to North America

Regionalists, Anthropologists, and Exiled Ethnographers

(p.39) 2 From Siberia to North America
The Beauty of the Primitive

Andrei A. Znamenski

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines several sources of a later rise of popular interest in shamanism. The discussion starts on Siberian regionalist writers and ethnographers, who, in their attempt to shape and underline the unique cultural identity of Siberia, looked into indigenous northern Asian archaic traditions. The focus then shifts to North America's American southwestern regionalists, who worked to ground themselves and their compatriots in soil that was not indigenous to them. Ethnographic books about Native Americans heavily affected the print culture of modern neo-shamanism in the West, so the world of American anthropology is explored and its attempts to capture the traditional cultures of indigenous peoples before their extinction — another project that was informed by German Romantic philosophy — are discussed. The chapter also shows how the shamanism idiom became gradually transplanted from Siberian ethnography to North American ethnology. Finally, a unique group of people — “exiled ethnographers” — is studied.

Keywords:   Siberia, North America, ethnography, ethnology, indigenous primitives, regionalists, anthropology, exiled ethnographers

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