CRITIC shaman, noide, magic drum

This is from the list of special critics about interpreting ancient ideas There are some selected discussions too. For comments and discussion use the Yahoo-groups on which these essays are published continuously. There are also news about updates and so on.

Shaman, Sami, magic drum, foresinger, thane, noide, Ernst Manker, Randulf, Lybecker, troll

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>>Shaman with magic drum<<

Unique suite from Leirfald near Trondheim … notice the tree Ladies with origin probably in Elam. We call them Midwived and the Sami call them Akat with the same function

When it comes to Scandinavian aborigines, i.e. Laps/ Sami I do not buy the header. It is evident that science has not ever understood the culture in the Northern Hemisphere. My Oxford Dictionary have shaman = priest or witch-doctor. Then "priest" could be right if we give synonym thane/ speaker that correspond to the description from 17th century Sami and that is rational in that kind of societies. If we use witch-doctor we expose that we know nothing about other cultures and maybe we want to make fun of the Sami? The Sami environment and culture is so special that we should be polite and use the Sami word noide that correspond to ancient reality.

Here we should remark that the English is poor with big problems since few old words are saved and writing about these things become primitive. An example is that "court/ assembly" is "thing" with many underlying meaning and not always exact translation. There is a difference in culture … and another step between the priests that first recorded about the "primitive, dumb and strange Laps" in 17 - 18th century. I am taking a step back to the original. The scientist do their best to make Finns and Laps late comers to heighten the status of "white man". But DNA shows that Sami and Scaane have mtDNA very near each other and with no relative elsewhere.

Magic drum is descriptive since it tries to sell the idea that the drum was used in magic. Then we have not understood the deep in the use and everyone should know that nothing grow and develop by using magic. We have to confront the term "witchcraft" in the same way as the county court at West Gautland did in 17th century. Bellringer Per was accused for witchcraft and the court asked how he does it. He could not explain and the court asked for demonstration. He asked for the church key and some other strange things, but with no success. The court concluded that Per did not prove that he could the practice, but that he is a bad example for the parish so he was banished from the county …the method is still a good method when someone introduce magic as reality. And we have no proof that there ire some reality outsides ours.

In my lifetime some people connect witchcraft with Finns and Sami as historical heritage as it has been for hundreds of years in Scandinavia. It is almost like The Bear that it was called by foreign names. However, I know that to learn Danish and Scane-language you have to be Magician. -;) Mostly the Scandinavians admit that they do not want to understand such a strange language. The traders at the North-Landes had surely no problem. But the priests in the real Dark Age gave the picture many still have today. Academic tradition always conserve things since they generation after generation copy even wrong work of precursors. No rethinking, asking do these things exist or is it reasonable. That is why we learn about shamans, witch drums and primitive people in north Thereof this essay.

We have also the difference between true organic ritual language that began to change already in cities like Ugarit 4000 years ago. Urban people use idols/ gods as an abstraction that hopefully will do the job and there is no real meaning in the prayer than a wish: For the early farmers the icon / archetype were instruction, methods and calendar. It was kept a live in the procession that followed for instance a stone row or an avenue literally animating that "times go".

When the early Christian investigators interview the Sami about the World Order they got the names and the area the world belonged to … Try to erase all word except the nouns in a text and try to make sense of it! For ancient people the procession and ritual was education and remembered the tradition. And it all followed the organic nature and astronomy and especially the water flow if farmer or else living on nature.

This short essay is different from my essay in Swedish since the global topic is shamanism derived from the traditional healers of areas such as Northern Asia and Mongolia. A "shaman" being the Turkic-Tungus word literally meaning "he/ she who knows." The Turk-Mongolic culture is by far like the Scandinavian that has stone culture and much influence from Europé and Near East. In north they picked up the Sumer - European culture already in 4th millennium. It is like comparing apple and prune to talk about far Asian culture. We have a good word for the thane or "speaker" and still in use "noide". Foresinger was use in sparsely populated parts of Asia I believe

… it is all the same with totem/ totemism that originally is derive from a small tribe in Alaska that did a protest like when the women of Andes wear bowler hat. The tribe lived near Alaska but nowadays the term is used in many connections. Lazy writers do such thing and make history confusing. I apologise if I have such things in my earlier works


This unique local map is around 6000 years old Bergsbukten Alta N Norway. Maybe the biggest very large composition made at one occasion. Remind of the drum illustrations and in the middle we see the season suite. In Lapland we can not generalise and say rockcarvings are from Bronze Age

Akademic Shamanism refers to a range of traditional beliefs and practices. I am not sure that the investigators have understood it all since it is the question of describing the different worldview in Lapland. Then it could difficult to find appropriate word in English with no old tradition of the kind of society. The verb as such is late invention and our fragmented sentences fragment the meaning I suppose the languages were often agglutinated. In early language the gods were rationalised meanings/ metaphors about natural time-space happening. In my childhood was just a little left when we use the term "natural force" when we did not really know the process. So it is pure semantic and should be analysed as such and not as primitive magic. Nearly all following points we can find in all ancient cultures so it not unique that they find them in Sameland:

  1. animism … no proof that supernatural beings exist so this is just semantic describing nature or bubbles
  2. traversing the World Pillar … it was the firm point/ pillar to which the night sky was compared to decide time
  3. gaining control over spirits … no proof that spirits exist. Maybe occasional logic operator "i" to catch nature
  4. divination … all cultures practice trials in divination
  5. interpretation of dreams … you can always try if the other part agrees
  6. control the weather … How? Selfsuggestion that you succeed. If you know the weather you can foresee it many times
  7. astral projection are some of the topics in the theories … I can fly in my fantasies. In some dreams I am a bird fearing to fell down since I can not swim.
  8. This is surely funny stuff for psychotherapist making problems out of almost nothing. They are surely fired by modern psychology and the New Age that wants to learn deep secrets they could use to manage their world. In several cases it is ideas the thinker's brains produce and it is not different from thinking in general. When Sumerians describe concentrated thinking they call it bull-dreams as for instance Gudea of Lagash planned Ningirsus' temple. … so we should realise that not many languages are as perfect as Oxford English -;)

  9. When using this method analysing "shaman" I think of a Plexiglas box with white mice and the scientists standing around commenting and analysing the behaviour. It is very clinical but is it true reality?

The big question is if there are believers seeing the same kind of lofty beings. My best experiences are among small children when they are in the fairy world. It works and normally and we have fun for a while … it is much like soap bubbles. My astral projection is when I pretend to be in another place or being a fish or bird usw. I suppose the scientist would say I am in the Spiritual World, I suppose. Nothing such exists longer than it takes to tell about it. Can you prove otherwise?'

However it is the lofty process with many special cases such as imaging, hallucination, concentration asides the present and whatever. Normally we should not step in the process before it is finished. Else we loose the thread. It could not be weighed, measured, photographed and so on. Why should these things be called magic when ancient/ today's noide use the methods?

In the book of Mancker they never mention shamans, neither that the shamans used drugs to get into trance. The same drugs they think we re used by Vikings. I think it is pure speculation made by archaeologists not far ago. Especially Christian thinkers would be interested in lowering the reputation of Sami as well as Vikings. I think ancient fighter would use much more sophisticated, sure and risk-free methods. Then I think especially about American sportsmen using "phantom play" and other trick to receive total concentration and starry almost glassy eyes.

Priests, archaeologist and other scientists have been leading in creating a language totally irrational and mixing our worldview when it concerns the Sami. I suppose they had problem ancient times when they animate spacetime with humanised beings and animals. It must have been workout for the brains. We can not explain Inanna with just one word, but have to mention the aspects as star, as rain, as virgin, as new moon, as birth giving, as fertility, as invention and many more. Worse it went when they picture her as a noble lady

Season suite with the Moon Lady fertilizing in a position that copies Inanna. We find the same kind of suite in the Alps

In Scandinavian academic culture everyone should know that the ancient Sami was led by the noide, still they do not know Today the Sami prefer "noide" as well as Sami instead of Lap. The noide, he/she was normally an elderly person with much of knowledge, thinking capacity and spiritual leadership. This article is a critical review of the official picture of old Sami culture. Ernst Manker calls his book Die Lappische Zaubertrommel Hugo Gebers Förlag, 50 and it is hard to translate to English, i.e. "Laponian Troll drum". My dictionary tell that troll "supernatural being, giant or but mischievous dwarf "… I just wonder how rational science manages to see these hides contends shifting being in a "multibody" and get it to work.

My German is not of the class that I know the old vocabulary. But there are about 30 pages in short Swedish with comments from Lybecker, Rehn, Gran, Schefferus, Utterus, and Rudbeck 17th century. Randulf and Forbus from 18th century however there are many other references in the text. They are mostly the priests observing the vicarages. Together it all gives a good picture of the topic useable as bandying wall for an essay. There are also 71 sketches of drum covers, however I can not see they are reliable in general except Randulf 1723.

From Randulf's manuscript 1723

Before I relate how authorities treated the Sami we have to remember that the fairly new Lutheran church was developing its own fundamentalism. Traditionally they mention the church law of 1686.The pressure on people increased for very long time with the not outspoken aim to civilise people and make them soft to the authorities. Still, in my neighbourhood Bolstad they have saved the oldest records of a meeting in the vicarage. The vicar with latinized name to Lars Beronis, else he was a farmer's son but was not pleased with his people in 1570.

Cuts from the protocol "They do not furnish the church with candles … do not finish the churchyard … do not attend prayer days … do not pay tenth (however many farmers did not grow corn) … have not establish church-guards to arrange collecting of tenth and later sexlife of people … a couple is not married … do not marry in church --- they were pleased with the original "handtake" surely since around 2000 BC or so. They thought the traditional "take hands" at home was marriage, so why pay to the church. They must be forced to follow (non-democratic) church law.

In the priests investigation are a lot of bias of bias that the Sami were at a lower level with no value "they are stupid"; they have "not understood the genuine god" and "do all error one can think"; sacrifices to "wooden/ stony idols and avguder/ idols" and so on. Nordic "avgud" / German "abgott" are still going strong and conserve the valuation of people of lower class … in spite of Human Right's religious liberty. Why can't scientists be neutral … or are they scientific at all?. In Sweden the "ancient ideas" lie in Faculty of Theology until 1981. Unfortunately religion conserve fundamentalism while laws are supposed to follow time and refine society.

The German Hans Philip Lybecker came to Lapland as director of mining around 1640 - 1668 and asked for a church. 1641 it was ready in Arjeplog and soon 3 more were build. They became base for the Christianising in deepest Lapin landscape. The silver mines were drivers and we can guess the reason for state to get grip of people. It was maybe also reason for Lybecker to study the religion and write about it. He uses "troll" as name on almost every archetype so there were many. He also bought a drum and commented it. At that time other priest did not dare to even touch a drum because it was "Satan's tool" . Soon it was forbidden and later the joik that is the mighty song in the environment. It is understandable that priests became cowards in the environment and song scared them. It is also normal that people fear foreign languages and are lost when people in their surroundings could not be understood and suspect evil against them when they turn the back. Maybe because they are used to backbite others?

Lybeckers drum could we trust in the copying. He had been in Sweden just a few year so how good was his Sami and Swedish. He tells the 11 leading idols he calls troll … numbers does not match. His trolls are natural forces in symbols on the drums ??? Where does he fly?

… We do not ask our priests why he tell us to drink Christi blood at the confession and eat his flesh …or about tools in the ceremony …. Or the idols that soon were put into the churches. We are not allowed to question the Church and the Bible…. The priest writers simply ripped of the clothes of Sami religion. The complex of many names and symbols could not describe the entity … since an entity is always bigger together. We need the general model that is the drum skin with symbols often in time order. It pictures the three worlds just as help for the memory. As world order it is like other early world orders.

The Sami Sigvard M Granlund was sent to Ume and Uppsala for theology studies on state's account. And he was already suggested as vicar in Arjeplog 1718 23 years old. But next year the vicarage complained that he must be taken away. He was too hard and drinks too much. Later they added that he demanded for too many gifts to the church and maybe worst of all he demanded that the people should read the catechism in Swedish. A farmers wife claimed that Granlund read incantations over her livestock so that they died … Have you ever seen "Sire" making mistakes or doing wrong? Soon he became dean in Arjeplog. Like Lars Beronis above and other coverts he had problem in finding his role at the higher level. He drowned on way to another church in 1731.

I watched recently two Sami girls at TV telling proudly about their old religion with sure voices and knowledge. They laughed at people from the south asking stupid questions expressing underlying conserved ideas and lack of knowledge … and lack of tolerant politeness of course. Majorities everywhere always express their superiority. I love the girls and I think the Sami Nation should be proud saving fragments of religion 6000 years back. It is more than Christian fundamentalists, which almost hate their primitive ancestors. Still Christianity has the same far roots. If we care about the Sami religion we care about our own early history and roots.

Some of the commentators show that they know Roman gods and use in interpreting the Sami. They are excused since at that time academy was not aware of older idols. There is evidence that the Sumerian triad reached Samiland in fourth millennium and long living to our days: only saved in Samiland. The world pillar, known as Celtic Irminsul seems to have been used in Italy before the Romans and we find it in Anglo-Scandinavian place names. Some Norse tribes mention Thor with name and it was natural that they selected the most fearful god as highest all over the world. In the mountains the weather god was naturally fearful. The deities are not pure Sami but tell about many thousand years of influence. The "troll" is created in the observer's eye and imagination.

On the drums there are at least 16 with World Pillar in the middle and some of them have the 4-sided time rose. At the sceptre in the Sutton Hoo grave there is the Stag at top and under the top there are 4 heads near the top. The Stag was use at least in Angeln and South Jutland. In Sameland some tribes show the Rein or the Elk at heavens top. It was a big asterism with back in Orion and crown in Cassiopeja. At Rügen the temple was destroyed in 1169 but they have saved at least one 4-head for the sun rose and one 3-head for the moon rose Maybe we also should mention the rock picture the volador at Gerum, Bohuslen from Bronze Age. It has three wings and at the top stand an idol with Bull horns maybe.

Some drum coats has a simple "pillar" but many show the idea of the time rose. On part of them like Randulf's the idols on the rose are winged and the wings point at cardinal directions at a particular star/ asterism. In the ancient world they often show the idols for the upper sphere with wings. I think of the big cist in Tutankamun's tomb guarded by four winged deities. At some holy places they build an outdoor platform for wooden idols. I think they call them "hov" in other places and we have a lot of place names. I think it is difficult to sort out Samiland as a culture without roots in Western culture

They speak about spirits but they are just personifications of what we called nature forces in my young days. I can not prove supernatural beings and I ask for organic coupling between the figures and and reality … else it is fantasy. Nowadays we know much more and can fragment the forces and tell what they are. If Lybecker call most of these trolls and spirits. It is lack of knowledge and respect at the same time. I do not think he know Swedish and Sami was worse in 1642. These early writers do not speak much about witchcraft. Later occurs much more in other books. However the church has always been, as good at reversing vision and making people believe in a strange way. … if anyone think I would believe "troll" are real they are wrong. That means all manuscripts with similar words are not more than fiction.

The Sami΄s ethnic memory is more authentic than the than the demonised sagas of priests from 17 - 18th century. I am grateful that I early in life understood the real nature. But I have still much to learn and study. The Norwegian tribes has late creation "Storjunkaren= the County Governor". That copied evidently the Norwegian society and they dedicated stones and wooden idols to the Storjunckare. Wonder if the governor appreciated this honour?

At our days a little Sami girl: "We are just like all other people"

06/01/2007 c.