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Inside and Outside the Mirror: Mongolian Shamans’ Mirrors as Instruments of Perspectivism

Inside and Outside the Mirror: Mongolian Shamans’ Mirrors as Instruments of Perspectivism AbstractThis article explores the implications of the fact that shamans’ mirrors, and mirrors in general, have two quite different sides, one reflecting images and the other a dull blank or imagined as a teeming other world. It is argued that, for shamanists, the far side of themirror is conceived as the world of the dead, which is populated by spirits. Living people can, in certain circumstances such as divination, see ‘through’ the mirror into that world, and shamans when interacting with spirits in trance place themselves inside it. Two different perspectives, of the living and of the souls/spirits, are thus produced. The article ends with some speculations about the non-symmetrical character of these perspectives and concludes that the Mongols upholding these traditions are not post-moderns. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Inner Asia Brill

Inside and Outside the Mirror: Mongolian Shamans’ Mirrors as Instruments of Perspectivism

Inner Asia , Volume 9 (2): 23 – Jan 1, 2007

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1464-8172
eISSN
2210-5018
DOI
10.1163/146481707793646557
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis article explores the implications of the fact that shamans’ mirrors, and mirrors in general, have two quite different sides, one reflecting images and the other a dull blank or imagined as a teeming other world. It is argued that, for shamanists, the far side of themirror is conceived as the world of the dead, which is populated by spirits. Living people can, in certain circumstances such as divination, see ‘through’ the mirror into that world, and shamans when interacting with spirits in trance place themselves inside it. Two different perspectives, of the living and of the souls/spirits, are thus produced. The article ends with some speculations about the non-symmetrical character of these perspectives and concludes that the Mongols upholding these traditions are not post-moderns.

Journal

Inner AsiaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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