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The Shamanic Themes in Chechen Folktales

Submitted by on Monday, 13 December 2010.    1,314 views No Comment
The Shamanic Themes in Chechen Folktales

The Shamanic Themes in Chechen Folktales
Writer: Michael Berman
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing; new edition (January 11, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1443800112
ISBN-13: 978-1443800112
120 pages

All intellectuals driven by nationalist sentiments directly or indirectly are always preoccupied with searching for the most ancient roots of their budding nations in order to ground their compatriots in particular soil and to make them more indigenous (Znamenski, 2007, p.28). In Chechnya, as in the neighbouring countries of Georgia and Armenia, these roots lie in shamanism and the stories in this collection clearly show this to be the case. The history of the Nokhchii (the name the Chechens have given themselves), and their land, is filled with rich and colourful stories, which have survived for thousands of years through oral traditions that have been passed down generation by generation through clan elders. However, legends have blended with actual events so that the true history is difficult to write. The 1994-1996 war destroyed most of Chechnya’s treasured archaeological and historical sites, though fortunately ancient burial sites, architectural monuments and several prehistoric cave petroglyphs still remain in the mountains. These valuable relics, coupled with the histories and stories of the elders, provide the people with virtually the only remaining evidence of who their ancient ancestors were. This book contains both the texts of some of the tales and commentaries on them, focusing in particular on their shamanic elements.

About the Author

Michael Berman BA, MPhil, PhD (Alternative Medicines) works as a teacher, a writer, and Core Shamanic Counsellor. Publications include A Multiple Intelligences Road to an ELT Classroom and The Power of Metaphor for Crown House, and Tell us a Story for Brian Friendly Publications. Books published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing include The Nature of Shamanism and the Shamanic Story (2007), Soul Loss and the Shamanic Story (2008) and Divination and the Shamanic Story (2008). Michael has been involved in teaching and teacher training for over thirty years, has given presentations at Conferences in more than twenty countries, and hopes to have the opportunity to visit many more yet.

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