Dialogue on the Threshold

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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Psychê tetrigyia (2)

Bogoros (1) believes that he can explain the "separate voices" of the Chukchee shamans by ventriloquism. But his phonograph recorded all the "voices" exactly as they were heard by the audience, that is, as coming from the doors or rising from the corners of the room, and not as emitted by the shaman. The recordings "show a very marked difference between the voice of the shaman himself, which sounds from afar, and the voices of the 'spirits', who seemed to be talking directly into the funnel." (2)

(1) Waldemar G. Bogoras (V. G. Bogoraz), The Chukchee, American Museum of Natural History (New York), Memoirs XI, Jesup North Pacific Expedition VII, 1904, pp. 435ff.
(2) Ibid., p. 436.

Mircea Eliade, Shamanism. Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, trans. Willard R. Trask, Bollingen Series LXXVI, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 1972, 2nd ed. 2004, p. 255, n. 120.

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