The prehistoric Navajos were the one of the last groups to arrive in the Southwest. They lived in the area of the Southwest called Four Corners, a place where four states of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah meet. These people were nomads, hunters and herders. When the early Navajos were new to Southwest, they usually attacked the Hopis.
Who Is the Shaman?
As time passes by, ancient Navajos learned the Hopi ways of living. They started to cultivate their own crops and weave their own cotton clothes. Like other people, they believed in Gods called Holy People. They claimed that these Gods use their power against them. To get in touch with their Gods, they always depend on Navajo shaman.
The Navajo shaman was the religious healer and leader of the Navajos. He usually performed ceremonies and talked to Gods for special favors for the Navajos. This person also used sand painting in their ceremonies. Sandpaintings are one rite in a ceremonial. From various sets of paintings to a specific chant, the shaman picks those that will best heal the patient. In the two-night form of a chant, a single sandpainting is created. After its sanctification, the patient sits on the painting. Then, the Navajo shaman performs a ritual to boost the absorption of its healing power. After that, the remains of the painting are taken outside to the place Hogan.
Furthermore, Shamanism of Navajo covers a range of beliefs and practices. It claims the ability to travel to the pathway between earth and heaven for the purpose of spiritual contacts. This is also described as being the “use of the archaic tactics of ecstasy that were emerged independent of any religious philosophy”. The term “ecstasy” is the extraction of the soul from the body. The Navajo shamanism is considered to be of the occult. Their tactics are similar to other occult beliefs and practices. The common examples of these are channeling and the use of spirits coming in the form of animals. Based on the Navajo belief, a sandpainting of Navajo shaman heals because the ceremony picture attracts and praises the Holy People. This method also serves as a channel for the communal exchange of diseases and the healing power of Gods.
The main purpose of Navajo shaman is to serve people and their community not just with medical assistance, but also with spiritual guidance for soul, mind and spirit. The practice of shamanism is something that can be studied. To become a Navajo shaman, one has a calling that he gets akin to the calling of Holy People. He should also be able to talk to spirits and has the ability to work divination for the community they serve.
After knowing various things about Navajo shaman, you have already knew what makes this person valuable and in demand for American Indians. Like Navajo, there are various shamans in multiple places around the world. The main difference is that they have their own rituals and traditions. They also differ on how they perform their shamanism.