The Spirits of Shamanism: Simon Matzinger

The Evolutionary Basis of Shamanism

On the far northwest coast of Alaska, in the cold white emptiness of Point Hope, bowhead whale bones stick up from the snow, encircling an estuary of wooden crosses. Here, in this long night of winter, in 1953, Masiin, a shaman, floats above the cemetery. Masiin is one of the last Tikigaq shaman of northern Alaska and a representative of a tradition that has lasted thousands of years. He has just returned from a spirit journey…