Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits which affect the lives of the living. Shamans use their powers to help their “congregations”, as well as act as healers, and prevent “malevolent spirits” from doing any harm. They had the only powers for tribal people to understand the pre-scientific world. Part priest, part mystic, part psychologist and part healer, that was the shaman’s role.
If you are searching for a collection of images relating to these ancient and often now vanished social practices the Werner Forman Archive is full of them !