Upcoming Schedule of Ethnographic Films, Classes, and Workshops
DRUMMING & TRANCE WORK
ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM NIGHTS
2017 CLASSES, WORKSHOPS, EVENTS
ONGOING CLASSICAL SIBERIAN SHAMANIC DRUMMING & TRANCE WORK
The Shamanic Council meets at East West Bookshop, Seattle, Washington typically on the Second Sunday of the month.
The Shamanic Council is an ongoing experiential drumming-singing-and trance dancing group that meets monthly to explore and practice the foundations of Eastern Classical Siberian Shamanism. Traditional drumming techniques are explored as well as exploring the nature of consciousness from an animistic perspective.
Although the Council has been meeting for years, we are always open and happy to have new members join at any time. The only requirement is that you bring a Native, Siberian, or Celtic style of round drum so that you can fully participate in the program. No congas or doumbeks please.
August — November: The Bear Dance
We are currently working on all of the elements of the Bear Dance:
In each class we will explore the drum rhythms, dance steps, and vocalizations of the various sections. Please be prepared to work on movement, and please wear loose fitting clothes for dancing. All sections of the various elements of the Bear Dance will be provided to you on an MP3 for practice between sessions.
December — March: Trance Dance of the Forest Spirits
This ancient trance dance of Eastern Siberia carries the practitioner into variable states of trance induction through movement and song. What you will need are two dance poles.
The proper size is two push broom handles (with no metal hardware on the end). The best way to purchase these is to go to either Home Depot or Lowe's where they are available or an online store.
The height of these poles should be as tall as to end between the tops of your shoulders but not above eye height. Now most of these standard sizes are about 5 feet so if you are a taller person then getting two wooden painting poles will work and you can cut them to size. They come in 6 foot lengths but you'll need to cut the metal sections off the tops. These can be purchased at any name brand paint stores in the area. If you have any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further instructions.
You will also be required to bring your drum as this Forest dance needs both drummers along with the dancers.
August 2017—November 2017
The Bear Dance
December 2017—March 2018
Trance Dance of the Forest Spirits
The Ethnographic Film Nights are designed for current students and invited guests. The foundational practice from various indigenous Asian cultures will be explored. Although most of our films will focus on Siberian groups, we will also present current practices from Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cultures.
Prior to the showing, there will be a brief opening introduction about the film followed by a short round table discussion by the audience members at the conclusion of the presentation. By contrast and comparison, we will examine the nuances, similarities, and differences to the Manchu-Tungus traditions in Eastern Siberia. Program begins promptly at 6:00 p.m.
These viewings are held in a private theater. Please contact us at email@example.com or telephone 206-526-2959 for directions and further information. Suggested donation: $5, however no one will be turned away.
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
The film is almost entirely shot outdoors in the Russian Far East wilderness. The film explores the theme of a native of the forests who is fully integrated into his environment, leading a style of life that will inevitably be destroyed by the advance of civilization. It is also about the growth of respect and deep friendship between two men of profoundly different backgrounds, and about the difficulty of coping with the loss of strength and ability that comes with old age.
Video Language: Russian with English Subtitles
Total Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Shamans Nadia Stepanova & Ai-Churek Shiizhekovna Oyun
Nadia Stepanova: Nadia Stepanova is a Buryatian shaman who is reviving shamanic ritual ceremonies that for centuries have ruled the life in the taiga. The Republic of Buryatia is a large country that lies between Lake Baikal and Mongolia in Siberia, often said to be the cradle of shamanism, which appeared at the dawn of civilization and survived down through the ages, until Stalin's anti-religious campaign in the 1930s.
During all these years there was an attempt to separate the individual from his spirituality and as a result many people forgot their soul, their ancestors and their Gods. Nadia Stepanova hopes that the young people will again be aware of spirituality and of the gifts that Mother Nature bestows us.
Video Language: English
Ai-Churek Shiizhekovna Oyun: Tuva is a very ancient country of shamans and throat singers. It lies between the Siberian forests and the central Asian desert, marking the center of Asia. The high Sayan Mountains protected Tuva, keeping it wild and pure. Tuvinian people love nature and live in harmony, fearing the rage of the powerful spirits of the mountain.
Ai-Churek Shiizhekovna Oyun is a shaman from Tuva, a very powerful healer who speaks to the stars. "To heal a person I invoke his star asking it to come down. When the star appears, a strong heat falls from above and my eyes are filled with tears. The strength of the star comes down from the sky until, gradually, everybody bends to the earth."
Video Language: English
Total Running Time for Both Videos: 60 minutes
In Pursuit of the Siberian Shaman
Long suppressed by missionaries and then by Soviet anti-religious campaigns, Siberian shamanism has experienced an unprecedented revival following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the number of shamans continues to rise. But who are these new shamans? Are they tricksters, magicians, businessmen, or cultural activists? This film takes a behind-the-scenes look at a Buryat shaman living on an island in the Lake Baikal as he moves between intimate shamanic rituals performed for local clientele and shows performed at various resorts for Western tourists in search of "primitive" cultures.
The film captures cross-cultural miscommunication as the shaman and tourists misunderstand one another, usually comically, sometimes disturbingly, made all the more poignant by the conflict between the dominant Russian Orthodox Church and the local shamanic tradition. Juxtaposing 1920s archival footage of a shamanic performance with its contemporary counterparts, the film grapples with the long-standing tension between the "indigenous" and the "cosmopolitan" in a rapidly transnational world.
Video Language: English
Total Running Time: 72 minutes
September 15, 2017
October 13, 2017
November 28, 2017
The Indigenous Art of Smudging
Thursday September 21th 7-8:30pm Class Fee $20 Maximum Participants: 15
This class will introduce ideas and techniques to the beginner or advanced practitioner to the art of smudging from an Asian shamanic perspective. We will explore the different qualities of plants, herbs, and resinous materials used by various cultures as well as their psychospiritual qualities. Topics to be explored will be:
Fall Fire Ritual
Sunday October 3rd 7pm Class Fee $10
The Fall Fire Ceremony is traditionally the beginning of the hunting season in the Taiga. Elements include offerings to personal stars and a recognition of the major spirits, Tiger and Bear, in the Middle World landscape. Bring your drums and prepare a small song to the Fire and Forest as we begin our transition from Autumn to Winter. Please bring food to share with the Fire as well as with other participants. A short discussion about one's personal stars and how this fits into your own personal practiced will be introduced. For further information and location of event please call the office at 206-526-2959.
RSVP no later than September 17th.