Tricksters and Trancers







1 to 11


Belief & Cosmology

58 to 94



95 to 125


Moon & Hare

126 to 145


Myth & Gendre

146 to 163



164 to 179


Curing Dance

180 to 198


0. (pp. 1 to 11) "Introduction : the Challenge of Bushman Religion".

p. 4 trancer human & trickster deity

"the trancer "dies" and his spirit takes over and proceeds with the curing task on a mystical plane. At this moment of the trance dance the trancers may encounter the trickster-god, who is attracted to the curing dance. The trancer and trickster are alike in other ways as well ... . Both may use flight, and the wives of the latter may attempt to seduce the trance dancer."

p. 10 (map) locations of tribes



Hie-ts^ware (Ts^wa)

eastern Botswana


southern B.


southwestern B.


western B.


south-central B.


north-central B.


northern B.


northwestern B.


northeast extension of Namibia


northern N.


northern B.-N. border


southern N.


northwestern Cape Province

p. 11 clicks


__ click


site of enunciation




back of upper incisors



double slash

sides of upper rows of teeth



slashed aequality

alveolus (roof of mouth)



exclamation pt.

behind alveolus ["popping"]


3. (pp. 58 to 94) "Bushman Religious Belief and Cosmology".

pp. 63, 81 deities appear in humans' dreams

p. 63

[according to the G/wi tribe] "The divine couple N!adima and N!dadisa live in the region above the visible sky ... . Omnipresent, eternal, and omniscient, they direct the lives of humans -- their children -- by appearing to them in dreams."

p. 81

"among the Nharo it may be that a certain dream or a number of dreams that provide individuals with their version of beliefs concerning such things as the names and nature of divinity ... and the ... mystical nature of the soul and its fate after death (Guenther 1986a:241-45)."

Guenther 1986a = Mathias Guenther : The Nharo Bushmen of Botswana. (QKF 3) Hamburg : Helmut Buske Verlag.

p. 65 the moon

"among the /Xam, ... menarcheal rites were timed by the new moon.

... the Nharo associate the waning moon with death : its crescent is seen as a boat carrying dead souls to god."

p. 67 myths involving primaeval therianthropes

"Mason Wasp had an absurdly slender waist ... that he concealed ... from his wife's view under a leather cloak.

Lion has a roar which he obtained through bullying Field Mouse. ... it was the mouse who originally had the "big voice," as against Lion's thin squeak."

pp. 66-8 myths involving primaeval people (who became animals)

p. 66

[/Xam folklore] " "first maiden," whose violation of menarcheal taboos was especially dangerous" : "!Khwa, an impersonal force that sometimes manifested itself in mist or a whirlwind, ... embodied himself as a "rain bull" to abduct her on his back (a` la Zeus and Europa)."

p. 67

"Animalian Early People also married humans; ... Wasp had a human wife, as did the Agama Lizard. (The latter's wife eventually left her lizard-husband because he persisted in procuring tainted meat -- his own flesh -- whenever he hunted. ...)"

p. 68 myths involving the sun & meteors

"The sun had been thrown into the sky by the Early People (... Guenther 1989:75-80)."

"falling stars, the !Kung believe, turn into "ant-lions" (that is, ant-eating insects which trap their prey in cone-shaped tunnels ...)."

Guenther 1989 = Mathias Guenther : Bushman Folktales : oral traditions of the Nharo of Botswana and the /Xam of the Cape. (STUDIEN ZUR KULTURKUNDE 93) Stuttgart : Franz Steiner Verlag.

p. 69 the mythic Great Animal/Human Reversal

"Among the Nharo, and, it seems, also the /Xam, it was, simply, an act of reversal --

the transformation of First-Order animals (and therianthropes) into humans

and of humans into animals (Guenther 1989:32, 41-42 ...). ...

Thus, the humans today were were the animals of primal time

and the present-time animals, the primal-time humans."

p. 73 praeternatural tappings; seeing from the prey's point of view

"at the outset of a hunt, ... "sensations" in those parts or spots on the hunter's body that correspond to the quarry's salient anatomical traits" : "These create "tappings" on the hunter's head and face, and down his spine, as he contemplates his prey animal (... Guenther 1988:192, 198-9).

These mystical tappings, which the /Xam called

the "Bushmen's letters" (and contrasted them with those found in European books),

{The letters of the alphabet are sometimes aequated with lunar-mansions, which are in turn sometimes (in the Puran.a-s) allocated to sites on one's body.}

allowed the hunter to project himself into the animal and look at himself qua hunter, approaching his prey."

{cf. the South American Indians in the book From the Enemy's Point of View.}

Guenther 1988 = Mathias Guenther : "Animals in Bushman Tbought". In :- Woodburn; Ingold; Riches (edd.) : Property, Power and Ideology in Hunting-Gathering Societies. London : Berg. pp. 192-202.

p. 82 singing in accompaniment to the curing-dance

"As for the singing by the women, as noted by Dorothea Bleek among the Nharo at Sandfontein (1928:22), "the time is perfect but no two in a chorus seem to hit the same note. {because to "hit the same note" would be superfluously redundant} Yet, "the general burden of the tune is kept up," as all the singers "go up together, and all go down together, each hitting any note they please.""

Bleek 1928 = Dorothea Bleek : The Naron : a Bushman tribe of the central Kalahari. Cambridge U Pr.


4. (pp. 95 to 125) "The Bushman Trickster".

p. 98 descriptions of grotesque deities

"the !Kung figure !O!o~tsi/dasi (known to the Nharo and /Xam, respectively, as N!are tsam =/xi /kam and !Goe/weiten) ... has an eyeless face because his two eyes are between his toes, or ... on his inner ankles, toenails, or the back of his feet (Schmidt 1986b:179)."

"in a number of stories (Guenther 1989:117-20), we encounter the Nharo trickster Pate, a short mannikin, resembling a cock-grouse ... . His thin body is ruffled and covered all over with spidery fibers, Numerous big toes stick out from all over his cocoon-like cover, as though to compensate for his having only one, eight-toed, crippled, and misshapen leg (Guenther 1989:118). {cf. one-legged Vaidik god Aja Eka-pad}

His brother, among the Nharo, is Pisamboro (or Pisiboro), a vulgarian who delights in farting and "flashing" nubile girls (Guenther 1989:122). His body was of such huge size that ... he gouged out ... the central Kalahari".

Schmidt 1986b = Sigrid Schmidt : "Tales and Beliefs about Eyes-on-his-Feet". In :- Biesele; Gordon; Lee (edd.) : The Past and Future of !Kung Ethnography. (QKF 4) Hamburg : Helmut Buske Verlag. pp. 169-94.

pp. 100-1 descriptions of //Ga~u~wa and of his Hai//om aequivalent //Gaunab

p. 100

"I obtained ...the following descriptions of //Ga~u~wa from informants in Ghanzi all of whom had experienced some such vision or encounter :

three feet tall, black, burnt body, naked, one leg burnt and shriveled {cf. Pauran.ik god Yama, one of whose legs is lame}, genitalia burnt away, wielding a red-hot knife {cf. Togolese Ewe god Flimani Koku of the 'Heated Knife'}; ...

a black negro person, ... tall ..., thin, wearing a leather loincloth and riding on a huge dog.

... fifteen mounted //ga~u~wani were descending from the sky the day he saw them, causing darkness that lasted throughout their stay of several days."

p. 101

"the Hai[n]//om shaman ... depicts //Gaunab as a Cernunnos-like figure, who wears the horns of all large game antelopes on his head (Wagner-Robertz 1976:539)."

Wagner-Robertz 1976 = D. Wagner-Robertz : "Schamanentum bei den Hain//om in Su:dwestafrika". ANTHROPOS 71:69-81.

pp. 100, 102 Transformer-deity who transformed implements into animals

p. 100

"/Kaggen is a hartebeest thing" (Lewis-Williams 1981:56).

p. 102

"/Kaggen was able to animate his quiver, leather cloak, cap, walking stick, and bowstring, so that these objects might come to his aid when one of his pranks went awry (... Guenther 1989:144)."

Lewis-Williams 1981 = J. David Lewis-Williams : Believing and Seeing : ... southern San rock paintings. NY : Academic Pr.

p. 102 the Buzzard-deity transformed the other deities into animals by means of fire

"In the myth of the "Branding of the Animals," the key Ju/'hoan tale about the creation of the new order (Biesele 1993:115-23), the central fire is "Kaoxa's magical fire," ... and the agent supervising the branding, the Kori Bustard, is Kaoxa's servant."

{cf. the Nahuatl myth of the branding of leopards and of eagles when the sun & the moon were self-immolated in the bonfire at Teotihuaca`n : "then flew up an eagle, ... scorched looking and blackened. And afterwards followed an Ocelot, ... singed by the fire. " (FC 7:2)}

Biesele 1993 = M. Biesele : Women Like Meat : the folklore ... of the Kalahari Ju/'hoansi. Johannesburg : Witwaterstrand University.

FC 7:2 = Sahagun's Florentine Codex, Book 7, "Second Chapter, Which Telleth of the Moon".

pp. 102-3, 107 Haiseb's penis; Haiseb as rapist

p. 102

"his penis : ... one of the trickster's names may be derived from it (Hewitt 1986:238).

{One of the terms for 'Coyote' is Uto-Aztecan is the word for 'penis'.}

Having detached itself from his body, the organ falls into the hands of a young woman who unwittingly roasts it and then beats it to soften it. As one might predict, it jumps out of her hands and between her legs, where it buries itself in her body. That done, the trickster (Haiseb) appears beside the

p. 103

woman as a man, sneering and triumphant. (Schmidt 1989, 2:116).

In another tale, the !Kung trickster Haiseb dismembers his cumbersomely long penis -- which he carries, folded several times, around his belt -- creating from it several species of snake (... Schmidt 1989, 2:118)."

p. 107

"Haiseb ... raped his mother shortly after his birth (... Guenther 1983:22).

In a !Kung tale (Biesele 1993:178-79) the boy-child to rape his mother was actually not Kaoxa but his son, who first killed is father in a fit of oedipal jealousy."

{Although Zeus defeated his own father and sexually violated his own mother; yet, nevertheless, because of "Kaoxa's magical fire" (supra, p. 102), there may be a still greater similarity of this !Kun myth with the S^into story of the Fire-god's killing his own mother while she was giving birth to him through her vagina.}

Hewitt 1986 = Roger Hewitt : Structure, Meaning and Ritual in the Narratives of the Southern San. (QKF 2) Hamburg : Helmut Buske Verlag.

Schmidt 1989 = Sigrid Schmidt : Catalogue of the Khoisan Folktales of Southern Africa. 2 voll. (QKF 6.1-2) Hamburg : Helmut Buske Verlag.

Guenther 1983 = Mathias Guenther : "Bushwoman". J OF COMPARATIVE SOCIOLOGY AND RELIGION 10:12-31.

pp. 105, 109 /Kaggen's body is disassembled and is re-assembled; he is a fire-kindler

p. 105

"/Kaggen. Having transformed himself into a hartebeest and feigning death, he lets himself be cut up with stone knives by two nubile sisters. Then he re-vitalizes himself from dead antelope, lying inert and cut-up, to man, upright and running, lustily chasing the frightened girls." (Bleek & Lloyd 1911, pp. 9-11)

p. 109

"the /Xam ... referred to /Kaggen as "the old man 'Tinderbox-Owner'" (Bleek & Lloyd 1911:13)."

Bleek & Lloyd 1911 = W. Bleek & L. Lloyd : Specimens of Bushman Folklore. George Allen & Co.

pp. 108-9 mythic sexual activities among the deities

p. 108

"His wife may return the favor by ... him eating her roasted labia ... (Biesele 1993:171 ...)."

{This may allude to cunnilingus.}

p. 109

"the trickster-figure Xau'gkiki is instrumental in bringing women and carnal knowledge ... (Guenther 1989:62-63; for cognates see Dornan 1917:78-79; Wagner-Robertz 1976:542-43 ...)."

Dornan 1917 = S. S. Dornan : "The Tati Bushmen (Masarwas)". J OF THE ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE 47:37-112.

p. 109 Pane

[Nharo myth] "Pate walked and he saw a puffadder ... sleeping ... with her young ones. ... Pate was in terrible pain and he ran all over the country digging holes to relieve his pain (by cooling his testicles).

{This female puffadder may be aequivaent to the divine nanny-goat Heidru`n, to whose goatee the testicles of god Loki were tied, causing him discomfort (according to the Edda).}

This is how ... caves ... were formed. (Guenther 1989:121; a //Gana variant is noted by Tanaka 1996:25)".

{According to the Edda, Loki resideth underground, in a cavern.}

Tanaka 1996 = Jiro Tanaka : "Subsistence Ecology of Central Kalahari San". In :- Richard B. Lee & Irven DeVore (edd.) : Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers. Harvard U Pr.

p. 111 the Bergdama (Dama) god //Gamab (aequivalent to the Nama god //Gaunab)

"//Gamab ... combines within himself both life and death ..., and ... presides over a large village-like "heaven" to which depart the souls of the dead, in whose life and affairs, while they were on earth. he frequently interceded (... Barnard 1992a:260)."

Barnard 1992a = Alan Barnard : Hunters and Herders of Southern Africa. Cambridge U Pr.

p. 113 trance-dancers both pray to, and wrestle with, //Ga~u~wa

"As god, the trickster receives prayers and is a trance-dancer's directing spirit being.

{In in shamanic curing-caerimony held in Siberia, the shaman will first respectfully entreat the ailment-deity;

However, people may also rail ... words toward //Ga~u~wa, especially of dancers who sense him near and seek him out ... in trance, to wrestle with him and force him into restoring health to people (Guenther 1986a:271)."

but if the ailment-deity should remain obdurate and refuse to release the patient from the ailment, then the shaman will (on behalf of the patient) first threaten, and then fight against, the ailment-deity (in order to compell the ailment-deity to desist from afflicting the patient.)}

p. 119 paradise of abundant meat

"the eastern !Kung believed that the beyond held a "superabundance" of "honey, locusts, fat flies and butter-flies" in store for the dead (... for consumption ... by ... spirits) (Schapera 1930:184).

The notion that paradisal conditions prevailed at primal times, when the rocks lying on the ground were chunks of meat and fat, is also held by some Nama and Damara ... (Schmidt 1995:150)."

{There are descriptions of worlds made of food in, e.g., traditional Irish literature.}

Schapera 1930 = Isaac Schapera : The Khoisan Peoples of South Africa. London : Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Schmidt 1995 = S. Schmidt : Als die Tire noch ... Damara und Nama. Cologne : Ru:diger Ko:ppe Verlag.

pp. 120-1 hairesy

"the mission Bushmen's ... grand heresy -- Jesus Christ as Satan."

{In the 2nd Epistole of Petros, an epithet of Iesous Khristos, namely Phos-phoros (of the Septuagint) is translated /Luci-fer/ (in the Vulgate) ("NL").} {In Bogomil doctrine Diabolos/"Satanael" ("B&C"), and likewise in Later-Day-Saints doctrine ("LDSTL") Lucifer, is brother of Iesous Khristos.}

"NL" = "The Name of 'Lucifer'" 10 & 8

"B&C" = "Bogomils and Cathars" chapter of :- Gilles C H Nullens : An Outsider’s View of Freemasonry A.6

"LSDTL" = "LDS Teaching on Lucifer"


5. (pp. 126 to 145) "The Moon and the Hare".

p. 129 Moon's message of resuscitation the dead among humans

"Moon's message to humankind : that henceforth humans, when they died, would not die forever but would, upon their deaths, rise again. In this they would be like Moon himself ... {Moon's monthly waning as dying; Moon's monthly waxing as resuscitating}. Upon arriving at the village of the people Hare distorted the message, telling humans that when they died they would die forever. ... Moon split ... hare's lip."

pp. 130-1 myth of espying a naked person who is bathing

p. 130

[according to the Hiets^eware] "the moon as a young and alluring woman who bathes at night and, in Lorelei fashion, brings doom to some nearby hunters who watch her voyeuristically (Dornan 1917:80-81)."

{Aktaion "happened to see Artemis bathing in a stream ..., and stayed to watch." (GM 22.i) Artemis consequently caused his death.}

p. 131

"Hare is angry at the humans because they saw him naked as he was bathing ... (Schmidt ... 1989, 2:64)."

{In Yoruba myth, god Oba-tala is discomfited when he is spied upon (by god Elegba) while bathing ("OWhC").}

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

"OWhC" = "Oshun and the White Cloth"

p. 130 myth of the Hare-maiden (according to a "most knowledgeable informant" among the Nharo)

"Moon, a lecherous old man, lures the wary maiden into his lair and rapes her. To punish him ... Hare-maiden first of all distorts his message about resurrection ... (Guenther .. 1996c). ...

Next, she returns to Moon's place and throws her pubic apron on his face, after

{Is this tale derived from a courtship-custom whereby a man, in wooing a maiden, is expected to press his face against her pubic apron?}

having first ... to make it ... sticky.

{cf. the stickiness of the tree-resin figurine ("Tar Baby") clutched the Cherokee original of "Br'er Rabbit".}

Thereby ... of the moon was created ... the blotches on his face".

{"With a rabbit he came to wound in the face this Tecuciztecatl" the Moon-man (FC 7:2).}

Guenther 1996c = Mathias Guenther : "Old Stories / Life Stories : ... Bushman Folktales". In :- C. Birch & M. Heckler (edd.) : The Aesthetics of Story Telling. Little Rock : August House Publ. pp. 177-98.

p. 132 myth of message via millipede to Moon (according to the !Kxo)

"the recipient of the message is not humankind but Moon himself : the millipede announces to Moon that upon their deaths humans will be dead forever." (Schmidt 1989, 2:68)


6. (pp. 146 to 163) "Myth and Gendre".

p. 147 legend of the beginning of sexual intercourse

"One day the women ... said to each other : "One of us must go with a man and she must climb a tree and when she is high up in the tree the man must look up ... ." ... And when she had come down he advanced to her and he used what he had seen with great pleasure".

pp. 151-2 sexual relations in myths

p. 151

"After being wounded and violated by the Moon, an irascible ... old man, she takes ... her feather cloak and pubic apron ... throws the burning {to signify that she is "in heat" oistrously?} garments over Moon's face, thereby causing the dark blotches which remind humankind forever of Hare-maiden's plight and pluck (Guenther 1989:50-53, 71-74)."

[/Xam myth] "a young Early Woman who is out alone in the mountains looking for lizards to eat ... catches her breast in the cleft of a rock and she is immobilized. Two .. rogue Lion-men come ... and approach to take her as easy prey. ... (Guenther 1989:111-14)."

{cf. Eskimo myth of the goddess who offered her teats to be eaten (by her brother, a god)?}

p. 152

"Frequently ... female custodians of fire are ostrich-women who keep the fire (an ember) underneath their wings/arms.

In a !Kung myth fire was given to the first man by the first woman (Marshall 1962:235)."

{"When Maui went to Mahuika to obtain fire for mankind she gave him ... the fire." ("MO2", p. 470)}

Marshall 1962 = L. Marshall : "!Kung Bushman Religious Beliefs". AFRICA 32:221-52.

"MO2" = Elsdon Best : "Maori Origins, Part II". TRANSACTIONS OF THE NEW ZEALAND INSTITUTE, Volume 33 (1900), Art. LVIII.


7. (pp. 164 to 179) "Initiation-Rites".

pp. 164, 177 a myth of the Great Transformation of humans and of their appurtenances into animals and into plants

p. 164

p. 177

"Then she cut up the waterchild. She roasted it. ... Then a whirlwind came ..., lifting her up. ... She went up, sailing along the sky. ... She became a frog. ... The huts' bed mats became springboks and the sticks became bushes." (Guenther 1989:109, 111)

"catches a Waterchild ... which she kills ... and eats. ... Her mother suspects ... . ... !Khwa [the rain divinity] ... carries her ... off in a whirlwind, depositing them in a pool, where they become frogs. Their possessions also fly to the same pool and return to their natural forms."


8. (pp. 180 to 198) "Trance Curing Dance".

p. 180 Ju/'hoan informants' description of their own trance-sensations during their participation in the curing-dance

[quoted from Lee 1993, p. 115] "N/um is put into the body through the backbone. It boils in my belly and boils up to my head ... . ... After that I see all the people like very small birds, the whole place will be spinning around ... . ... You feel your blood become very hot ..., and then you start healing."

[woman, quoted from Shostak 1981, p. 299] "As you begin to trance, the n/um slowly heats inside you ... . It rises ... and takes your thought away. ... Things become strange and start to change. You can't listen to people or understand what they say. You look at them and they suddenly become very tiny."

Lee 1993 = Richard B. Lee : The Dobe Ju/'hoansi. 2nd edn.

Shostak 1981 = Marjorie Shostak : Nisa, ... a !Kung woman. NY : Vintage Bks.

pp. 185-6 shriek & convulsions by dancers during the curative trance-dance

p. 185

"the "half-death" -- //abe or //o !gei in Nharo, meaning literally "dead-awake"" : "He enters this "death" state most dramatically, uttering a piercing "death-shriek," which the !Kung call kow-he-dile (or kaohididi) accompanied by convulsive shaking of the body ... (Lee

p. 186

1993:115; Biesele 1993:75). Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1974:247) provides a ... description of the shriek ... : "long-drawn out, moaning shrieks, which trail off in a tremolo, are followed by sharp, short shrieks which are accompanied with strong convulsions of the body" ... ."

"the onlookers ... watch him now ... tell people what his spirit saw and did. His report of what he experienced and learned about the spirits and curing is communicated with urgency and listened to with rapt attention ... (Biesele 1993:70)."

Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1973 = I. Eibl-Eibesfeldt : "!Ko-Buschleute (Kalahari) -- Trancetanz". HOMO 24:245-52.

pp. 186-8 shamanic techniques

p. 186

"In the Bushman's view, there are basically two mystical techniques for bringing this about ... : transformation into an animal and extra-body travel. The latter the trancer does in the form of either an animal or of a spirit, seeking out and confronting the spirit being or beings who caused the disease. ...

p. 187

Transformation may be into such animals as lions, leopards, and snakes ... .

{South-American Indian shamans most commonly transform themselves [in their dreams only?] into leopards (jaguars).}

Among Kalahari Bushmen, the lion was a trance dancer's most common spirit incarnation (Katz, Biesele, and St. Denis 1997:24-25). ... The "lion-experience can absorb the dancer so thoroughly that it may be held by both himself and the people watching to be an actual transformation. As described by the Ju/'hoan trance dancer ... : "When I turn into a lion, I can feel my lion-hair growing and my lion-teeth forming. I'm inside that lion, no longer a person. ..." (Katz et al. 1997:24). He might crawl on all fours, just prior ... (Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1980:72-73), and after "death," his spirit may run out into the night ... (Heinz 1975b:8). ... Apparently one way for the /Xam medicine man to bring on a lion transformation was to "snore" {inbreathe forcibly through the nose} the same creature out of the sick person. Like other animals (owls, butterflies, springbok), the lion could enter a person {evidently during that person's sleep, while snoring in sleep} and, to cure him of the invasive animal disease, the medicine man had to {"snore"} the spirit creature into himself, sneeze it out of his body, and cast it away. ...

Another animal the /Xam dancer could become on the spiritual plane was the antelope".

p. 188

"his extra-body journey may take him great distances across the nocturnal landscape (Lewis-Williams 1982:436-37). He may be guided by an animal, such as an antelope, or ride on its back, to a Lebensbaum ("tree of life"), up which the Hai//om "shaman" will climb, entering the celial domain of the spirits ... (Wagner-Robertz 1986:541-42). Another shamanic means of traveling between the real {read : "material"} and spirit world is by"the thread of the sky," up and down which the !Kung dancer's spirit might climb (Biesele 1993:72)."

Katz; Biesele; St. Denis 1997 = Healing Makes Our Heart Happy : Spirituality and Transformation among the Kalahari Ju/'hoansi, Rochester (VT) : Inner Traditions.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1980: "G/wi-Buschleute (Kalahari) -- Krankenheilung und Trance". HOMO 31:67-78.

Heinz 1975b = H.-J. Heinz : "!ko~-Buschma:nner (Su:dafrika, Kalahari) Festanz 'guma'". ENCYCLOPEDIA CINEMATOGRAPHICA, E, 1830:1-15.

p. 188 the shaman's confrontation (on behalf of a patient) against a disease-deity

"The reason for the dancer's quest, the confrontation with the spirit(s) at its destination ..., is that his mission requires him to plead with the spirit(s), and if necessary fight with him, her, or them, or

shoot arrows at them or at their own disease arrows ... (Wagner-Robertz 1976:539; Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1980:245; Biesele 1993:70-71)."

{The shooting of praeternatural curative spirit-darts is a duty of each shaman among the Xuar of Ecuador.}

p. 188 resistance to being sexually seduced by a goddess (among the Hai//om)

"[//Gamab's] wife, a one-legged, nymphomaniacal harridan named Kaindaus ... may present herself to the dancer's alter ego {entranced self} as a seducing enchantress and,

{cf., e.g., the bodhisattva Siddha-artha's resistance to being sexually seduced by the daughters of Mara}

in the event that he should refuse her advances (as he must), "hell's fury" is loosed ... by the spurned woman-spirit {goddess}, in the form of torture and dismemberment (Wagner-Robertz 1976:536-37)."

{Being dismembred (in a dream) is a common experience among Siberian shamans.}

pp. 189-91 the sickness of a patient is absorbed by the trance-dancer, resulting in sickness for the latter

p. 189

"Also sometimes after I cure someone, I get sick for a while. That happened not long ago when I cured ... . The next day, I was sick. I thought, "... I cured ... and now I'm sick!" (Shostak 1981:303)"

p. 190

"After his grandfather had revitalized him, he trembled violently for a

p. 191

long time. ... The trembling had been N!eri's sign to him to be a dancer. ... Since then, sickness has forever afflicted him as it is the lot of the dancer to take the sicknesses of all the people into his own body. He states with grim resignation that his body will ultimately be so weakened by all of the accumulated sicknesses that it will succumb and he will die. (Guenther 1986a:268-69)"

p. 192 women's Drum Dance

[among the Ju/'hoansi of the Dobe region] "in addition to the standard curing dance consisting primarily of male performers, the Giraffe Dance,

a "women's dance" (the Drum Dance), has become so popular that "it has taken on the character of a social movement, gaining new converts every year" (Lee 1993:119). Women may ... "train" ... for trance by ... a root to eat that they hold to contain psychoactive properties (Shostak 1981:298, 301-302). In this female variant of the trance dance the two roles are reversed, the women going into trance ... and the men providing the music, by means of a long drum."

p. 193 special costume worn by modern professional shamanic curers

"in modern ... context trance dancers may take on special forms of dress and "insignia of office." An example is the Hai//om ... shaman ..., who, when performing the trance ritual, will wear a certain type of leather apron, several ... ostrich egg-shell ... necklaces, a {Nepalese Jhankri}-style headband stuck with ostrich feathers, and a "medicine drum" strapped around his neck (Wagner-Robertz 1976:537; Schatz 1993:11).

Schatz 1993 = Ilse Schatz : Unter Buschleuten. Tsumeb.


Mathias Guenther : Tricksters and Trancers : Bushman Society and Religion. Indiana U Pr, Bloomington, 1999.