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Mircea Eliade - Alaskans - Following the Road of the Dead

Identifier

010951

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy

Sometimes the shaman’s otherworld journey takes place during a cataleptic trance that has every appearance of death.  Such was the case with an Alaskan shaman who declared that he had been dead and had followed the road of the dead for two days; it was well trodden by all those who had preceded him.  As he walked on, he heard continual weeping and wailing; he learned that it was the living mourning their dead.  He came to a big village, which was exactly like a village of the living, there two shades took him into a house …………

After resting for a time in the village, the angakok pursued his journey, reached the Milky Way followed it for a long time, and finally came down on his own grave.  When he re-entered his body it came back to life, and leaving the graveyard, he went to his village and narrated his adventures.

The source of the experience

Inuit

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities