Mircea Eliade - On Achomawi healing 003682
Type of Spiritual Experience
This description is of a healing ceremony among the Achomawi…
A description of the experience
Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy
He sways, chanting, his eyes half closed. First it is a humming in a plaintive tone, as if the shaman wanted to sing despite some inward pain. The chanting becomes louder, takes the form of a real melody, but still hummed.
The audience begins to fall silent, to listen, to pay attention. The shaman has still not his damagomi. It is somewhere, perhaps far off in the mountains, perhaps in the night air, quite close by. The song is to charm it, invite it to come, even constrain it……
These songs, like all those of the Achomawi, comprise only a line or two, making up two, three or at most four musical phrases. The song is repeated ten, twenty, thirty times in succession, uninterruptedly, the last note being immediately followed by the first of the beginning, with no musical rest. The singing is in unison.
As for measure, it is clapped out. It has nothing to do with the rhythm of the melody. It is in a different rhythm, a perfectly ordinary rhythm, but regular and without accent. Usually at the beginning of a song everyone beats a slightly different measure. But after a few repetitions, they come together
The source of the experienceNative American Indians
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
SuppressionsListening to beating sounds
Rocking, swaying and swinging
Singing and humming
Suppression of learning