Observations placeholder

David Lewis-Williams - Native American Indians - Water

Identifier

011563

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Some types of rebirth were felt to be like drowning - a sort of purification by water

A description of the experience

The Mind in the Cave – David Lewis-Williams

Drowning and passing underwater are themes that crop up in many North American shaman’s narratives.  In the art, the experience is referred to by images of aquatic helpers.  They include water-striders, frogs, toads, turtles, beavers and swordfish.  Turtles were sometimes thought of as doors to the spirit world.  We have seen that in Southern Africa, depictions of fish and eels often suggest subaquatic locations.

The source of the experience

Native American Indians

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Spirit helper
Water

Symbols

Water

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Activity not known

Commonsteps

References