Paul Devereux - Num and shape shifting
Type of Spiritual Experience
N!um is the Kalahari bushman term.
A description of the experience
Paul Devereux – Sacred Places
By carefully relating the garnered Bushmen or San beliefs and religious practises to the rock art; researchers like Lewis-Williams and Dowson perceived that the paintings primarily concerned aspects of Bushman shamanism ……There were depictions of trance dances, showing characteristic body postures and even the nose bleeding that commonly afflicts the healers or shamans who attain profound states of trance ….… There are many depictions of animals, particularly creatures such as the eland, which are thought by the Bushmen to contain concentrations of supernatural potency which they call n!um ………………. Some of the painted figures of trance dancers, for instance, have small dots down their backs; researchers suspect that this was a way in which the painters tried to indicate the N!um up the spine. In the petroglyphs, the image of, say, a giraffe might have a fine network pattern partially superimposed on it.