In Central and Northeast Asia the chief methods of recruiting shamans are: (1) hereditary transmission of the shamanic profession and (2) spontaneous vocation (“call” or “election”). There are also cases of individuals who become shamans of their own free will (as, for example, among the Altaians) or by the will of the clan (Tungus, etc.). But these “self-made” shamans are considered less powerful than those who inherited the profession or who obeyed the “call” of the gods and spirits. As for choice by the clan, it is dependent upon the candidate’s ecstatic experience; if that does not follow, the youth appointed to take the place of the dead shaman is ruled out. Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy


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