The Shaman’s Coat…

Shaman

 

“It has been fashionable for a while to think of all national identities as invented, to stress the artificiality of treasured national symbols and inaccuracy of not-so-ancient myths. But the native Siberians are an example of the opposite phenomenon; of how hard it is to disinvent nationalities, of how they persist in the face of governments’ best efforts at their destruction. To stretch a metaphor, the shaman bowing in front of the Russian flying-doctor is not donning his coat again, because although he hid it under a suit and tie for a while, he never really took it off.”—Anna Reid, The Shaman’s Coat: A Native History of Siberia.

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