the religion of the crow indians

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: SHAMANS. With reference to shamans Professor Kroeber's admirable formulation of Arapaho conditions1 applies in like measure to the Crow. There were indeed men who had received revelations of so important a character and had shown their powers in so convincing a fashion that they were designated as batsk maxpe. But they differed merely in degree, not in kind, from others who had successfully sought visions, and it is quite impossible to segregate them as a definite group from the rest of the community. As Professor Kroeber felicitously puts it, to do so would be as artificial as to recognize a distinct caste of warriors in a tribe where every one strove to achieve martial fame. Shamanism in principle has thus been sufficiently expounded in the section on Visions. It remains to discuss certain characteristic manifestations of shamanistic competence at its high-water mark. Contests. The most dramatic exhibition of supernatural powers naturally took the form of a contest between rival shamans. This might be waged in a fairly amicable spirit, but was also carried on in grim earnest. Such conflicts are described by the term bats-An-dutu9, seizing one another's arms;2 it represents an opponent seizing the other's arms and rendering him helpless. Perhaps the most serious shamanistic feud of the last half century was that between Big-ox and White-thigh. It was repeatedly referred to by various informants. Big-ox had had a revelation from the Thunder and was greatly feared as a sorcerer. White-thigh was also a great shaman, his principal charm being a medicine rock (bacdritsi'tse). Big- ox lay with the wife of Shows-wings, who had got his captain's medicine from White-thigh and accordingly complained to his patron, asking that he should do something against Big-ox. When Big-ox w...
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