Shamanic "tree"

Image by the Russian Museum of Ethnography
This ritual object was used by the shaman in the chum for assuring success in hunting and fishing, treatment of the sick, and accompanying souls of the dead to the other world. Eight anthropomorphic helper-spirit figurines (according to tradition, there are usually between nine to eleven) are arranged on a wooden platform with sharpened edges; the platform is attached to a pole.

Eastern Siberia, Transbaikalia, Nerchinsky District, late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Length of base 56 cm, width 9.5 cm, height 2.5 cm.

Coll. No. 5093-159.

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