Critical Differences Between Shaman And Priest

Decent Essays
ome of the most critical differences and similarities between a shaman and priest can be seen amid their textbook definitions where a shaman is described as “a part-time religious specialist who receives his or her power directly from the spirit world and acquires status and the ability to do things through personal communication with the supernatural” and a priest is described as “a full-time religious specialist who is associated with formalized religious institutes” (Stein & Stein, 2016, pg. 263-264). As evident from these definitions there are several differences between the two, although each are religious specialists who attained a certain amount of training, granted the training was different, in order to be a religious specialists. One difference is that a priest is associated with formalized religious institutes while a shaman is associated with tribes or small groups as they are usually “independent contractors” (Stein & Stein, 2016, pg. 121). Also, priests are more likely to…show more content…
In this culture, as with many others, one becomes a shaman only after being selected by the divine spirits (Sakovich, 2009). Both men and women are able to become shamans, however, they are referred to by different names as each have distinct responsibilities. The men are called ‘Yuta’ while the women are called ‘Nuru’. The women typically “administer public or communal ceremonies while 'Yuta' focuses on the civil or private matters” (“Shaman Portal” 2012”). One distinct aspect of their form of shamanism is their annual festivals which consists of a group of ten females and ten males. On sacred ground the group purifies themselves in the ocean water and performs a religious ritual to summon a goddess from across the sea. Following these actions, the group "hikes to a small settlement at the top of a nearby mountain to offer rice, sake, fish, and other foods to the divinities" (Sakovich
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