A practitioner of Shamanism, an individual who can reach altered states of consciousness and has access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing. Often an influential member of a particular society.
The notion of the shaman is fundamental to studies of the religious, ritual and ceremonial origins of theatre and performance in society. (See for example the principles underlying Performance Theory and the writings of Victor Turner and Richard Schechner.)
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