Human Devolution, 7

pp. 329-413 Chapter 7 -- "The Cosmic Hierarchy : a Cross-Cultural Study".

p. 265 transmutation into another caste

[according to the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (2:12), by Sanatana Gosvamin] "As bell metal is turned into gold ... in an alchemical process, so one who is properly trained and initiated by a bona fide spiritual master immediately becomes a brahmana" (CCA, "Adi-lila" 7:47).

CCA = S`ri Caitanya-caritamr.ta of Kr.s.n.a dasa Kaviraja Gosvami. Transl by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Los Angeles, 1996.

pp. 278-280 Ainu cosmology




"The Ainu certainly believe that whatever has life moves, and that whatever moves has life ...; all such phenomena have, so they think, each a real life or soul ... abiding in it." (Batchelor 1927, p. 345)


"The household hearth is the gateway to the spirits of the dead. When the spirits of ancestors are invoked, they come through the hearth."

"In the cosmic hierarchy of the Ainu, the bottom region is called Chirama-moshiri, or the "Lowest World." ...


Chirama-moshiri, acccording to John Batchelor ... (1927, p. 367), was not inhabited and represented "the bounds of material creation. ... Batchelor (1927, p. 368) explained : "... ‘the lowest world’ (Chirama-moshiri) ... may have iron gates. ... The thunder demon, after having waged war upon this earth, is said yo have proceeded to do so in heaven ... . The Creator ... sent the demon to fight in the ‘lowest world.’ Here the thunder demon ... ascended to ... the clouds of the lower skies.""


"Another subterrestrial world is called Kamui-moshiri. ... It is said that the inhabitants of this region walk with their feet pointed up toward the bottom of the terrestrial plane of existence and that the day of this heavenly region corresponds to the night of the terrestrial region (Batchelor 1927, p. 368)".{the realm of the asura-s is likewise said to be opposite to the upper earth.}


In glowing embers on the hearth, "the fire goddess, Kamui Fuchi ... is said to be sleeping."


The fire-goddess was sent "down from her home in heaven to rule the earth. ... A heavenly serpent, in love with her, desired to come with her. ... He came with her in a flash of lightning, which made a large hole in the ground. ... It is believed that these holes lead to underworlds in the subterrestrial regions ..., and his serpent followers ... Batchelor (1927, p. 143), "... assume the bodily forms of men and women. ... their food consists largely of dew.""

Batchelor 1927 = John Batchelor : Ainu Life and Lore.

pp. 284-287 Tlinit cosmology, deities, and shamans




"all living things, including humans and animals, have souls. The souls are designated the "inhabitants" (qwani) of ... bodies. ... Frederica de Laguna ... (1954, p. 179) says, "the physical body of an animal ... seems to be a covering for the soul or spirit ... ." Even the souls of animals are said to have human forms. The animals display these souls to each other in the wild, away from humans. ... Plants as well as animals have spirits. ... The Tlingit also recognize "a personal guardian spirit, Ka kin-ah yage or Ka-hen-a yake, ‘up above spirit.’ " (Emmons 1991, p. 368)"


"According to an individual’s mode of death, there are different kinds of afterlives. There is a heaven for people who die of old age or disease. There is another such heaven for those who die from violence. ... De Laguna (1954, p. 191) says of departed persons, "They may appear after their funeral to greet their friends, on other occasions they may prophesy ... ." People who drown or become lost in the forest remain on this earth. They wander around as land-otter people. The Tlingit believe in reincarnation, although de Laguna noted (1954, p. 191) that in addition to the reincarnated self "there apparently remains a ghostly counterpart to be fed at potlatches ... ." ... Emmons (1991, p. 368) says : "After death, the ‘soul’ or ‘shadow’ (now a ‘ghost’) travels to the land of the dead, the place depending on the manner of death, and it may later be reincarnated in a living person." ... The return of a human soul to a human family group can be recognized by announcing dreams and birthmarks."


"Kan (1989, p. 110), making use of ... de Laguna (1972, pp. 767-769), tells of a Tlingit man ... who recalled a rebirth experience. In his past life, he had died. He recalled seeing his body during a wake held by his relatives in his house. He tried to reenter his body but could not do it. ... then ... he journeyed to the land of the dead. After some time, he left there. He followed a river until he found a suitable tree on its bank. He sat beneath this tree {cf. bodhi-sattva’s sitting beneath bodhi-tree in order to become buddha} for nine days, after which the bank caved in and he fell into the water. ... "The next thing he saw


was his own sister holding him as her newborn infant.""


"The principal deity of the Tlingits is Yehl, the creator of the world. ...

Kanukh, the war god, was born before Yehl ... .

The god Chetl usually remains invisible, but reveals his birdlike form in storms. At such times, his eyes flash with lightning and his wings send forth sounds of thundering. His sister Ahgishanakhou rests beneath volcanoes, supporting the earth on her shoulders, while waiting for her brother to finally come and relieve her of this duty."


"Krause says (1956, p. 194), "For each spirit the shaman has a special mask, which he uses when he appeals to that spirit. The conjuring of a spirit consists of a wild dance around the fire during which violent convulsions of the body take place. The shaman cures the sick by driving out evil spirits, brings on good weather, brings about large fish runs ... ." "According to Swanton (1905, p. 466), ... The shaman’s chief spirit would tell the shaman shortly before his death where his body should be taken ... . After this happened, ... the successor shaman would invite a spirit to come in. When the spirit came in, there would be singing during


which the new shaman would fall into a trance. And when he was awakened ..., the clan had a new shaman.

During sickness, a person’s "spirit" (not the soul, but the vital force that causes the body to function) may leave the body ... . During such times, a shaman can summon a spirit helper to catch the spirit and bring it back to the body, thus restoring health ... (Emmons 1991, p. 288)."

de Laguna 1954 = Frederica de Laguna : "Tlingit Ideas about the Individual". SOUTHWESTERN J OF ANTHROPOLOGY 10:172-91.

Emmons 1991 = George Thornton Emmons : The Tlingit Indians. Seattle : U of WA Pr.

Kan 1989 = Sergei Kan : Symbolic Immortality. Washington : Smithsonian Institution Pr.

de Laguna 1972 = Frederica de Laguna : Under Mount Saint Elias. Washington : Smithsonian Institution Pr.

Krause 1956 = Aurel Krause (transl by Erna Gunther) : The Tlinget Indians. Seattle : U of WA Pr.

Swanton 1905 = John Reed Swanton : Social Condition, Beliefs, and Linguistic Relationship of the Tlinget Indians. BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY, ANNUAL REPORT 26. 1904-1905. pp. 391-486.

pp. 287-294 Ojibwa cosmology




"a human being is composed of a material body (wijo),

a shadow (udjibbom), and

a soul (udjitchog). ... (Jenness 1935, p. 18)."

"a man’s shadow goes before him when he walks. Sometimes the shadow, moving ahead of a hunter, will cause his eyes to twitch, signalling that it has seen game" (Jenness 1935, p. 19). Animals also have their shadows, which act in a similar fashion to protect them. ...

The shadow of a baby is especially sensitive and active. ... Sometimes the baby smiles or laughs inexplicably. In such cases, the baby’s shadow has apprehended something that gladdens the soul. ... (Jenness 1935, p. 20)[.]


At times, the shadow, which is normally not seen, becomes visible, taking the same form as the body (Jenness 1935, p. 20)."


"Jenness (1935, p. 18) says : "The soul is located in the heart, and is capable of traveling outside the body for brief periods ... . For the soul is the intelligent part of a man’s being, the agency that enables him to perceive things to reason about them, and remember them. ... Besides being the intelligent part of man the soul is the seat of the will." A skilled medicine man can take a sleeping person’s soul out of the body ... – to converse with the soul in the medicine man’s tent before an audience of spirit beings and then let it go back to the sleeping body. ...


An Ojibwa said, [description of dream :] "... I saw my own head rolling about and the people in the lodge were trying to catch it ["The "people" were the guardian spirits, pawa`ganak ...]. I thought to myself that if only I could catch my head everything would be all right. So I tried to grab it when it rolled near me and finally I caught it. A soon as I got hold of it I could see my way out and I left. Then I woke up but I could not move my arms or legs. Only my fingers could I move. {partial sleep-paralysis?} ... (Hallowell 1955, p. 175, his insertions)."


The "land of souls is ruled by Nanibush ... (Jenness 1935, p. 18).The soul is driven on its journey to the land of the dead by a supernatural being called the Shadow Manitou. The Shadow Manitou normally sleeps, but when an Ojibwa becomes very ill the person’s wandering soul disturbs the Shadow Manitou. The Shadow Manitou walks around the wigwam but leaves no tracks. It tries to drive the soul to the land of the dead. ... (Jenness 1935, p. 42)."


"(Schoolcraft 1848, p. 127). ... one soul left the body during dreams, while another soul remained within the body to keep it alive.


... Vecsey (1983, pp. 59-63) says this about the two souls : "Located in the heart of each person, but with an ability to move about both within and without the body, the ego-soul provided intelligence, reasoning, memory, consciousness and the ability to act. It could leave the body for short periods of time ... . This soul, the seat of the will, experienced emotions. ...

The traveling soul, sometimes called a free-soul, resided in the brain and had a separate existence from the body, being able to journey during sleep at will. ... It [also] perceived, sensed, acted as the ‘eyes’ ..., seeing things at a distance."


"According to the Ojibwa, not only humans but also animals, plants, and even water and stones possess bodies, shadows, and souls. They all


have life ... (Jenness 1935, p. 20). Nanibush, the great hero, would speak with the trees in their language ... . ... souls of animals can take on human forms (Jenness 1935, p. 27)."


"Jenness (1935, p. 21) : "... When an animal is killed its soul ... comes back and is reincarnated ... . Everything, tree, birds, animals, fish ... return to life; while they are dead their souls are merely awaiting reincarnation. ... But there are two very hard stones, one white and one black, that never die; they are called meshkosh.""


"Souls of animals go to Bitokomegog, a level below the earth of our experience. The number of animals on earth is tied to the number of animal souls that come up from the lower level. ... The number of souls that come to earth is determined by the bosses of the animal species (Jenness 1935, p. 23)."


"Below this is the "mirror world," a place where night comes when it is day on earth. {other side of the earth} This place, described as "peaceful and abundant" (Smith 1995, p. 46) is the destination of souls of the dead. Below this is a place of constant darkness."


"gods ... called invisible people ... are of two types – one with no name and the other called bagudzinishtinabe, little wild people. Whoever sees either kind gets the blessing of a long life. The no-names hunt with foxes instead of dogs. "We see the tracks of the foxes, but not of their masters, except those they made on the rocks before the Indians came to this country," says Jenness (1935). "At that time the sun drew so close to the earth that it softened the rocks, and the feet of these invisible people left marks on them. {dinosaur-footprints?} When the sun withdrew the rocks hardened again and the footprints remained petrified on their surfaces." The little wild people are the size of children. ... They are responsible for poltergeist effects, such as throwing pebbles onto the roofs of wigwams (Jenness 1935)."


Johnston "goes on to say (1995, pp. 2-3), "According to the creation story, Kitchi-Manitou had a vision, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, sensing, and knowing the universe, the world, the manitous, plants, animals, and human beings, and brought them into existence. ... Following the example of Kitchi-Manitou, every person is to seek a dream or vision within the expanse of his or her soul-spirit being ... ." ... . ... there is a chief manitou, who, assisted by various subordinate manitous, controls winds and breezes (Jenness 1935, p. 34). ... After the Great Spirit, the thunder manitous are considered the strongest., The subordinate manitous have souls, like human beings and other living things (Vecsey 1983, p. 61)."

" "Long ago the manidos or supernatural powers gathered somewhere and summoned a few Indians through dreams, giving them power to fly through the air to the meeting place. {dreams of flying} The Indians (i.e., their souls) travelled thither, and the manidos taught them about the supernatural world ... . They then sent them home again" (Jenness 1935, p. 29). One type of especially empowered human is the wabeno, a kind of medicine man who specializes in curing diseases with plant medicines. ... the first wabeno, Bidabbans (Day-dawn), got his curing powers from the moon god (Jenness 1935, p. 62)."


"The water serpents led by Nzagima can travel beneath the surface of the earth ... . "So it lightning strikes a tree near an Indian’s wigwam it is the thunder-manido driving away some water serpent that is stealing through the ground ...,: says Jenness (1935, p. 35). ... the serpent manitous live under the ground and jointly control the lives of plants and trees (Jenness 1935, p. 40)."

Jenness 1935 = Diamond Jenness : The Ojibwa Indians of Parry Island. Ottawa, National Museum of Canada.

Hallowell 1955 = A. Irving Hallowell : Culture and Experience. Philadelphia : U of PA Pr.

Schoolcraft 1848 = Henry Rowe Schoolcraft : The Indian in His Wigwam. NY.

Vecsey 1983 = Christopher Vecsey : Traditional Ojibwa Religion and Its Historical Changes. Philadelphia : The American Philosophical Soc.

Smith 1995 = Theresa S. Smith : The Island of the Anishnaabeg. Moscow (ID) : U of ID Pr.

Johnston 1995 = Basil Johnston : The Manitous. NY : HarperCollins.

pp. 297-299 Aranda cosmology




God "Numbakulla ... came out ... at Lamburkna, in the south. He ... established the main features of the landscape, such as mountains, rivers, hills, and deserts. ... He also established totem places (knanikilla) ... (Spencer and Gillen 1927, p. 356). ...

The sun goddess is called Alinga or Orthika. She is said to have come out of the ground at a place near Alice Springs ... . ... (Spencer and Gillen 1927, p. 496). ...

The moon god, Atninja, is regarded as male ... .

Returning to ... Lamburkna, Numbakulla carved a cavelike storehouse in the rock ... in preparation for ... the making of churingas, objects imprinted with signs associated with totem groups. ... ... The time ... associated with ... various first creations is called alchera. The cave where the churingas were to be stored was called the pertalchera, the rock of the alchera (Spencer and Gillen 1927, p. 357). Before the churingas could be made, Numbakulla had to first make the ilpintiras, the signs that would be imprinted on the churingas. On the floor of the pertalchera, Numbakulla painted a churinga-ilpintira, a sign for the churinga of a totem group, or knanj. ... Numbakulla then made the first churinga for the ... totem ... He placed in this first ... churinga the kuruna (soul or spirit) of the first ... man,


and placed this churinga on the churinga-ilpintira in the Pertalchera cave. ... (Spencer and Gillen 1927, p. 361). ...

The original stone churingas of the totem groups were split in two, making pairs. These pairs were tied together. Spencer and Gillen (1927, p. 359) say : "One Churinga of each pair had an atua or man’s spirit, the other an arragutja or woman’s. ... Later on, the Kurunas emanated from the Churinga and gave rise to men and women ... .""


"A child is born after a kuruna enters a woman. The kuruna will have existed previously in another body, and the old men ... have ways of telling which kurunahas reincarnated. ... A double of the


kuruna, called the arumburinga, remains with the churinga in the pertalchera. The arumburinga can travel outside the pertalchera and sometimes goes to visit its embodied kuruna double. The embodied kuruna is called ulthana. At death, the ulthana kuruna goes to the churinga in the pertalchera ... (Spencer & Gillen 1927, p. 103). ... In the body of the mother, the kuruna receives its own body, which is called mberka (Spencer & Gillen 1927, p. 358). ...

At the end of a person’s life, two spirit brothers called Inchinkina, who normally exist as stars in the heavens, come down to earth to hasten the person’s death (Spencer & Gillen 1927, p. 429). ... If the dead person tries to rise from the grave, Eruncha forces him back (Spencer & Gillen 1927, p. 430). The embodied kuruna soul (called ulthana) remains with the body of the dead person for some time, watching over it ... until the final burial ceremony in performed. Sometimes the ulthana ... is observing the relatives of the deceased, and sometimes it is visiting with its spirit double, the arumburinga ... (Spencer & Gillen 1927, p. 432)."

Spencer & Gillen 1927 = Walter Baldwin Spencer & F. J. Gillen : The Arunta. London : Macmillan.

pp. 302-308 Carib cosmology




"Sairi, the paradisiacal realm of spirits ... . Below Sairi are roads leading to earth."


"The gubida, who live in Sairi, are souls of persons who formerly lived on earth. Valentine (1993, p. 12) says, "The word Gubida means dead." ... . ... spirits, called hiuruha, live permanently in Sairi, as opposed to other souls who pass through ... . The hiuruha ...


help fortune tellers and soothsayers to understand the future and hidden things. They can also help healers cure diseases ... . Traditional healers are mostly female, and are called buyai ... . A woman becomes a buyai by virtue of being possessed by hiuruha, or spirit helpers. According to Foster (1986, p. 17), hiuruha are "the spirits of mediums of the past." Generally, a medium will have a principal hiuruha. Foster (1986, p ... 18) states : "In fact it is believed to be the spirit helpers themselves who, in their petulant voices, communicate diagnoses to the afflicted in a se’ance (arairaguni, descension of the spirits’), held either in he cult houses or in a domestic house.""


"Nature spirits (kolubi) ... included ... bush spirits (mafia, or maboya). Coelho (1955, p. 153) says, "The spirits called mafia, who wander through the streets at night, sometimes entering the house, are responsible for domestic accidents ... . ... The chief is named Uinani ... ." ... It generally appears at night, from eleven o’clock to three or four o’clock. ...

The agauima is a female ... spirit found in pools or cascades of rivers. ... She assumes the form of a beautiful woman ... (Staiano 1986, pp. 122-124). She usually appears during the middle of the day, from 11:30 to 12:30 ... (Staiano 1986, p. 124). ...


Among the ... spirits is [one which] usually appears as a blue lizard ... . It lives in a burrow in the corner of the house. ... The orogeu ... will cause stillbirths and deaths of babies. ... If a man believes an orogeu is attached to a woman ..., he may give up his relationship with her (Coelho 1955, p. 152).

The ... pengaliba are also ... spirits ... . They live inside large trees and come out for a few hours at noon and again at midnight."


"the human soul has three parts.

The first is the vital force ... (anigi). It is located at the heart. ...

The second part of the ... soul is the iuani, located in the head. ... . ... at death the iuani leaves the body and goes by a long road to Sairi, crossing a river along the way. Valentine (1993, p. 11) says : "This journey is a long one. ... The spirit has to travel through deserts, wilderness, mud and rough seas. ... There are times when ... the way is total darkness ... ." ... For souls who have manifested goodness during their life, the journey is short – about three months. ...


Upon entering the gate to Sairi, the ... inhabitants greet the newcomer with food and drink. But if the time is not right for the soul to enter Sairi, a barking white dog chases the soul back across the river and the soul reenters its body (Taylor 1951, p. 107). If the disembodied soul (iuani) remains near its home after death, it is called pantu {cf. [Malay] PoNTi-anak (UMP)}, or ghost. ... . ... one can sometimes see the pantu moving rapidly in the light of the moon, looking like a bundle of fire. ...


Another kind of ghost is called ufie. ... Persons who are too attached to some possession or place can remain as ufie. ... The ufie is seen surrounded by a thin vapor, and the ufie’s feet do not touch the ground, although they remain close to it. After some time, the feet rise higher off the ground and the ufie grows dimmer and disappears. ...


The spiritual double (afurugu) is the third part of the ... soul ... . Situated between the vital air ad the soul, it is "an astral body reproducing the shape of a person in all its details, but composed of a substance akin to that of supernatural entities ..." (Coelho 1955, p. 138). Coelho ... (1955, p. 138) : "The astral body is the intermediary between the supernatural and everyday realms of reality. It possesses faculties of ... clairvoyance, which enable it to know of dangers threatening the individual to whom it is attached before he is


aware of them. It gives its owner warning of these dangers by well-known signs, such as itching of arms and shoulders ... . At times the signs ... must be interpreted with the aid of an aged person, or any one conversant with supernatural lore." ...

Those with heavy afurugus "may abandon themselves to dream experiences, which are valued ... as a source of prophetic knowledge and a means of communicating with the dead, through which the ancestors make their will known to their descendants, indicating processes of obtaining large catches of fish, or of revealing ... the perils that must be faced by those who embark upon long journeys" (Coelho 1955, p. 139)."

Valentine 1993 = Jerris Valentine : The Garifuna Understanding of Death. National Printers Ltd.

Foster 1986 = Byron Foster : Heart Drum. Belize : Cubola Productions.

Coelho 1955 = Ray Galvao de Andrade : The Black Carib of Honduras.

Staiano 1986 = Kathryn Vance Staiano : "Interpreting Signs of Illness". APPROACHES TO SEMIOTICS 72. Berlin : Mouton de Gruyter.

Taylor 1951 = Douglas MacRae Taylor : The Black Carib of British Honduras. Viking Fund 17. NY : Wenner-Gren Foundation.


pp. 309-316 Gilyak (Sah^alin I. & mouth of Amur river) cosmology




"there is a master of the mountains ... (Coxwell 1925, p. 119). Mountains are called pal. The master of the mountains is called pal-yz. Many clans of animals are subordinate to him, and he sends them to the Gilyak hunters. Without his sanction, they would not get a


single animal. He lives on the highest mountain (Shternberg 1933, p. 55). ... there is a master of the sea, ... known by the name tol-yz, or tayrnadz. Shternberg (1933, p. 55) says, "The god of the sea, Tayrnadz, lives at the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk. He is a very old man with a white beard, who lives with his wife in an underwater yurt. ..." ... there is an Under Earth Man. ... (Shternberg 1933, p.54). ...

... the bear punishes evildoers during their lifetimes. The soul of a Gilyak who is killed by a bear is said to enter the body of a bear. ... .

Shternberg ... (1933, p. 363), "A certain man once met the master of the sky. He was riding on a sled pulled by wolves, but ... the wolves turned upward and disappeared into the sky with their rider."


Shternberg (1933, p. 58) says, "If ... a Gilyak ... fell prey to the waves of the water, if he was murdered or burned to death through his own carelessness, if, according to the shaman’s explanation, a woman died from a bear’s love for her, etc. – all such persons do not travel to the ordinary kingdom of the shades, but go over into the clan of the gods -- ... and then become the smallest ‘masters’ and protect their clansmen. ... It is to these gods-clansmen that the entire clan offers sacrifices." ... The forest clan gods appear as bears, the sea clan gods as beluga whales or killer whales (Shternberg 1933, p. 58). ...

Sometimes the Gilyak wear small idols on strings around their necks. These are called sawa (Schrenk 1881-1895, p. 745). The person wearing the idol gives it a little of the food he eats by touching it to the idol’s mouth. ...

Some spirits are actively hostile to the Gilyak. These are called melk ... . ... One of the evil spirits is called Ge-nivukh. He lives in an earthen mound hear Tekhrvo. He comes to the home of a Gilyak, and through the window he asks for something, gesturing with two fingers extended. If he gets something, he departs. ...


Ge-nivukh begins tossing the hot coal from hand to hand ... . He is known to kidnap people ... . For a person faced with kidnapping by Ge-nivukh there is something that can be done to prevent it : "the only way is to inflict a wound upon oneself ..." (Shternberg 1933, p. 321). ... According to the Gilyak, a sick person has offended Kiskh. ...

In the beginning there was only water, and then Kurn made the earth. Kurn then lost his reindeer, which made tracks across the land. These tracks became the great rivers. As Kurn pursued the reindeer, he waved his lash at it, and


the marks of the lash on the ground became the streams (Shternberg 1933, p. 320). {when Nahus.a seated in his palanquin "whipped the dwarfish Agastya" (PE"A") who was carrying him, "The rivers replied to the king, "How can we, who are small in strength, bring all these ...? ..."" (BD 6:21 – MA, p. 395)} The Gilyak of Sakhalin call their island mif, meaning "the earth." They consider it to be a "living, divine creature" says Shternberg (1933, p. 49)."


"According to the Gilyak, humans have several souls, of various sizes. The large souls are the same size as the human body, ... with those of higher rank, such as shamans, having more than those of lower rank. A person also has a number of small egg-shaped souls. These are located in the head of the large soul. When a large soul ceases to exist, a small soul expands to a large size, duplicating it. (Shternberg 1933, p. 78) It is the small soul that experiences itself in dreams (Shternberg 1933, p. 79). Sometimes it is said that a person has three souls. The principal soul is called cheg:n, and the other two are called shadows, or assistants."


"The shamans have two kinds of divine beings who serve them as their assistants. They are called kekhn and kenchkh. The kekhn ... can help the shaman retrieve a person’s soul, if it has been taken by a devil. ... (Shternberg 1933, p. 74) ...

says Shternberg (1933, p. 75). "... Thus, if the devil ... does not want to leave, the shaman calls on the ar-rymnd-kekhn, which turns into a fiery ball and makes its way into the belly of the shaman and from there to the most distant parts of his body, so that during the seance the shaman emits fire out of his mouth or nose or from any part of his body. After being thus filled with fire, he touches the sore spot with his lips and lets in fire, which conclusively drives out the devil."

In the case of a drowning, the shaman will send a kekhn after the soul of the drowned person. The kekhn will go to the place of the master of the sea, taking along a white reindeer. ... When the sea spirits see the white reindeer, ... they will come out of the yurt to look at the reindeer. At that time, the kekhn goes into the yurt and takes the soul of the drowned man, to bring it back to the world ..."


(Shternberg 1933, p. 75). ... Afterwards, the soul may take human form and journey to Miyvo, the "settlement of the dead." ... Miyvo is said to be located in the center of the earth. ... Shternberg (1933, p. 79) says : "... there the sun shines when we have night, and the moon when we have day. The dead ... live there ... as on earth ... . Only the material status changes : the poor man becomes rich and the rich man poor. ... Even in the new world, however, sickness and death await man. From there the soul must migrate into a third world, and so on until such a time as the soul ... turns into ever smaller beings, a small bird, a gnat, and, finally, ashes. ..." ...

The souls of persons who committed suicide and persons who have been murdered go directly to Miyvo. Others must make a journey that can last several days (Hawes 1903, p. 163). After a person dies, there is a ceremonial preparation for the journey. ... During this time, the ... soul was visiting the ... gods of the Gilyak with the purpose of ... receiving instruction for the afterlife. ...


The dead person receives a new name {cf. Chinese posthumous names for emperors}, and according to Shternberg (1933, p. 368), the Gilyak consider it a sin to call the dead person by that person’s old name."

Coxwell 1925 = C. Fillingham Coxwell : Siberian and Other Folk-tales. London : C. W. Daniel.

Schrenk 1881-1895 = Leopold von Schrenck : Die Vo:lkner des Amur-landes. St. Petersburg.

PE"A" = article "Agastya" in PURANIC ENCYCLOPAEDIA. Delhi, 1975.

BD = Br.hat-devata

MA = Laurie L. Patton : Myth as Argument. Berlin : de Gruyter, 1996.

Hawes 1903 = Charles H. Hawes : In the Uttermost East. London : Harper & Bros.

pp. 324-327 Igbo cosmology




"Okpewho (1998, pp. 90-91) says : "... chi is the spirit which helps the protoself negotiate a prenatal destiny before the supreme divinity : it ... remains in the spiritual world to assure the individual’s welfare ... or accompanies him/her to the world as ... protective spirit-double." ... The Igbo, who believe in reincarnation, say that the chi in one life is different from that in the next. ... Meek (1970, p. 55) says, "A man’s abilities, ... and good ... fortune are ascribed to his chi ... . ...". Animals also have their chi. ...

According to Ogbuene (1999, p. 112), the unchanging spirit self is called mmuo ... . ... Departed ancestors are called alammuo – spirits alive in the spirit world, but dead in this world (Ogbuene 1999, p. 112). ... Ogbuene (1999, p. 116) says : "Parents and relatives who knew a spirit in a former existence with recognize that spirit in a new incarnation ... . We believe that many children are born resembling their past spirits closely." The body that the soul inhabits is called aru (Ogbuene 1999, p. 164). There is also ... obi, ... which Meek ([1970], p. 56) characterizes as a person’s "vital essence." Ogbuene (1999, p. 164) also recognized an element called eke, which he calls "the ancestral guardian." ...


Uchendu (1965, p. 102) notes, "... ‘Isdigh uwa no mmadu’ ‘May you not reincarnate in human form’ – is a great curse for the Igbo.""


"The gods of the Igbo are described as follows by ... Meek (1970, p. 20) : "Firstly, there is a pantheon of high gods, headed by

Chuku or Chineke the Supreme Spirit,

Anyanu (the Sun),

Igwe (the Sky),

Amadi-Oga {cf. AMADIs of Gaul} (Lightning), and

Ala (the Earth deity).

Then there are ... spirits which are the personification of fortune, destiny, wealth, strength, divination, and evil {such personifications are likewise praesent in Hellenic mythology};

spirits which are the counterparts of living beings; and


finally the ancestors, who control the fortunes of their living descendants. ...

Ogbuene (1999, pp. 113-114) ... makes a distinction between Chukwu or Chuku ("God, the big Spirit ...") and Chineke ("God the creator"). ... Ogbuene (1999, p. 108) states that "Chukwu ... is indescribable, and is therefore sometimes called Ama-ama-Amasi, "One who is known but can never be fully known." ...


The existence feature of Chukwu is displayed as Okike, in which "He is manifested in ... everything visible and invisible" (Ogbuene 1999, p. 109). The sum total of everything that exists, ... as well as existence itself, is called ife (Ogbuene 1999, p. 112). ... According to Ogbuene (1999, p. 110), "Chukwu is a living God who knows the secrets of all hearts." ... When Chukwu manifested the first humans, he uttered mmadu "may beauty be" (Ogbuene 1999, p. 160). According to Ogbuene (1999, p. 162), ... "mmadu manifests the divine thought, translates ... the divine spirit into sensory phenomena." ... "Every day, first thing in the morning, a typical traditional Igbo family gives gratitude to Chukwu in the form of prayers. This is introduced by the ... making of lines on the floor with Nzu – a kind of white chalk ... . ..." (Ogbuene 1999, p. 235)."

Okpewho 1998 = Isidore Okpewho : Once upon a Kingdom. Bloomington : IN U Pr.

Meek 1970 = Charles Kingsley Meek : Law and Authority in a Nigerian Tribe. NY : Barnes & Noble.

Ogbuene 1999 = Chigekwu G. Ogbuene : The Concept of Man in Igbo Myths. EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY STUDIES, SERIES XX : PHILOSOPHY. Vol. 597. Frankfurt : Peter Lang.

Uchendu 1965 = Victor Chikenzie Uchendu : The Igbo of Southeast Nigeria. NY : Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Michael A. Cremo : Human Devolution. Torchlight Publ, Badger (CA), 2003.