Welcoming Shamans

I chose to summarize Welcoming Shamans. A Hmong shaman is a someone who enters a trance and can interact with spirits in order to protect and heal people. A Hmong shaman gets permission from hospitals to come in and perform ceremonies in order to capture a persons lost soul. A Hmong shaman uses animals during their ritual as a sacrifice, along with the burning of paper to keep away bad spirits.

Hospitals are starting to introduce Hmong shamans into their practice to work at the same level as a clergy. A clergy’s role in the hospital is to serve as a religious resource for patients. A shaman serves that same purpose, except they are on a more spiritual level. A shaman is there strictly to hold ceremonies that rescue runaway souls. When is person has an illness, Hmong people believe that their soul is lost and that they must ask for an animal’s permission to use them as an exchange for that persons soul. It is not much interaction between the shaman and the patient besides the actual ritual being performed, the shaman does some burning of paper, some dancing around and a few other  things to complete the ceremony.

Since shamans are being introduced to American culture, into hospitals, they are not of much high status yet. In American culture, illnesses are treated usually with medications and surgeries so the spiritual cleansing is a totally different route. unless people have a very spiritual background, they may not be to fond or have faith in the way of healing. In Asian cultures, Hmong shaman are very common and the proper way of healing. The body and symptoms are understood and treated by recognizing the illness or “bad spirit” and negotiating with it to get rid of it. Once the bad spirit is gone the persons soul returns and the person is considered healed and treated.

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