How an American NGO Worker Became an In-Demand Shaman in Cambodia

How an American NGO Worker Became an In-Demand Shaman in CambodiaWhen praying mantis aliens tell you to quit your job and become a soothsayer, sometimes you follow their orders. At least that’s what one woman here in Phnom Penh did earlier this year. Eileen, who declined to give her full name in case her mom found out about her drastic career change, was working in international development in Cambodia but now sits in a colorful stall in one of Phnom Penh’s teeming markets. Her fortune-telling services have proven popular with locals who have dubbed her “Kru Khmer Barang”—the Western shaman.

When Science, Faith Clash

When Science, Faith ClashInside his mud-walled house, the witch doctor cast his curse. Here, in the remote Dorma Village of Sierra Leone, where some of the poorest people in the world spend most of their day struggling to feed their families, the witch doctor’s power over life and death was well known. Like his neighbors, the witch doctor, lived without running water, sanitation or electricity; one might say his home was powered with magic, a trade that has brought him both respect and income in a land where both are painfully scarce for the vast majority of people.

Why traditional healing has a place in modern health care

Why traditional healing has a place in modern health careI have an early childhood memory of my grandmother boiling water on a wood stove. A soft, cedar scent emanated from the pot. Grandma was coming down with a cold, so she was making a rust-coloured tea from a mix of leaves and branches she had gathered in the woods. The tea was going to help her feel better, help her get better.

Siberia's resurgent shamanism

SiberiaThe frigid steppes of Siberia are considered the historical heartland of one of the world's oldest spiritual belief systems. Despite being driven to the edges of society, shamanism - the belief in good and evil spirits and rituals to appease them - has experienced a resurgence in recent years. The word shamanism itself is believed to have originated from the language of the Evenks who inhabit Siberia's eastern edge.

Rare shamanism archive unveiled

Rare shamanism archive unveiledDespite the long history of shamanism in Korea, remaining shamanistic relics and records are considerably few partly due to oppression following the dominance of Confucianism and modernization.
Folklorist Kim Tae-gon (1936-1996) was the first scholar who paid attention to the disappearing shamanistic practices in the 1960s when it was considered a "primitive, backward and outdated culture."