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THE RELUCTANT shame and a programme in the series ways of mankind presented under the supervision of Walter Goldschmidt anthropologist of the University of California Los Angeles by the National Association of educational broadcasters a series designed to show dramatically how human beings live together in different times and places. THE RELUCTANT shaman is the second of four programmes prepared to offer you with the experience of living as York Indians lived within their stone age culture. Dr. Goldsmith Iraq Indians lived in Northern California in the small villages of cedar plank houses. They took salmon from the swift flowing Klamath River and acorns DNI the food from the forest. Their life was in some ways like our own. They had private property and sought wealth. They found virtue in hard work and satisfaction and achievement. Now youth were taught strict rules and were expected to live like good Iraq. But in many ways they were different. Their way of life had to be based upon their limited
technical knowledge and the beliefs they were heir to. Nowhere is this difference greater than in their medical practice. Death and illness faced humans everywhere and all cultures provide attempts to cure the sick. The Iraq treat wounds with poultices but believe that disease is caused by evil spirits. The shaman is their doctor who sucks out these spirits. She the shaman is always a woman must have a special calling special powers and training in the magic of her profession. We may well believe that understanding and psychology are her true tools along with faith. In some cases the psychology is clear for the disease is recognized as being based on guilt as we will see in the reluctance. When I was a young gal long before you white men came to Iraq land. I became a shaman
a doctor somebody who can take the spirit of sickness out of you. Oh it's an honor to be a shaman right. You become rich and people up to you. Only girls are given the power to do this. And only very few girls and even if you have the power there's still a lot you have to learn before you can control the sickness. Sometimes even when a girl has this power she was so filled with it the thought of what lies ahead that she doesn't want to be a shaman. I remember hearing about one young girl name of a leader on the evening when everything began. She had no idea what was going to happen. She and her older sister Riker were walking into the forest to gather firewood. Riker was telling his story. She was a good storyteller. When the bear came back from the mountains upstream he walks so fast that one of his
steps was as far as our brother schlagen can paddle his boat and one day a grizzly bear found the evil spirits living in his town. Change the way out to the edge of the world through the hole in the sky. They never ever came back to his town. Did you like that story. Yes. Shall I tell you another record. You know very quiet tonight. Yes. Been like this for some time now. Are you sick. Time I knew there was something wrong. Why don't you rest here while you rest. I'll get what for both of these tonight. I wanted to fall over but my feet were so heavy I couldn't move them and I didn't care. I looked around in the gathering twilight and saw I was near an enormous tree one of those that hold up the sky.
Then he was there standing next to the tree. He was bigger than anyone I'd ever seen. And his body was clothed in the shaggy fur of the grizzly bear in his arms he carried a beautiful basket. He didn't move his feet but suddenly he was beside me. Yes I'm hungry. Eat all you want. All I want. Now no one claimed this but blood all over us. How did you you know. I was in a huge cave walking toward the end where drops of water were falling from a pointed rock on the roof into a dark pool. He was standing by the pool still holding his basket. I
wasn't afraid of him. I moved toward him so easily. It was like floating. You would not know you're really from the basket. There are people you know we can watch the pace you will learn to control the pain in yourself so you can control it in other words control the play. I ate the deer meat covered with black blood. Then the pain spirit entered my body and I was afraid again. I had to get rid of the pain. I ran but the pain was still there. I ran harder harder.
Right. Paul Molina you've been. Sick. But pain gone pain gone. Pain. Leila you had a doctor dream now. Now Dr. Drew of course it was. You always seem to have special powers to understand things and people. This is wonderful. You're going to be a shaman know my own sister shaman. You get lots of money for father and you'll be rich yourself I can't I can't go home until Father you'll be so happy and he thinks of all that money don't tell father. Why not. You're going to be able to cure people like i'm afraid. Please don't tell Father please. Right I won't.
But it's wrong not to tell me it's wrong. I knew it was wrong but I couldn't help myself. From that moment on I lived in constant fear that he would return. One morning my mother sent me to the bank of a stream to gather willow shoots for making baskets. It was a bright sunny day. I stood by the stream trying to pick out the best basket material. And something made me look at the water. The stream stopped flowing and stood absolutely still. I turned and ran but it was too late. He'd already found me. I opened my eyes. I was standing in the middle of a family house. My brother my mother sat quietly looking at me.
I tried several times to speak but my strength was burning and the words wouldn't come out. You had a doctor dreamily. Yes that's good my child. I want some water. Not that it's bad to drink water after a doctor dream to have water. I've got to let you know it's right in the moment. When we got started what is going on here. Father I asked what was going on. Millie Liz had a doctor's dream. Well well well so you had a doctorate degree. One of my daughters is going to be a shaman one not going to be a shaman and why not. I'm afraid I wouldn't be a good going to nonsense. You'll be an excellent shaman. Bring lots of money into the house yes indeed lots of money father but. Not in other words really not one more word. You are going to be a doctor. That's all there is to it.
That night I started to run away. It was Mother would stock me. Did you ever hear about the woman from the house of woe. No she had a doctor and she didn't want to become a shaman. She ran away far downstream to the town of Oman on the side of the ocean. For the rest of her life that woman got sick every time she looked at food ACORN's salmon deer meat everything good. How did she live on bark and roots of trees. And that's not on the same thing happened to her children from the time they were born they couldn't eat the food of our people. And I don't care mother. I'm still going. I've seen girls learning to be shamans. I've watched them dancing in the sweat house til they fall over. Then being dragged up and made to dance the more we know when the pain spirit takes hold of them trying to jump into the river. Blood coming out of their mouths and four men barely able to keep a
girl from drowning ourselves Milly who had seen them when the pain starts twisting and grinding inside them and staying there till they can control it so they can bring it up and swallow it and bring it up again a hundred times a thousand ten thousand. I wish I'd never had a doctor dream my little one. I'm sorry I didn't mean to say that. I won't stop you. If you want to leave Remember though you have the power. It's been given to you. There's one other thing. What. Getting married if you stay here you have a rich husband. But if you run away there will be nobody there. It isn't everyone who has the power. You have to work hard. You have to want to be a shaman. Otherwise it's no good. My father had an old doctor to teach me how to control my pains.
She was called a ho grip. And her face was so wrinkled you could hardly see the tattoo lines on her chin. She had a voice like a bullfrog and always smoked a pipe made of you wooden soap stone. The only women who ever smoked were shamans. And that was the first thing whole group made me learn. After we had smoked and talked a few days the whole group decided I was ready for my first doctor dance all day before the night of the dance. I sat in front of the fire in my father's sweat house letting the heat draw the impurities from my body. I ate nothing and drank no water sat in a corner and sang a Dr. Song. That evening my father and my brothers Reagan took the roof off the sweat house so the people of the town could watch me dance while the whole grep continued to sing. I danced around the fire never stopping to rest thinking
only of the pain that was to come into my body and how I would control it. Halfway through the night I felt I couldn't dance any longer. My brother Sree Gunn took me by the shoulder and kept moving me around the song and dance really large and let me rest rest hench times that. I was lifted on the wings of a gentle wind which bore me downstream high above the land of the euro past the towns which hugged the banks of the river past the spot where the river pours into the ocean and the Sea Monster swims. Past the mighty Spirit Rock Rising steep and majestic out of the turbulent waters. Out to the place where the sky comes down to meet the ocean. Where the beating of the sky against the sea makes the great waves. Crash against our
shores. He was waiting for me standing by the hole in the sky through which the geese go in the spring. Only when I saw him I knew he was taking me to the place where I would receive the pagan spirit into my body. I took his hand and together we passed through the hole in the sky and across the dark murky ocean of pitch. When we reached the land where money makes it next to the land of the salmon. He gave me deer meat covered with black blood to eat. As soon as I had swallowed it I felt the pains growing inside me. He left but his voice followed me. Run run run. Let me go. Let me go. How are you going to do I'm going
to jump in and try. I was standing at the edge of the river and my brother were holding me trying to keep me from throwing myself into the water. I relax and they helped me sit down. When is the pain spirit inside you. Yes I I was afraid you have to dance another night before the Greek trip and I sleep no more knowledge of what made a stray gun then taken to your family house. She can rest till I'm ready. Before it was light the next morning woke me and together we journeyed far upstream. We left the river and climbed into the mountains. There we were to stay until I learned to control the pain spirits that were now always with me. It was even harder than I thought it would be morning and night I danced
around the fire cooking the pain to make it a bade me and always. Everywhere I turned graps voice followed me rasping in my ear one would swallow them make a noise dance faster. Until one day toward the end of summer I was finally able to control the pain make it endure and leave my body at will. Now I was almost ready to take the sickness out of other people. How Greg explained how it was done. She told me how most disease was caused by a pain the size of a man's little finger. Once it got into a person's body it stayed there till the shaman removed it by sucking it out before I could cure people. I had to practice on a Dr Rock. Hole grip put pains in different parts of the rock. I located the pains and drew
them out sucking them from a cold stone into my body and spitting them into a special basket by my side. After 10 days we started down the mountain in a little stream. She made me. Call me our hair. You have to look your best for your final dance. Everybody will be watching her grow up. Will I be a good shaman. You got pretty yeah. Glassy black eyes I had when I was young will I will I be a good shaman. I think so. Hold still now while I. Try your hair in the dark or not. Yes I think you'll be gone. But that's not all you should try to be what else is there to be powerful. That's the trick. Many shamans are glowed when many of your are proud. Well I know when I get to be powerful. You go out and. Act.
Yes you know how someday be a case. You can't cure by sucking out the brain. If you're a really powerful shaman you'll know this is your spirit could tell you the sick this is caused by somebody else's and you will only cure your prey's shouldn't by making the guilty person who confess. If I could do that how I want to be a powerful shaman. It takes power and wisdom. You have to understand people penetrate into their thoughts and. When we arrived in our town my final Doctor danced with him once again in the sweat house roof was removed and I danced around the fire to life filled the floor exhausted. This time they let me sleep. When I awoke
I was a shaman. Three days later I had my first case. A man came to tell me his baby was sick and I went with him to his family house. The baby was lying on a deer skin blanket next to the fire. I sat down beside it and sang my first Dr. Song as I sang and smoked my pipe. I looked at the baby's wisin face contorted with the pain that was knowing somewhere inside him. I could feel the eyes of the family on me anxious waiting. Then as I finished suddenly I knew something pipes with his chest chest just where the pain is. I placed my lips against the baby's chest and work to draw up the pain. Perspiration stood out in my florid trickle down the side of my face.
My lips were numb with the effort of trying to get hold of the pain. Then the baby stopped crying and at the same instant I felt the pain from his chest coursing to my own body. I've done it. I sat up made the pain noise in my throat brought the pain out of my body. And spat it into a bath. The pain is gone now. Your baby will be alright. From that time on my reputation grows slowly and steadily. Always I was able to heal my patients by sucking out the pain. And since none of my patients died I never had to give back the money paid for curing them. You brought me this time 5 woodpecker Crist's father and one read
obsidian blade by one string of second large dental your beautiful through. I give them a bit of a polish. I'm very pleased with you. Thank you Father I've been turning things over in my mind and I've come to a decision a big decision. What's that I'm going to double your marriage price when some young man wants you he's going to have to pay more than for any girl in our town. It doesn't seem to make you very happy. I thought it would. I thought that's what every girl wants more than anything. I want to be a powerful shaman. Aren't you a grad already. Not a really powerful shaman father. Not yet. For another year. I continued practicing as a shaman. Then one night my mother brought Cannick to me Cannick a wealthy man about Unix on this middle.
Will you come what will you pay what you ask. There's a white deer skin in your house. That's a big price for a young shaman to ask not too much for the life of your son. You shall have it. I'm ready. Take me to him. The whole family was gathered in this White House. I knew the boy I was seriously ill but another shaman had been called had tried to suck out the pain spirit and had failed. There were women in this White House that was assigned to because women aren't usually allowed in this White House. Everyone was tense. Tense even than usual. Kennex child was sick all right. For a long time I watched. His appearance puzzled me. He seemed more in anguish and in pain.
I touched his forehead. It was cold and clammy. I looked up at the members of the family Cannick the boy's mother. A cousin. The old grandfather. Sam stared back at me. Some seemed invalid in a thought. Ron Young men averted his eyes when I looked at him. I spoke to Kendrick. Has he been this way long. He hasn't moved for the night and today we were hunting yesterday. We killed a deer. It happened soon after that I had to carry him home. Do you want anything before you begin to sing. I'm not going to sing I promise you a white bear skin. You can't refuse to cure my son. I haven't refused Cannock that why aren't you going to sing.
Because there's no pain for me to suck out of your son's body. Do you think you can. Who knows if the spirit I'm going to try. But I must have quiet absolute quiet. Yes Melissa. Do be quiet. But it did create me. Tell me if I missed this. Tammy tell me. I can't hear you.
Tell me Tell me again you know. Taylor. With blood. Yes. Yes. Can. Somebody in your family has sinned. There's only one way your son can be well again. The guilty person has to confess now. The spirits are waiting. I've sinned once about a year ago I walked off a trail when I was following a deer and I came back out of the trailer forgot to stop and pay the proper respect. It's been bothering me ever since. That's not the same I see. Then tell him shows dripping with blood. I have committed the sin to set the mood to go on the first day
I was unclean. I didn't go to the house frankly do you for a night in the family house in St.. That's a bad sin but it's not the one that make Cannock son sick. Yes can it. I have a confession to make. Make it last spring. A friend of mine died. I can't speak his name because he hasn't been dead a year but the Spirit will know who I mean. When he was put in the ground before they covered him with earth. I jumped into the grave and I pretended I wanted to kiss him goodbye once more. But really only jumped into the grave to do you to tell him shows that were about his body. Was your son there. I don't know. Yes yes he
was. That's the sin that made your son sick. Do you think you'll be alright now. If the spirits forgive you I'll do everything I can. You confessed your sin in front of other people and that's good. I walked over to the sick boy again and sat down. I took it hand in mine. While I watched. I spoke to the spirit of the grizzly bear. And asked for the life of Ketek son. The fire burned to embers. A grey morning light crept through the door of the sweat house touched the walls. Lingered on the face of the boy. And it happened.
He didn't. And after one long doing so. He's breathing easy and became known. He opened his eyes looked at me and closed in again. But I could tell he had recognized me and I knew he was going to be all right. I got up nodded to the waiting family and started for the White House. In Syria's ways of mankind presented under the supervision of Dr. Walter Goldschmidt associate professor of anthropology and sociology of the University of California Los Angeles. You have heard the reluctant shame and the second of four programs designed to offer you the experience of living as your rock Indians lived within their stone age culture. The consultant was Dr Alfred Kroeber professor emeritus of
anthropology of the University of California. The script was by Charles Israel and was produced by Andrew Allen in the studios of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Toronto. These programs are presented by the National Association of educational broadcasters and are made possible under a grant from the fund for adult education an independent organization established by the Ford Foundation. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Ways of mankind II
Reluctant shaman
Producing Organization
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, "The Reluctant Shaman," is the second of a series on the Yurok Indian culture.
Series Description
This series is an exploration into the origin and development of cultures, customs and folkways in various parts of the world. The second series of Ways Of Mankind is concerned with a specific subject area and with two specific cultures.
Broadcast Date
Yurok Indians.
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Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Producer: Allan, Andrew, 1907-1974
Producing Organization: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Sarrel, Philip M., 1937-
Writer: Sinclair, Lister
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: cpb-aacip-f31a185543e (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:31
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Chicago: “Ways of mankind II; Reluctant shaman,” 1964-04-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “Ways of mankind II; Reluctant shaman.” 1964-04-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Ways of mankind II; Reluctant shaman. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from