Tamang Shamans


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Tamang Shamans

An Ethnopsychiatric Study of Ecstasy and Healing in Nepal

Dr. Larry Peters is an internationally acclaimed scholar and an initiated shaman. Tamang  Shamans is a “unique contribution” to the psychology and anthropology of shamanism.  To be more precise, it is an ethnopsychiatric analysis of the practices and trance-steps of  the Tamang shamans of Nepal.

With his ingenious research, Dr. Peters here opens new  frontiers of ancient wisdom by demonstrating the shaman’s role in Tamang segment of  Nepalese society as analogous to the psychotherapist’s role in the contemporary western world. The book opens with an examination of Tamang shamanism in a cross-cultural  perspective and in the process explores the ethnographic setting of the Tamang culture  in context of Nepalese society.

In the course of his research, Dr. Peters employs  traditional participant-observer method as well as an experiential approach in which he  undertook a Tamang shaman apprenticeship. The practices of curing and being cured are  explored in detail. The Tamang shamans of Nepal function as community  psychotherapists, treating a wide range of symptoms by redressing social conflicts and as “training analysis” in relation to their disciples. The master shaman’s procedures in both  instances are compared to concepts and techniques prevalent in the contemporary  psychiatry in order to account for their psychotherapeutic effectiveness.

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