Child Birth as Male Shamanistic Experience – The photographer as performance artist.

November 27, 2019 § Leave a comment

The shaman is said to be born to fit his role, If a woman has not borne a child, for instance, then, according to the belief of the Nanai, in the Amur region of north-eastern Asia, the shaman ascends to heaven and sends her an embryo soul.

Shamanic symbolism is presented through dramatic enactment and dance. The shaman, garbed in regalia, lifts his voice in song to the spirits. This song is improvised but contains certain obligatory images and similes, dialogue, and refrains. The performance always takes place in the evening.

Shaman jpg

After Ritual jpg

Ritual jpg

Applying single

The shaman never paints his body only his face in anticipation of a ritual, the connection between his body and object allows him to transcend spiritual layers and enter the past the future or the present, in anticipation of an event, to bring reassurance or to prepare those for the future.

In these Images the artist has taken the role of Shaman, he has began to prepare himself for the impending arrival of his first child, the artist as chosen to use objects of modern significance in this first series of images of this project, baby powder has been used, to begin the ritual, to anoint the shamans head in preparation.

This series will continue with an audio and visual exploration of a modern shamanic ritual performed by the artist in the role of shaman over 9 months in anticipation of the arrival of new life….

Shaman’s of the Hmong culture, will ritualistically sacrifice a hen and a rooster in the belief that the chickens will be able to chase wandering souls back home, or into a body.


A shaman or a wise elder of the family will take the pair of chickens, with an egg placed on top of a bowl filled with rice and incense and stand it next to the egg. The shaman or wise elder will stand in front of the front door with a circular cymbal, a set of split buffalo horns and “call the lost soul” back home. The chickens part in this ritual is to “help find and chase the soul back home.”

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