One who can interact and mediate with the spirit world on behalf of their community, usualy by exctatic trance techniques ( That is their spirit/soul leaves their physical body in order to travel to a world of pure spirit rather than physical matter) for the purposes of divination, information gathering, healing and to recieve wisdom.
Believed to come from the Tungus word "saman" meaning (very roughly)holder of knowledge.
Some anthropologists maintain that shaman are the basis of most magician/sorceror archetypes in folklore.
In modern times the word is overused, and seems to have become , in the minds of the modern illiterate, purely connected with various character classes in computer RolePlaying Games.
In Modern Siberia, Mongolia, and amongst the Sami the role of the shaman is undergoing something of a renaissance.
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