rock light_smallerThis page was started in order to write down some of the cultural names for shamanic or native healers.  Hopefully it will serve as a good starting point for your explorations of this topic.  Please use the comments section of this page to share what you know as well.

Keep in mind that some healers do not consider the labels shamanism or shamanic to be correct.  The word is a Tungus word from the Siberia.  In particular the word shaman tends to misapplied to Native American Healers, click for example. This topic is also closely related to issues of Cultural Appropriation.

So keeping relate issues in mind, use this list as a starting point in your exploration of spiritual healers within culture. You will also find there are certain meanings behind the names that are cultures often apply to their shamanic healers, such as words that mean “the dreamer”, “the traveler”, or “of the spirits.”

These are in no particular order as they were added as they were found or contributed.  Some have links to sites which talk about that form of Shamanism:

Angakok – Inuit Shaman, I saw this referenced on a paper at Brandon University in Canada.
Fugara – The Bedouin form of Shamanism
Baksylyk – I saw a reference to a paper by Patrick Garrone called “Baksylyk: a Muslim Declination of Shamanism” (in ISIM NEWSLETTER, December 1999 (No.4)
Sahir-þairls – Shamans in Turkey the other words I saw in connection with this were Kyrgyz Kazakh baksýs, baksý, kam, ozan, Oguz, ozans
Kopuz – a musical instrument, somehow connected with shamanism

Dagara Tribe – West African Tribe with Shaman Healers
Kontomblé – West African word for helping spirits.
Txiv Neeb – Shaman of the Hmong, the shaman translates to “father/master of the spirits.”
Miko – Female Shaman, saw referenced in article in Asian Folklore Studies.

Mudang – Korean Shaman, most Korean Shamans are women
Nae-Rim-Kut – Korean Shamanic Initiation
Huna – Form of shamanism, inspired by Hawaiian.
Babalawo – shamans of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa meaning “Father of the Mysteries” or “Father of the Spirits” supplied by student of Babalawo/Shaman.
Wulla-mullung – Wiradjuri Tribe- Southeast Australia it seems that is the name their Shamans are called, and their helping spirits are called Budian.

Dukun – Shaman of Indonesia
Bomoh – Malay Shaman
Voelva/Volva/Vala/Seidhkona – Female Shaman of Norse Mythology
Seidhr – A shamanic ritual or staff in the Norse tradition. Male shamans of Norse tradition are sometimes referred to as Seidhr men.
Baal Shem – Translates in Hebrew as “Master of the Name” possibly a Jewish Shaman

Wakan Tanka – Term for Spirit that Resides in Everything in Lakota
Sheripiari – term of the Campa of eastern Perú
Znakharka – term for female shaman in the Ukraine, supplied by a Ukraine shaman.
Tang-ki – the Chinese name for a shaman (also fu-chi which seems to relate to a mediumship involving writing.)

P’aqo – The Andean word for shaman — it’s a Quecha word for shaman but they are mystics too (submitted to Shaman Links by one of our readers)
Mambo – One of our readers found that this “is the name for a high priestess in the voodoo tradition, especially one who keeps the songs and rituals and maintains the community’s relationship with the spirits…”
Yachak – One of our readers: “translated as Birdman a person who knows how to fly into the other worlds, to connect with spirits and bring messages.”

Quam – “The usual Turkish word for shaman.” A name meaning diviner.  From: Animal and Shaman: Ancient Religions of Central Asia By Julian Baldick (Also mentions ongon, Turkish word for totem or indicating a special animal.)
Baqshi – specialists of the Kazakhs, Bakshi among the Kirghiz and Uighur (from Malang, Sufis, and Mystics – An Ethnographic and Historical Study of Shamanism in Afghanistan by Muhammad Humayun Sidky)
Táltos – Hungarian Shaman (Specific Táltos from folktales: Göncöl and Kampó)

Sangoma – South African Shaman, a Zulu term
Inyanga – South African shaman concerned with medicine from plants and animals.
Boo – Male Mongolian Shaman

Kahuna – sometimes considered the Hawaiian word for Shaman


What about shamanic healing?

Click for a List of Books about Shamanism in Various Cultures

Share This
Share on Pinterest
More share buttons
Share with your friends



Shaman Names — 14 Comments

  1. You might add to the Shaman’s names list: Bombo are Tamang shamans in Nepal
    Lhapa (male) and Lhamo (female) or Pau (male) Paumo (female) for Tibetan shamans.
    Mara’akame for Huichol Indian shamans of N. Mexico.

  2. Sahagun(Quetzalcoatls) were in charge of the major pilgrimage centers (Cholula and Tenochtitlan) as enjoying immense respect from all levels of Aztec society – akin to archbishops – and a level of authority that partly transcended national boundaries. Under these religious heads were many tiers of priests, priestesses, novices, ‘nuns’ and ‘monks’ (some part-time) who ran the cults of the various gods and goddesses. Sahagun reports that the priests had a very strict training, and had to live very austere and ethical lives involving prolonged vigils, fasts and penances. For instance, they often had to bleed themselves and undertake prescribed self-mortifications in the buildup to sacrificial rites.

    Additionally, Sahagun refers to classes of religious specialists not affiliated with the established priesthood. This included wandering curers, black magicians and other occultists (of which the Aztecs identified many types, most of which they feared) and hermits.

  3. A Lakota word for what we may call a shaman is Iyeska, which means “interpreter.”
    It’s what you’d call someone who could communicate with spirits and share those messages with the living.

Leave a Reply to Jarred Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *