Shaman from Canada/First Nation (top left), Navajo (top right), Hamatsa (bottom left) and Borneo (bottom right).
Sami shamanic drum (top left), Carl Linnaeus dressed as a Laplander shaman(top right), Central Asian ritual with drum (bottom left), Inuit healer (bottom right)
Himalayan Tambourine (top left), Ivory masks, Africa(middle), PaQi, Canada(bottom left), Oroquen shaman, Central Asia(bottom right)
- Spirits exist and they play important roles both in individual lives and in human society.
- The shaman can communicate with the spirit world.
- Spirits can be good or evil.
- The shaman can treat sickness caused by evil spirits.
- The shaman can employ trance inducing techniques to incite visionary ecstasy and go on “vision quests.”
- The shaman’s spirit can leave the body to enter the supernatural world to search for answers.
- The shaman evokes animal images as spirit guides, omens, and message-bearers.
- The shaman can tell the future, scry, throw bones/runes, and perform other varied forms of divination.
(List of beliefs and practices common to all shamanic practices world-wide by Mircea Eliade)
It seems to me that the proper approach is to search out shared aspects of behavior and appearance to create shamanic avatar characters that are trans-cultural. To judge by the images above the commonalities in terms of attire are pronounced enough to be able to do so and Eliade’s list also points at a lot of common behavioral ground that goes beyond specific cultures and locations.
The image above shows the headdress of an outfit which I am currently working on for alpha.tribe. My proposal for the LPDT2 shaman-avatars would be somewhere in this general direction: Geometric headdresses (and maybe also other body attachments) inspired by shamanic gear but not emulating the apparel of one particular culture, rather an abstraction of the globe-wide manifestation into some sort of universal cyber-shamanic appearance. I will place abstract animal and plant forms into some of the attachments, possibly have a few of the avatars be geometric furry creatures and so on. I will also make several skins, and especially try to create ‘aged’ skins. This last is no firm promise unfortunately: I create the skins I make with a ‘young’ skin template and am probably not skilled enough to convert this into an aged skin, with sags and wrinkles. But I will certainly try.