reimann at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Apr 2 20:04:00 EST 2002
Below is Gary Holland's response to Valerie's question (from another list).
University of California, Berkeley
At 08:49 AM 04/02/2002 -0800, you wrote:
>We use the same word in Russian. I always assumed, it
>is coming from a local dialect. Unfortunately, I do
>not have any Russian or Slavic dictionary around to
>check it up. Perhaps, someone could do it?
> Marina Orelskaya
These words are ultimately the same. English shaman is borrowed from
The Russian word in turn is borrowed from Tungusic, which must have borrowed
the word from Tocharian B, which has s.ama:ne 'monk, ascetic'. The
word was borrowed either directly, or via a Middle Indic intermediary, from
the Sanskrit word.
For a short exposition of the importance of shamanism in Tungusic culture see
Lopatin's contribution to Handbuch der Orientalistik, fünfter Band:
Altaistik, dritter Abschnitt: Tungusologie, p. 17ff.
I have just found that this etymology is given in the American Heritage
More information about the INDOLOGY