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Soul HuntersHunting, Animism, and Personhood among the Siberian Yukaghirs$
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Rane Willerslev

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520252165

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520252165.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

Animism as Mimesis

Animism as Mimesis

(p.1) Chapter 1 Animism as Mimesis
Soul Hunters

Rane Willerslev

University of California Press

This chapter introduces the Yukaghirs, a small group of indigenous hunters settled near the Upper Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia. It shows that these hunters believe that persons can take a number of forms, and that humans and animals can move in and out of the perspectives of different species by temporarily taking on each others' bodies. The chapter furthermore shows that it is this capacity to take on the appearance and viewpoint of another being which is one of the key aspects of being a person, and also tries to illustrate a new approach to the “problem” of animism.

Keywords:   Yukaghirs, mimesis, animism problem

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