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The Art of Shamanism

The Art of Shamanism

Shaman’s costume and drum, next to a photo of a sacred tree.

The eastern Spanish city of Valencia is rich in museums. Besides the usual archaeology, history, and military museums, there are quirky ones like the Toy Soldier Museum and the one true Holy Grail at Valencia Cathedral. There are also several art museums and galleries. While visiting last year, I came across an exhibition on shamanism at the Valencian Museum of Enlightenment and Modernity.

Titled “Between the Worlds: Shamanism in the Villages of Siberia,” the exhibition brought together more than two-hundred objects on loan from The Russian Museum of Ethnography. Most were collected around the turn of the last century, before the Communist Revolution led to a national effort to stamp out shamanistic practices.

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