June 15, 2007

Plastic shamans play Indian

Paying to teach and 'play Indian'They climb mountains on a quest for a vision. They beat drums and shake rattles. They pray in sweat lodges. Some study for years and later teach others the spirituality they paid to learn.

They are a growing population. But they are not Native. And as self-proclaimed medicine men and women or shaman--referred to by some critics as "plastic medicine men" or "shake and bake shaman"--they often charge for spiritual services.

That, for many Natives here, is a big problem.

"Even if they're not charging for money, they have no idea about our people's ways, they have no idea what they're doing and how catastrophic it can be," said Jimmy Red Elk, 32, a traditional Oglala Lakota who lives in Los Angeles. "It's really bad out here."
Comment:  See New Age Mystics, Healers, and Ceremonies for more on the subject.

No comments: