August 22, 2013

"Shaman" filmed for Sleepy Hollow

Stars, scorpions on the set of 'Sleepy Hollow' at EUE Screen Gems

By Ashlea KosikowskiA scorpion crawls up its handler's arm. Nearby, a shaman is surrounded by mysterious potions in a tent made from handwoven Native American blankets. The floor is covered in straw and furs hang from the ceilings. Welcome to the set of FOX's new show, Sleepy Hollow.

Inside a large sound stage at EUE Screen Gems in Wilmington, lights, cameras and more than 60 crew members surround the tent. Tom Mison, who plays Ichabod Crane, and Nicole Beharie, who plays his police officer partner do several takes for the third episode as cameras roll.

Both are buzzing about the next scene, in which they will have a live scorpion crawling on them.
And:Both Mison and Beharie said the show has something for everyone. It's a mystery adventure that retells the Washington Irving classic, Ichabod Crane, with a modern twist. In the show, Crane, a Revolutionary War soldier, wakes up 250 years into the future to find that the world is on the brink of destruction. When he awakes, so does his enemy, the infamous Headless Horseman, whose head he chopped off all those years ago.

The Headless Horseman is only the beginning though and Crane and Mills team up to save the world.
Comment:  I'm pretty sure there are no shamans in Native cultures in the North Carolina area. This is undoubtedly another phony version of Native religion. Usually the "shaman" is a sorcerer type who utters prophecies and cast spells.

The "mysterious potions" and furs hanging from the ceiling reinforce the idea of Native religion as a "dark art" akin to witchcraft. All we need is some "eye of newt" in a bubbling cauldron to complete the picture.

If this magic man is responsible for a plague of scorpions, that's worse. Native religions aren't about summoning creatures or spirits or demons any more than Christianity is. Things like vision quests, sweat lodges, and dances are just another way of praying to and communicating with a god.

The hints in this article suggest that Indians are involved in unsavory or unholy practices. Like Darth Vader and the Force, they may have gone over to the dark side. If so, that would be stereotypical.

And this bit is presumably set in the present, which would make it even worse. Does this "shaman" use a computer, cellphone, or cash register in his practice? Don't bet on it.

For more on stereotypical Native shamans, see Scooby-Doo Meets Navajo "Shaman" and The Legend of Industrial Ghost-Wolf.

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