A central function of many shamans is to conduct or preside over rituals. While much attention has been devoted to rituals in which shamans alone perform—for example, as healers and journeyers to other worlds—they also play significant roles in community ceremonies and rites of passage in many cultures. Shamans may even be defined as the repositories of the knowledge of the conduct of ceremonies. Such knowledge is likely to be learned from other shamans and from initiatory otherworld or other-than-human persons.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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