Sakha may refer to peoples known as the Sakha (formerly Yakut) living in the Sakha region (Yakutia) in northeast Siberia; the Sakha language, which belongs to the Turkic family of languages; or the Sakha Republic, the largest independent republic of the Russian Federation, home to more than 80 ethnicities, including such tribes as the hunting, fishing, and herding Sakha, Chukchi, Evenk (Tungus), and Tatar, of which some 40 percent of the population is Sakha. Extensive fieldwork in the region began in the mid-19th century, documenting shamanism among the Chukchi, Evenk, and the Sakha, with important reports of Sakha shamanic performances involving dialogue between shaman and spirits by Ivan Khudiakov. There is much local variation, but consistently, Sakha shamans inherit their vocation from ancestors who elect shamans, and these shamans undergo an initiation involving illness and “death.” Initiated shamans inhabit a three-tiered cosmos in which they travel in altered states of consciousness in order to negotiate with other-than-human helpers in the upper world and underworld for the benefit of their communities. The Sakha (and comparably the Buryat) distinguish between “black shamans” and “white shamans,” although Caroline Humphrey has drawn attention to the problematics of these terms. More recently, Piers Vitebsky has discussed the relationship between shamanism and environmentalism among the Sakha and the transformation of this relationship in the “global village.” Despite widespread persecution under Soviet state atheism, shamanism is today undergoing a reconstitution and revival in the region, with the Sakha Republic seizing on shaman genealogies and other elements of traditional shamanism as part of its emergent nationalism.
   See also Central Asian and Siberian Rock Art; Siberia, Northern and Eastern.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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  • Sakha — République de Sakha (Iakoutie) (ru) Республика Саха (sah) Саха Республиката …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sakha —    / YAKUTS    Ethnic group. The Sakha, formerly known as the Yakuts, are the Turkic ethnic group who comprise the titular nation of the Sakha Republic (Yakutiya); they are the largest ethnic group among the indigenous peoples of the north.… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Sakha — Iakoutie ou Sakha rép. de la Féd. de Russie, en Sibérie orientale; 3 103 200 km2; 1 108 600 hab. (Iakoutes [360 000], Russes, Ukrainiens); cap. Iakoutsk (184 000 hab.) Cette région de forêts (70 % du territ.) et, au N., de toundra vit de l agric …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Sakha — noun a) A formerly seminomadic Siberian people who speak a Turkic language. b) A short name for Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia. Syn: Yakut …   Wiktionary

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