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7472 - Mamisarnit, Inuit Healing Circles. Shamanism, Christianity and Transnationalization in Nunavut, Canada

Imported from the outside, Inuit healing circles were fully and quickly incorporated into Inuit traditions after the 1990s. Through mamisarnit, participants not only reconnect to their traditional culture, they heal from the deep wounds inflicted by modern life in permanent settlements. For the participants, healing circles bring regeneration, and as such these activities reproduce a very attractive model in Inuit culture that encompasses shamanism and Christianity. In this paper I argue that healing circles provide a fruitful solution to this problem of combining the shamanic and Christian frameworks in a new socio-political context. The connection to shamanism can only remain implicit since leaders and supporters of healing circles are usually opposed to the old shamanic traditions. Yet many features of these rituals evoke shamanism. Today, these practises are organized in many communities and well supported by Inuit and federal institutions. They illustrate how healing is still embedded in a socio-cosmic order. As in the shamanic framework, the well-being of an individual clearly depends on his or her social and cosmic relationships with human and non-human agencies.

Keywords: shamanism, Inuit, healing circles

Author: Laugrand, frederic (k, Kaimaninseln / Kaimanins.)

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