Sacred Staffs

woman in long dress adorned with abalone shells holding decorated wooden staffs

Essie Parrish holding sacred staffs with pendants.
She was the Yomta ("Song,"
a medicine woman's title)
of the Kashaya Pomo
(near Santa Rosa, California).
Her ceremonial dress is adorned with abalone pendants.


drum with painted figures holding staffs on both side  

stick figures holding staffs in both hands

Two Saami drums (from northern Scandanavia) show divine beings holding similar staffs, some also with pendants.


woman in cap with branched staffs



The Foremother,
by Liisa, Saami
artist, 2006

shaman standing aloft holding two long poles   Korean mudang Kim Hea Sook holds two long poles as she balances on what is probably a sharpened blade.

From Korea to Taiwan, shamans often demonstrate that they have attained deep union by standing on knives or swords, or by ascending ladders of blades.

Max Dashu | Suppressed Histories Archives | Source Memory