15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
THERE IS A SPECIAL BASEMENT ROOM at a clinic in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, where shaman master Bai Aolao goes to contact the spirit world. A Shaman is a person who has access to and can interact with the spirit world. They claim, to be able to communicate with the divine and gain guidance from the world beyond as well as having healing powers.
Bai Aolao is one of the many shamans still practicing in northeastern China. Patients seek out care from him and the other shamans to cure physical or mental illness. The healing ritual is very intense and involves evocative dancing, chanting, rice wine spitting and culminates in a trance like state of mind where the shaman ends up collapsing - totally drained from energy.
© ken hermann.
All rights reserved.
||Nov. 30, 2017, 6:51 a.m.