Jarich Gerlof Oosten, born in Enschede, the Netherlands, in 1945. Ph.D. from the University of Groningen. Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Leiden University.
Fellow (1 September 2004 - 30 June 2005)
SHAMONISM AND THE TRANSITION TO CHRISTIANITY IN NUNAVUT (CANADA)
Our research focused on transformations in Inuit religion and society. At NIAS, we (Frédéric Laugrand and myself) prepared a manuscript on the process of Christianization and the role of angakkuit, or Shamans, in the transformation of society. We used archival sources, ethnographic literature and oral traditions collected in the field. We showed that angakkuit played an important part in the process of conversion and that many shamanic practices have not disappeared but continue in new forms and contexts. Particular attention was paid to conceptions and experiences relating to the non-human inhabitants of the world. In the second part of the book, we deal with the various practices and techniques enabling people to communicate with these beings in shamanic as well as in Christian contexts. We also prepared a detailed study of the sea-woman, the owner of the sea mammals, in religion and art.
Finally, we prepared several papers on Inuit studies for refereed journals and books as well as DVD films that should be made available to educational institutions in the North Pole.