The old faith of the Sámi is often described as “shamanistic”.

Shamanism indicates that a group of people is dependent on a spiritual leader, a “shaman”, who can communicate with the world of gods or spirits. This is often done by the leader putting himself into a trance.

Different forms of shamanism are found all over the world, especially among aboriginal peoples. The word “shaman” comes from the Siberian languages (for example the Even: šamán ). Among the Sámi such spiritual leaders have had several different appellations. The most often used is noaidi.

Since the 1960s, interest in shamanism has been growing in the western world and has resulted in what is known as “modern shamanism” or “new shamanism”.

Tunguskisk (sibirsk) sjaman.