Yakut Shaman's Robe

Part of Hall of Asian Peoples.

Diorama of Yakut shaman assisting sick person, from Asian ethnographic collection

In this diorama, a shaman comes to receive a sick woman's soul, which has been captured by malevolent spirits. Once the woman is in a trance, the shaman's soul will travel to the spirit world and battle to restore her soul. The Yakut shaman's robe is an integral piece of this healing ceremony.

The two iron pieces that run along the top of the robe's fringed sleeves contribute to the illusion of a flapping bird's wing. The noise made by the robe's iron pieces, copper bells, and rattles and the sound of the shaman's drumming and singing help summon the spirits.