Conference Shamanism and Healing Rituals in Contemporary Islam and Sufism

Convenor Prof. Thierry Zarcone
Dedicated to Vladimir Nikolaevich Basilov
This conference wants to question the association of Islam (Sufism) and Shamanism in the contemporary Muslim world and particularly to discuss the healing rituals used by the shamans. Two kinds of healers will be investigated in this meeting: first, the shaman healers of Central Asia (bakhshi, emchi, achikgöz, parikhwân, darger) which doesn’t belong to a homogenous movement but to several trends. However these trends have a common origin that is the mixing of Islam and especially of Sufism with the old religion of the region, i.e. Shamanism. This « Islamized Shamanism » (Islamizirovannoe shamansto), as it was labelled by the late Profesor W. Basilov, exists in a geographic area which covers today the Republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirghizistan, the Northern Province of Afghanistan (Afghan Turkistan), the Turkoman province of Iran, and the Uygur autonomous District of Xinjiang. Second, the conference will examine also the case of the healers located in other areas of the Muslim world which have no links with Central Asia, i.e. the Arab lands, India, Indonesia, etc. These healers are depicted as “Shamans” by many scholars since they use healing rituals which are more or less close to those performed in Central Asian Islamized Shamanism.

Organizer: Prof. Thierry Zarcone and Fondazione Centro Incontri Umani
Centro Incontri Umani
Via Signore in Croce 9
6612 Ascona - Switzerland
Secretariat, c/o Laura Simona and Dr. Giovanni Simona
Vicolo St. Antonio 38
6618 Arcegno - Switzerland
Conferences, free entry - Dance Presentation, Fr. 15.-, students Fr. 10.-
Tel/Fax: (0041) 91 791 88 41
Email: secretary(a)