Outsiders to the culture have long focused on the physical artifacts of shamanism - like the costume and drum - and on ritual healing practices, but far less is known about the images shamans and storytellers use to entertain, heal, and educate. Van Deusen describes the lives of the people of the Amur during a period of dramatic transition, as they attempt to find some way to relate ancient traditions to an uncertain future. She emphasizes the contributions of women - often overlooked in the literature on shamanism - in traditional and contemporary society, and their concerns with ecology and the education of children. Their magnificent embroidery, illustrated by the author's photographs, echoes these women's stories. The Flying Tiger will appeal to anyone interested in shamanism, storytelling and folklore, Russia, indigenous people, women's studies, and spirituality.
"Van Deusen masterfully weaves a series of stories from her own fieldwork on the folklore of the Russian Far East to emphasize the many ways in which the pathways of other minds and cultures creates, as shamans themselves do, bridges to other worlds. This is a beautifully written and impressive book." Bruce Grant, Department of Anthropology, Swarthmore College