I’m sorry I thought you were a Shaman!

Recently I shot video for this couple at Red Rock Crossing in Sedona Arizona. Shaman weddings are very popular in the west. I was told this was a shaman wedding and knew that I needed to put a mic on the groom and the shaman since the shaman tends to move around more than the typical officiants do. When I first approached the shaman, he did’nt  seem to excited  for me put the mic on him and insisted I wait till we get to the ceremony spot. Once we got to the ceremony site I again approached him and he again wasn’t to thrilled about the mic, not to mention I had no place to put it and spent 10 minutes digging around in his pants for a place to attach the mic. It’s different with every shaman, some like to blow smoke on the equipment to bless it, some just bless it in general, some don’t want their photos taken and some won’t allow the microphone at all!

I finally found a place I could stuff the mic, and while I was doing that I asked him if he was going to be beating on the drum. This matters to me on the placement of the mic. He then proceeded to tell me he didn’t do the drums, that drums call in bad spirits. I said “Oh, most shamans I have worked with do the drums”.  He then proceeded to tell me that he was not a shaman, he was a medicine man. I appologized for my ignorance and carried on with my job.

When I got home I decided to look up Shaman and Medicine Men in the dictionary. This is what I found.

Shaman – a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits, esp. among some peoples of northern  Asia and North America. Typically such people enter a trance state during a ritual, and practice divination and healing.

Medicine Men – (among North American Indians and some other peoples) a person believed to have magical powers of healing and of seeing into the future; A SHAMAN.

Ok, so it wasn’t CAPPED in the dictionary. It sounds the same to me?  So I did a google and everything came up the same, that the shaman and the medicine man are the same. Here is something else I found. ” It is then possible to defferentiate between the shaman as primarily the mediator between the supernatural powers and the man, and the medicine man as primarily the curer of diseases through traditional techiniques. The shaman may also be medically active when his expert knowledge of the supernatual disease agents is called for. This means that some shamans are medicine men. Conversely, some medicine men are shamans! AHHHHH

Enough of the tech terms here! It’s just a belief isn’t it? What I did read makes me wonder why a medicine  man is conducting a ceremony? This couple here actually came from the UK for their ceremony and I honestly don’t blame them, it is beautiful here, stunning! After all the travels, they showed up sick  so I guess the medicine man was a blessing, but were they healed after? And after all the fuss with the microphone, he accidentally turned it off right when the ceremony began. He said it was pinching  his skin and he wiggled just enough where it turned off! hmmm. Maybe he does have magical powers.

What I do know is that the couple were very much in love and I truly enjoyed being there and for them it was a moment they will never forget! I guess that’s all that matters, shaman, medicine man, guru, officiant, minister, reverend, it’s all a matter of what you believe.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret Van Damme
    May 13, 2010 @ 20:33:13

    Great video; and your last paragraph says it all!

    Reply

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