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Description - Shamanism and the Origin of States by Sarah Milledge Nelson

Sarah Milledge Nelson's bold thesis is that the development of states in East Asia-China, Japan, Korea-was an outgrowth of the leadership in smaller communities guided by shamans. Using a mixture of historical documents, mythology, archaeological data, and ethnographic studies of contemporary shamans, she builds a case for shamans being the driving force behind the blossoming of complex societies. More interesting, shamans in East Asia are generally women, who used their access to the spirit world to take leadership roles. This work challenges traditional interpretations growth of Asian states, which is overlaid with later Confucian notions of gender roles. Written at a level accessible for undergraduates, this concise work will be fascinating reading for those interested in East Asian archaeology, politics, and society; in gender roles, and in shamanism.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781598741339
ISBN-10: 1598741330
Format: Paperback / softback
(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Left Coast Press Inc
Publisher: Left Coast Press Inc
Publish Date: 15-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Sarah Milledge Nelson

Sarah Milledge Nelson is John Evans Professor of Archaeology at the University of Denver. She is a specialist in cultural development, the origins of agriculture, and gender in the ancient world. Recent books include The Archaeology of Korea (1993), The Archaeology of Northeast China (ed.)(1995), Handbook of Gender and Archaeology (2005), and two editions of the textbook Gender in Archaeology (1997/2004) which won the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award.

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