Animal Self – Other terms for this phenomenon include alter ego, animal familiar, animal companion, or spirit companion. These terms describe the non-human animal species with which shamans identify and feel they become when in a trance state. The shaman in trance may see through the eyes of an animal self, hear through its ears, and experience the sensations of the movements of its body. It is also possible for a shaman to shift from animal to animal while in trance, seeing and feeling from the perspectives of several species.

Blackware – A surface decoration ceramic technique that is produced by strategic manipulation of the amount of oxygen during the firing process. The desired dark, shiny surface results from eliminating the ambient oxygen in the firing while keeping the temperature high, permanently depositing smoke onto the ceramic surface. White or orange pots come out black from the firing process. Because the artist cannot open the firing area to watch and gauge the timing, blackware is difficult to achieve and may be seen as a magical “blind” transformation. It is the inverse of all other firing techniques where free-flowing air is needed to preserve polychrome slip paints.

Brackish – Water that has more saline than fresh water but not as saline as sea water.

Brownware – Closely related to blackware, brownware is a surface decoration ceramic technique produced by intentional manipulation of oxygen and temperature levels during the firing process. Brownware is produced by consistently limiting but not eliminating oxygen in the firing area. Brownware may also be produced by slip painting in imitation of the more elaborately created versions.

Crosshatching – A decorative technique using closely spaced parallel lines, drawn or incised, intersected by other closely spaced parallel lines resulting tight grid or net-like areas.

Effigy – A representation of a person or non-human animal constructed in three dimensions, in which the representation is understood to ritually or symbolically stand in for the actual individual.

Entheogen – From the ancient Greek entheos, “full of the god,” and genesthai, “to come into being.” The term refers to any psychoactive substance or other ritual technique (dancing, drumming, etc.) used to induce a connection to the divine. It was coined in the 1970s and is used to distinguish the religious use of trance-inducing substances from illicit, recreational use.

Estuary – A highly productive coastal habitat that occurs where a river or stream meets the open sea.

Incising – A surface decoration ceramic technique in which a pattern or figural representation is created by scratching into the surface with an implement.

MaizeZea mays. The grain known as corn, domesticated in the Americas by indigenous people.

Modeling – A surface decoration ceramic technique in which patterns or figural representations are given three-dimensional form by working the surface by hand. The final shapes can sometimes be created with the use of tools.

Other Side – One of many ways to describe any of the many cosmic realms that the shamanic worldview understands as existing apart from the terrestrial world. It is the realm that shamans visit in trances in order to bring back knowledge.

Spirit Companion – See animal self.



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