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The term comes from the Tungas language of Siberia referring to their tribal healers and spiritual leaders. Shaman is now used worldwide to broadly refer to, medicine men and women, witchdoctors, mystics, priests, magicians, sorcerers, and so on, in any part of the world.

A shaman is a person who, generally in an altered state of consciousness, acts as an intermediary between the mundane and invisible worlds to foresee and control the future, heal, and generate miracles.

A Shaman's altered state of consciousness is achieved through drumming, dancing, ingesting hallucinogens, self-mutilation, deprivation and virtually any means by which he or she achieves a trance state that allows them to transcend beyond existence as commonly known.