Åke Hultkrantz is Professor Emeritus in Ethnology and Religion at Uppsala University and recognized as a world authority on Native American religions and shamanism. His is the author of nearly twenty books, including The Religions of the American Indians and Shamanic Healing and Ritual Drama: Health and Medicine in the Native North American Religious Traditions.
Hultkrantz describes the variety of Native American concepts of soul, going beyond the trite explanations that have often been passed down as “Indian” beliefs in Western society. We learn of different “souls” pertaining to death, body parts, dreams, and the free soul.
First published in Sweden as an academic study, this edited version gives an overview of Native American belief in soul and how it relates to their polytheistic traditions, religions, and societies.
SOUL AND NATIVE AMERICANS
Edited with a foreword
by ROBERT HOLLAND
Paperback original, 233 pages, $24
This is the book for an utterly thorough and beautifully differentiated report showing how much more the native peoples of the Americas understood about what we call “soul” and “anima” than our own American psychologists. Especially valuable is the evidence for the various kinds of soul, including the death soul, and how they’re recognized and experienced.
The importance of the Hultkrantz research and not just for psychology cannot be overstated.