Forschungsarbeit: Die mediale Verwandlung des Totemismus

Die mediale Verwandlung des Totemismus

Eine Epochenbetrachtung

HERODOT – Wissenschaftliche Schriften zur Ethnologie und Anthropologie, volume 12

Hamburg , 234 pages

ISBN 978-3-8300-7695-7 (print)
ISBN 978-3-339-07695-3 (eBook)

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From its beginnings totemism has been a phenomenon of the world of media. Whether presented in wooden or stone figures it was a plain question of mediation ever, which were represented in those archaic symbols.

The combination of belief in (animal)-ancestors and cult of sacrifice was concentrated in the hope of living on hereafter, in case of gods and ancestors could have been convinced of accepting the sacrifice, which was given to them. The shaman was responsible for these rituals. He covered himself in animal coats, learned the language of birds and led the dead to hereafter. As a living totem he was and he is the stable part of shamanic totemism.

He keeps the connection between both, the world of living and the world of death. He performs the mental link between totemistic and shamanic systems of belief. Shamanism is living totemism. By means of mystic cults and higher religions totemistic thinking sept into the modern world. On such conditions a mystic supertotem, the Deus occultus, was created. Meantime there aren´t any bloody sacrifices of men and animals any longer. From the awakening of higher religions cults of sacrifices were made more and more humane and were put into directions of a voluntary kind of service. The inner spiritual sacrifice has replaced the outer one of pain. Nevertheless the interest of men steering souls for being calm is staying alive.

Currently digital constructed masstotems are dominating. They contain pictograms, photos and paintings and for that reason they are objects of presentation of “living memory”, but also of controlling consciousness. In this sense brands of cars and public coats of arms are to be noted, which are similar to animals, esoteric movements and living totems of modern shamanism. So Lady Gaga is the iconic figure of postmodern times. She´s a shining person of giant interest. Her appeal attracts mass audiences into dreamlands of her fantasy. “Archaic technique of ecstasy” (M. Eliade) of shamanism has adapted to the customs of the multimedial period.


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