Horned Hunter — Shaman, Ancestor, and Deity

Natalia Mikhailova, Alan Garfinkel

Abstract


There are numerous depictions of antlered figures in the rock art of prehistoric Eurasia and many representations of horned humans in the Far West of North America. These antlered and horned individuals have in some cases been interpreted as wearing animal headdresses. Headdresses with deer antlers are recognized archaeologically in Mesolithic Europe. A prehistoric bighorn sheep headdress has been discovered and dated from Utah in the United States. Also there is historic ethnographic evidence of deer and bighorn sheep headdresses/disguises for Siberia, northern Europe and North America. We propose to compare these data and review similarities and differences in these cultural traditions. We highlight comparative data regarding their age, and associated animal ceremonialism in indigenous religious expression.


Keywords


ethnoarchaeology; prehistoric religion; rituals; shamans; cult of the deer; cult of the bighorn sheep

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References


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