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The English historian Ronald Hutton noted that by the dawn of the 21st century, there were four separate definitions of the term which appeared to be in use.
The word "shaman" probably originates from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia.
The wounded healer is an archetype for a shamanic trial and journey. S/he undergoes a type of sickness that pushes her or him to the brink of death.
This happens for two reasons: Shamans claim to gain knowledge and the power to heal by entering into the spiritual world or dimension.
The earliest known depiction of a Siberian shaman, drawn by the Dutch explorer Nicolaes Witsen, who wrote an account of his travels among Samoyedic- and Tungusic-speaking peoples in 1692.
Witsen labelled the illustration as a "Priest of the Devil," giving this figure clawed feet to express what he thought were demonic qualities.