Shamanism: A Brief History of the Ancient Art of Healing

This introduction and following series of related posts on shamanism serve as an online version of our 2017 fall exhibition, ‘Balancing The Universe: Shamanic Amulets, Instruments and Costumes’. We also have a full color photo catalog available of the all the pieces in the show and 12 color postcards of selected pieces. Scroll down to see catalog and cards at end of this post.

You have likely heard the term ‘Shaman’, but who were – or, are they? Shamanism is an intriguing phenomenon.
Since the beginning of humanity, there has been a need to cure the ailing, and to integrate the physical and spiritual worlds. This universal need gave rise to the art of healing or, ‘Shamanism’. A shaman is a highly trained and disciplined, man or woman, who can enter the spirit world at will to communicate with and influence spirits in service to their community. They have been the keepers of knowledge, the healers, the priests, and the philosophers in virtually all societies around the globe.

Animism, the belief that all things have souls, is another globally shared phenomenon and forms the spiritual origins of the rituals and traditions that most of us in the modern western world see as mysterious. But what is art, science or religion without mystery? Art and spirit converge in this show to take you on a journey into the inspiring and enlightening unknown.

All shaman have a unique repertoire of amulets, instruments, and costumes essential to their own culture. This exhibition includes a wide range of  spiritual artifacts personally collected by David Bardwick over the last fifteen years from Nepal, Nagaland and Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, and across the Indonesian Islands.

Shamanism is a matter of curiosity for those unfamiliar with its conventions, but it endures as a universal healing method and path to the spirit world which are integral parts of daily life for billions of people around the world

The catalog includes a dedication and personal forward from the collector, David Bardwick, of the David Alan Collection, and text on the history of Shamanism and of shamanism specific to each of the locations/cultures represented.
Exhibition Catalog from the Balancing The Universe: Shamanic Amulets, Instruments and Costume. A full color, 72 page catalog of almost all of the Shaman objects in the exhibition. $14. 
Postcards of selected pieces from the Shamanic Objects exhibition at David Alan Collection. they are a collection of pieces from Nepal, Vietnam , Myanmar and from several different islands in Indonesia. They are all authentic, rare objects used by Shaman priests for healing and for other various tribal rituals performed for the good of the community
12 color postcards for $12. Selected shaman pieces from the Balancing The Universe exhibition.

Shaman, Asian Art and Healing Magic: The Debut of a 15 Year Collection

Shamanic Culture, Tribal Art, Healing and Magic converge in an unmatched, museum quality collection of over 300 shaman pieces from across SE Asia. We had an opening extravaganza to debut the rare amulets, instruments and costumes, acquired over the last 15 years.  

It took months to research the individual pieces that represent many different, ancient healing cultures from South East Asia – Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Nagaland (India) and across the 17,000 Islands of Indonesia. Some of the pieces have been passed down through generations of healers and date back 400 years. Please inquire for a tour of the magical mystery pieces! If you have the time to browse, we learned a lot and would love to share all the intriguing histories.

For continuity, we have grouped the blog entries by country and culture. Check back as we continue to add a full listing and photographs of all pieces in the original exhibition.