Bhola Nath Banstola
Bhola Banstola is a renowned Nepali shaman, teacher, healer and researcher. Bhola is a 30th generation within his family to be chosen by the spirits to be a healer. His grandfather, who was the shaman of the village, initiated him. Educated in Nepal and India, Bhola holds a Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology from Delhi University. He is also a graduate in Naturopathy from the Indian board of Alternative Medicines in Calcutta.
Hale Kealohalani Makua
He was generally known and recognized as a kahuna elder and as a high chief all over the oceanic world. Makua was the keeper of an extraordinary and possibly unequaled body of knowledge. He was also a warrior, a mystic, a sage, and an accomplished shaman. He was a seventh generation descendent of King Kamehameha through his mother’s lineage, and his third wife Kahaku Ha’a Koi Wahine Pi’o, and a seventh generation descendent of High Chief Keoua Kuahu’ula, the son of High Chief Kalaniopu’u through his father’s side.
Wallace Black Elk
Wallace Black Elk (1921-2004) was a traditional Lakota Elder and spiritual interpreter, was a Channupa (sacred pipe) bearing and a descendant of Nicholas Black Elk, the author of Black Elk Speaks. He was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota where Nicholas Black Elk was one of his mentors. He was present at the occupation of Wounded Knee, and has been politically active in fighting for the rights of Native American people. He is a spiritual leader and has served as an international lecturer and as a Native American representative to the United Nations.
Tom Cowan is a shamanic practitioner specializing in Celtic visionary and healing techniques. He combines universal core shamanism with traditional European spirit lore to create spiritual practices that can heal and enrich one's own life and the lives of others. He is an internationally respected teacher, author, lecturer, and tour leader. He has taught training programs in England, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy; and most recently he was the first American shaman to teach in Slovakia.
Tom is the author of Yearning For The Wind, Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life, The Pocket Guide to Shamanism, The Book of Seance, The Way of the Saints: Prayers, Practices, and Meditations and Wending Your Way: A New Version of the Old English Rune Poem.
Initiated into the mysteries of shamanism at the age of 17, Kum-hwa became a Korean celebrity when she won a national folklore competition with a personal interpretation of a gut (shamanic ritual) in honor of North Korean generals. Named Korea's 82nd National Treasure in 1984, this pioneer of modern female shamans and advocate of reunification travels the world as a cultural ambassador but is best known at home as the star of a spectacular annual ritual, performed to assure the safety and prosperity of fishermen, that is broadcast on national television to millions of Korean households. It is this ceremony, Daedong Gut, that Kum-hwa will perform for the Festival and that holds the key to understanding the ongoing influence of shamanism in Korean arts.
The recent resurgence of interest in Korea's earliest religious tradition is hard won after centuries of domination by both Buddhist and Confucian belief systems which relegated shamans to society's lowest ranks.