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|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Stone Shamanism is the only known religion practiced in Shinovar. It is led by a group of Stone Shamans, also known as the Shamanate. The shamans are thought to be able to communicate with the spirits of stones. Taravangian considers the Shamanate to be the leaders of Shinovar and their word is law. They are able to name people Truthless and banish them.
The gods of Stone Shamanism are the spirits of stones, along with the spirits of other aspects of the natural world such as the sun and stars. The sun is referred to as the "god of gods". Fields and farm villages in Shinovar are also considered holy. Foreigners are not allowed near them, and farmers have an elevated level of respect in their culture. According to Nale, the Shin actually revere the spren related to natural objects like stones, rather than the stones themselves. The Shin believe that their gods directly watch over them, except during the darkest period of night called the "hateful hour", and may try to physically hide their faces from the gods if they are ashamed of something. The religion includes the concepts of sin and forgiveness, and killing someone is considered the greatest sin.
The followers of Stone Shamanism believe that stone is holy and it is profane to set foot on it. This is possible in Shinovar because the ground is covered in soil rather than rock, unlike most of the Rosharan continent. The only exception to this rule is Urithiru, where the stones are not cursed because the entire site is considered holy. These restrictions result in the Shin people rarely leaving their lands; outsiders are referred to as "stonewalkers". Mining is considered a sacrilege, and they only use Soulcast metal. Merchants such as Vstim are able to therefore able to make very profitable trades with the Shin using small amounts of Soulcast metal, although the trader must prove that the metal is not sullied by rock.
The Shin also consider Stormlight and associated magic, such as Honorblades and Shardblades, to be holy. Szeth mentions that Vorin people lack adequate reverence for Stormlight and the spirits of living things around them; he seems to find the use of Stormlight for illumination and decoration vulgar. Shin people are also uninterested in using fabrials.
Stone Shamanism appears to be related to the centuries-old Shin concept of the Truthless. Telling the truth seems to be paramount in Shin society, as the end of truth would signify the 'End of All Things'. The Shamanate has the power to deem someone Truthless and banish them from Shinovar. However, the shamans are fallible and have made mistakes in the past.
Death and Afterlife
When people who follow Stone Shamanism die, they believe that their souls continue to exist and are 'given to the stones'. This includes those who are Truthless, although their sins are not absolved and their souls are subjected to eternal punishment.
Szeth and his father Neturo believed in Stone Shamanism. After Szeth became Truthless and left Shinovar, he began to question many of his beliefs. He eventually concluded that the Shamanate was wrong and he had never actually been Truthless.
The Shin took responsibility for nine of the Honorblades after the Last Desolation. They trained and experimented with the powers of the Blades and assigned individual people to carry them. The bearers of the Blades may have been conscripted rather than asked, and this assignment could persist even if they became Truthless. The Stone Shamans played a role in the the stewardship of the Blades, and were responsible for recovering them from other parts of Roshar if they were lost. Their methods kept the Honorblades safe for millenia, and they were even used in attempted invasions of other nations.
However, the Shamanate eventually lost control of at least three of the Honorblades; two Heralds (Nale and Ishar) reclaimed their Blades while Jezrien's Blade was won by Kaladin and ended up with Vyre. Szeth claimed that the Shin would not have given the Heralds back their Honorblades willingly, but the Shamanate is not known to have made any attempts at recovering the lost Blades. Ishar told Szeth that he took back his Honorblade while saving the Shin after they tried to accept the Unmade as their gods. However, Ishar is known to be insane and the veracity of his claim is unclear. The remaining six Honorblades are thought to remain under the protection of the Stone Shamans, but even well-informed people such as Mraize have had difficulty tracking them during the True Desolation.
- The Way of Kings interlude I-6#
- Oathbringer chapter 16#
- Words of Radiance interlude I-10#
- Words of Radiance chapter 88#
- Rhythm of War interlude I-7#
- The Way of Kings chapter 71#
- The Way of Kings prologue#
- The Way of Kings interlude I-4#
- Words of Radiance chapter 41#
- Oathbringer chapter 92#
- Rhythm of War chapter 111#
- The Way of Kings interlude I-9#
- Rhythm of War chapter 16#
- Oathbringer chapter 38#
- Rhythm of War chapter 17#
- Oathbringer chapter 98#
- Stuttgart signing
— Arcanum - 2019-05-17#
- Oathbringer chapter 106#
- Words of Radiance chapter 87#
- Oathbringer chapter 122#
- Rhythm of War chapter 78#