This article is from the Religion-Shamanism FAQ, by Dean Edwards, Stef Jones, Jilara, Jane Beckman, Ann Albers with numerous contributions by others.
The practice, study and experience of the shaman is not
limited to any single cultural group. There has been some question
about this raised outside of soc.religion.shamanism. The word
'shaman' is from the language of the Tungus of Siberia. It is
variously 'shaman', 'saman' or 'haman'. Among the Tungus it is
both a noun and a verb. The Tungus themselves have no word for
'shamanism'. It is something that is done by a shaman. It is by no
means the name of their religion or of anyone's religion. That
being said, there is no provision in the charter of soc.religion.
shamanism for the general discussion of native religion. That is,
as it has been pointed out elsewhere, a very broad topic. The
focus of this newsgroup, according to its charter is much more
tightly focused. All submissions should keep that in mind.