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Shamans are the spiritual leaders and healers of indigenous cultures around the world, and shamanism is a healing practice and way of life that connects us with nature and with the spiritual realm, through drumming, ritual and altered states of consciousness. Shamans communicate with the spirits of people, animals, plants and places; have knowledge of healing plants and perform divination. Sweat lodges, which give purification through heat, and vision quests (journeys into the wilderness) form part of the shamanic landscape, whilst drums, feathers, rattles, pipes and other artefacts are treated with reverence and used for ritual or ceremonial purposes.