Northern Asia, particularly Siberia is regarded as the locus classicus of shamanism. It is inhabited by a variety of ethnic groups, many of whom observe shamanistic practices even in modern times. Many classical ethnographic sources of “shamanism” were recorded among Siberian peoples.
These cultures are far from being alike. The same applies for their shamanistic beliefs and practice.
Terms for 'shaman' and 'shamaness' in Siberian languages
'shaman' : saman (Nedigal, Nanay, Ulcha, Orok), sama (Manchu) – these have been compared with Sanskṛt sāman 'chant'. The variant /šaman/ (i.e., pronounced "shaman") is Evenk (whence it was borrowed into Russian) : this Evenk pronunciation may have had its origin in ṣāman 'name of Sāman (in Lāṭyāyana Śrauta Sūtra)'"Monier Monier-Williams : Sanskrit–English Dictionary. p. 1306ahttp://books.google.com/books?id=8KFPBl9lLRcC&pg=PA1306&lpg=PA1306&dq=shaman+etymology+%22sama+veda%22&source=web&ots=5NNBdPpjgK&sig=bbTlPj9AFVOSkUccskC_4bhAe9w&hl=en&ei=WOaLSfmOFJaitgen1aSRCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result