Beliefs and practices promoting communication with the spiritual world.


Shantytown: an area in or around a city where people live in temporary shacks, often without basic services such as running water.

Shatter belt

A large, strategically located region composed of conflicting states caught between the conflicting interests of great powers.


A person of Tibetan ancestry in Nepal serves as the traditional mountain guide of the Mount Everest region.

Shi’a Islam

The branch of Islam regarding male descendants of Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, as the only rightful successors to the Prophet Muhammad.


A native animist tradition of Japan, Shinto practice is based upon the premise that every being and object has its spirit or kami.


The emperor’s army with the powers of a military dictator, a position created by the Japanese emperor in 1192 after a struggle between two powerful clans.