In Darkness and Secrecy brings jointly ethnographic examinations of Amazonian attack sorcery, witchcraft, and injurious magic, or “dark shamanism.” Anthropological reflections on South American shamanism have tended to stress shamans’ therapeutic powers and optimistic impression. This assortment demanding situations that assumption through displaying that darkish shamans are, in lots of Amazonian cultures, relatively diverse from shamanic healers and prophets. attack sorcery, particularly, comprises violence leading to actual damage or maybe loss of life. whereas highlighting the individuality of such practices, In Darkness and Secrecy finds them as no much less appropriate to the continuation of tradition and society than curing and prophecy. The individuals recommend that the patience of darkish shamanism might be understood as a kind of engagement with modernity.
These essays, through major anthropologists of South American shamanism, reflect on attack sorcery because it is practiced in components of Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, and Peru. They research the social and political dynamics of witchcraft and sorcery and their relation to cosmology, mythology, ritual, and different kinds of symbolic violence and aggression in every one society studied. additionally they talk about the family of witchcraft and sorcery to interethnic touch and the ways in which shamanic energy can be co-opted by way of the kingdom. In Darkness and Secrecy comprises reflections at the moral and sensible implications of ethnographic research of violent cultural practices.
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Extra info for In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia
Hierarchically organized like the ancients, priest-shamans of subtribal populations are ranked according to their statuses. " In early times, distressed by the amount of illness that prevailed among his people, the founder of priest-shamanism visited the supreme spirit of the south in order to negotiate the noted contract of reciprocal assistance. In exchange for a one-time sacrifice of ten persons, he was granted one of the god's own sons in the form of a rock crystal, and he accommodated the idol in a basket within the village shrine.
10 Food was catered to them by their sons-in-law and by other rank and file, and most of their further needs were taken care of by former patients who had mortgaged their bodies in compensation for a healing they had received. " Even today when ceremonial centers no longer exist, this institution of healer bondage continues to prevail among the Warao, and elders maintain the lifestyle, assume the rights, and exercise the powers of former center residents. Traditionally, the assembly of elders includes the "fathers" (arimatuma) of the ancient one (priest-shaman), of the wooden figurine (light shaman), of rain (weather shaman), and of hoa (dark shaman), plus an occasional old shaman of lesser rank.
Together with their chosen teacher, they retire for a week to an isolated hut and start the process of initiation. ' Toward the end of this initial period, the master takes the burning end of a two -foot-long cigar into his mouth and blows a hoebo spirit into it. He hands this magically endowed cigar to his anxious ward and asks him to inhale its content deep into his chest. On performing the same task for a second time (with a brother of the first hoebo spirit), the student levitates in narcotic trance to the zenithal house, where he comes face-to-face with Miana's son, Hoebo, the guardian of dark shamanism.