Mysteries of the Jaguar Shamans of the Northwest Amazon
Publication Year: 2013
Mysteries of the Jaguar Shamans of the Northwest Amazon tells the life story of Mandu da Silva, the last living jaguar shaman among the Baniwa people in the northwest Amazon. In this original and engaging work, Robin M. Wright, who has known and worked with da Silva for more than thirty years, weaves the story of da Silva’s life together with the Baniwas’ society, history, mythology, cosmology, and jaguar shaman traditions. The jaguar shamans are key players in what Wright calls “a nexus of religious power and knowledge” in which healers, sorcerers, priestly chanters, and dance-leaders exercise complementary functions that link living specialists with the deities and great spirits of the cosmos. By exploring in depth the apprenticeship of the shaman, Wright shows how jaguar shamans acquire the knowledge and power of the deities in several stages of instruction and practice.
This volume is the first mapping of the sacred geography (“mythscape”) of the Northern Arawak–speaking people of the northwest Amazon, demonstrating direct connections between petroglyphs and other inscriptions and Baniwa sacred narratives as a whole. In eloquent and inviting analytic prose, Wright links biographic and ethnographic elements in elevating anthropological writing to a new standard of theoretically aware storytelling and analytic power.
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
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Since the seventies, Robin Wright has immersed himself in the study In this book—much of which is seen through the eyes of the elder jaguar shaman and “wise man” or prophet of his people, Manuel “Mandu” da Silva—the ancient ways of the Baniwa shamans come to life, not only for scholars but in a way that will be familiar to ...
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To the most important of my teachers, Manuel “Mandu” da Silva, Hohodene jaguar shaman, his wife, Flora, and all of their family, phiume nukitchienape, more thanks than I can express, matchia hape. A ceramic vessel for beer, an ancient stone ax head, and shamanic knowledge of shamans’ power, with the invaluable assistance of ...
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...since 1976. It focuses on the only living jaguar shaman among the Baniwa, Mandu da Silva of the village of Uapui, Aiary River, who has been a shaman for more than sixty-four years. The idea to write his biography came from his daughter, Ercilia, and Mandu gladly obliged. His narrative is the only one on record of a shaman who ...
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Mandu da Silva is the only living jaguar shaman among the Baniwa/1980s, he was chief of the village of Uapui on the Aiary River. Mandu’s story is extraordinary in many ways. It bears similarities to the life narratives of the powerful jaguar shamans and prophets tives obviously differ from Mandu’s because they were told in the ...
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As part of my interpretation of Mandu’s life story, I will integrate pajé, what the community expects of pajés, and what special pow-tools of interpretation, since we do not claim to fully understand their experience. We seek to understand what is involved in the pajés’ construction of their new “shamanic” selves (newiki, person/...
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In his life narrative, Mandu refers to periods of much suffering, and there are strong reasons to believe that his suffering was related sorcerer, who was a sib-brother, from the early 1970s until 1989. This story is now over, but it shows a long-term struggle for power between a sorcerer and a pajé, a theme that appears in many of the ...
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This chapter discusses the metaphysical and ecological principles on this are the experienced and powerful jaguar shamans. Here I seek to build on and revise previously published versions of cos-of the highly respected and powerful jaguar shamans still alive at the beginning of this century. Two of them have since died, one ...
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Ethnographic mapping shows that there is an extensive “sacred ation traditions. This includes waterfalls with petroglyphs and the beginning of the universe at the Hipana rapids, first initiation rites at Ehnípan, the first death, and the beginning of shamanism. The ancestors are said to have left traces of their presence at these ...
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The child Kuwai is an extraordinary being — the child of the sun, who is spirit, animal, and person all in one. Part jaguar, part sloth or other tree-living animal, he can transform into a set of beau-mixture of aspects of being, many “intentionalities” that don’t world and especially in the initiates. The narrative of his life, death, ...
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...become adults and are taught to live well in society and the world. The children are taught the differences between truth and falsity, and then flies away to his place in the corner of the sky, unbridled world safe for the new generations. This entire episode, I shall knowledge from grandfather’s and father’s generations to son’s ...
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Nhiãperikuli initiated his son with the flutes and told him to he tried to get them back, spirit darts shot from the mouths of and took the flutes upriver to a fenced settlement on a hill called Motípana (headwaters of the Uaraná River, off the upper Aiary). There, their youngest sister had her first menstrual period, so ...
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The pajés’ songs, discourses about the Other World, and stories of the prophets refer to a place of eternal happiness, Kathimakwe, at or near the top of the universe but hidden to all but the jaguar shamans. Those pajés are believed to have the power to reveal it handle of the harpy eagle Kamathawa, the handle of their rattle ...
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In August 2010, when this book was in its early stages, an historic advance in favor of the protection of indigenous knowledge — in particular, shamanism and the sacred traditions related to “Yuru-measure was acclaimed by one unidentified anthropologist as “quite an enlightened way to deal with issues of bio-cultural diversity in ...
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Page Count: 424
Illustrations: 18 photographs, 7 illustrations, 2 maps, 2 tables, 3 appendixes
Publication Year: 2013