Portals of Power: Shamanism in South America
Shamans and their practices have fascinated Western civilization since publication of the earliest ethnographies. Yet, alien to a positivistic worldview and characterized by hysteria, ecstasy, and magic, shamanism has continued to be classified as vestigial or archaic long after such labels have become meaningless. Lately, a fresh approach has emerged that rejects arbitrary definition in favor of symbolic analysis and native interpretation. Portals of Power explores this new perspective. Researchers from South America, Europe, and the United States examine shamanism in twelve South American societies. In considering such aspects as visionary experience, native conceptions of power, ritual efficacy, expressive culture, and response to change, contributors to this volume present shamanism as an enduring cultural form, rather than an archaic religion. This is a work that transcends debates about "true" shamanism, to present a global view of shamanism as a dynamic aspect of culture.
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activities Amazonian animals Arawakan auxiliary spirits ayahuasca Baniwa body Brazil called cause ceremony chant owner concept Culina cultural curing rituals cycle dance death Desana dori dreams Funes groups Guainía Guajiro hallucinogens healers healing heaven Hohodene human icaros illness incantation Indians indigenous individual ine'tsaane ingestion Isana jaguar journey Kagwahiv Kamsá knowledge kübü Kuwäi Langdon legend living lowland magic málikai málirrikairi manioc master shaman Matsigenka mediator medicine mestizo millenarianism musical myth mythical native nihue no'wet nonhuman novice pajé pajé's patient performance person phratries plants relations ritual specialists River role sacred sakaka sexual shaman shamanic power shamanic systems shamanistic Shipibo Sibundoy Sibundoy shaman sickness singing Siona social society songs soul specific substance supernatural symbolic Toba tobacco tobacco smoke tokáia tokorime trance transformation Tukanoan upper Rio Negro Vaupés Vaupés River vegetalista Venancio Venancio's movement Venezuela village visions Wakuénai witchcraft women Wright yagé Yaperikuli