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In Darkness and Secrecy


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Dark Shamanism / Neil L. Whitehead and Robin Wright 1
The Order of Dark Shamans among the Warao / Johannes Wilbert 21
Dark Shamans and the Shamanic State: Sorcery and Witchcraft as Political Process in Guyana and the Venezuelan Amazon / Silvia Vidal and Neil L. Whitehead 51
The Wicked and the Wise Men: Witches and Prophets in the History of the Northwest Amazon / Robin Wright 82
Sorcery Beliefs, Transmissions of Shamanic Knowledge, and Therapeutic Practice among the Desana of the Upper Rio Negro Region, Brazil / Dominique Buchillet 109
The Glorious Tyranny of Silence and the Resonance of Shamanic Breath / George Mentore 132
A Blend of Blood and Tobacco: Shamans and Jaguars among the Parakana of Eastern Amazonia / Carlos Fausto 157
The Wars Within: Xinguano Witchcraft and Balance of Power / Michael Heckenberger 179
Siblings and Sorcerers: The Paradox of Kinship among the Kulina / Donald Pollock 202
Being Alone amid Others: Sorcery and Morality among the Arara, Carib, Brazil / Marnio Teixeira-Pinto 215
Sorcery and Shamanism in Cashinahua Discourse and Praxis, Purus River, Brazil / Elsje Lagrou 244
The Enemy Within: Child Sorcery, Revolution, and the Evils of Modernization in Eastern Peru / Fernando Santos-Granero 272
Commentary / E. Jean Langdon 306
Afterword: Substances, Powers, Cosmos, and History / Andrew Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart 314
Contributors 321
Index 324

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Ethnographic study of shamanism in lowland South America, analyzing the relations between the social, political, and historical dynamics of witchcraft and sorcery

About the Author

Neil L. Whitehead is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Among his most recent books are Dark Shamans: Kanaima and the Poetics of Violent Death (published by Duke University Press) and Beyond the Visible and the Material: The Amerindianization of Society in the Work of Peter Riviere (coedited with Laura Rival).Robin Wright is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Research in Indigenous Ethnology at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil. He is the author of Cosmos, Self, and History in Baniwa Religion: For Those Unborn and the editor of several books in Spanish.


"The great merit of this volume is that it amply documents the wide variety of ideas and practices that can be classified as shamanistic in Amazonia and, in so doing, establishes that dark shamanism is an essential element of the worldviews and moral philosophies of peoples of this region."--David Maybury-Lewis, Harvard University "In Darkness and Secrecy takes sectors of Amazonian ethnography to a new level of productive and provocative excellence."--Norman Whitten, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign "This book has an original and valuable focus: it is about the 'dark side' of shamanism in Amazonia."--Jrnl of Contemporary Religion, Vol 21, No. 1, 2006 " ... a stimulating repository of ideas in this informed, intelligent, and important contribution to the comparative investigation of shamanism."--ANTHROPOS, 101.2006

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