Toward an Embodied Ethnopoetics
This chapter explores the poetic qualities and nuances of the art of ritual healing, a genre termed as “somatic poetry.” Flowing out from the emphasis of the body as a site of social and cosmological action in the Amazonian world, somatic poetry is multimodal art created by listening, feeling, smelling, seeing, and tasting of natural subjectivities, not just those emanating from human speech or from the human mind. Somatic poetry involves the creative use of words and music and also plants, animals, and the landscape—entities recognized as having subjectivity and creative powers, powers that are internal rather than external to the art. The chapter provides one example of Amazonian somatic poetry, a healing practice called kushnirina, a medicinal vapor bath designed to cleanse and provide energy for the body. It then comments on Federico Calapucha's manioc story and a shamanic song performed by Lucas Tapuy in 2007. These examples show that somatic poetry is about creating loops of intersecting relationships with different species and unseen subjectivities of the landscape and the spirit world.
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