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The Ecology of the Spoken WordAmazonian Storytelling and Shamanism among the Napo Runa$
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Michael A. Uzendoski and Edith Felicia Calapucha-Tapuy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036569

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036569.001.0001

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Primordial Floods and the Expressive Body

Primordial Floods and the Expressive Body

Chapter:
(p.41) Chapter 2 Primordial Floods and the Expressive Body
Source:
The Ecology of the Spoken Word
Author(s):

Michael A. Uzendoski

Edith Felicia Calapucha-Tapuy

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036569.003.0002

This chapter deals with voices that speak about the great flood, glossed as izhu punzha in the Napo Quichua vernacular. Izhu is an Quichua adaptation of the Spanish juicio, which indexes biblical notions of judgment, but the concept of the world ending and remaking itself through floods predates the arrival of Christianity to the region. The term izhu likely derives from the proselytizing voices of colonial Jesuit priests from times past, religious specialists who occupied and were expelled from Napo two times. The chapter discusses two stories and a song about izhu punzha. It shows that izhu punzha is a primordial story of destruction and remaking of the world. These stories teach that the world is constantly in flux and that no order, no state, no state of dominance will last forever. Izhu punzha is both a past and future reality, the beginning and the end of the world.

Keywords:   izhu punzha, great flood, Napo Quichua, judgment, destruction

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