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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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The Iluku Myth, the Sun, and the Anaconda

The Iluku Myth, the Sun, and the Anaconda

(p.58) Chapter 3 The Iluku Myth, the Sun, and the Anaconda
The Ecology of the Spoken Word

Michael A. Uzendoski

Edith Felicia Calapucha-Tapuy

University of Illinois Press

This chapter shares the Iluku story and the origin of the sun story, two beginning-times transformations of celestial relations in Upper Amazonian Quichua mythology. In the first story, Iluku, the mother of the twins or culture heroes, is the analogical mother of the Amazonian Quichua community. The sun, by contrast, is a one-eyed anaconda, a being whose presence is analogic of masculine potency and human procreation. The chapter argues that the significance behind these stories is axis mundi relationality and a human condition defined by poetic relations with celestial, ecological, and spirit others. The relatedness among birds, people, rocks, rivers, the wind, the landscape, and various other presences provides people with a deep emotional and social attachment to the ecological world around them. The poetics of these narratives and songs derive from experience of this rich landscape. The stories, as shown through text as well as sound, emphasize the dependence of people on spirit and cosmological others in the larger complexity of life and its varied transformations.

Keywords:   Napo Runa mythology, axis mundi relationality, Iluku, sun, celestial relations, Quichua mythology

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