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Victims and WarriorsViolence, History, and Memory in Amazonia$
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Casey High

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039058

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039058.001.0001

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Shamans and Enemies

Shamans and Enemies

(p.147) Chapter 6 Shamans and Enemies
Victims and Warriors

Casey High

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the themes of shamanism and witchcraft in the context of Waorani–Quichua relations in Toñampari. Even as a growing number of kowori have come to live in Waorani villages, Quichua people continue to have a prominent place in local discussions of enmity and violence. This sense of alterity can be seen in Waorani ideas about shamanism, a practice that is associated closely with Quichuas. This chapter describes indigenous understandings of shamanism and the historical role of shamans in mediating intercultural relations in Amazonia. It considers how Quichuas have become the primary source of both shamanic curing and witchcraft accusations, a seemingly paradoxical situation that reflects indigenous understandings of shamanism and Waorani efforts to “live well” in contemporary villages in the aftermath of violence. The chapter shows that Waorani in Toñampari object to shamanism not because of a lack of belief in its efficacy but because shamanic power presents a threat to the idealized conditions of living in what they call a comunidad (community).

Keywords:   shamanism, witchcraft, Waorani, Quichua, Toñampari, enmity, violence, shamans, intercultural relations, comunidad

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