Amazonian transformations of shamanism: talking about action among the Arabela (Peru) and education in residential schools among the E’ñepá (Venezuela)


Słowa kluczowe:

shamanism, indigenous people, Amazon, anthropology, bodily tansformation


In this article, we show how the category of shamanism may be useful in the analysis of social practices of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. We demonstrate that an expanded understanding of shamanism, as present in the contemporary Amerindian anthropology, allows for a better understanding of cultural phenomena that have hitherto been interpreted in terms of interethnic relations or educational research. We focus on two phenomena seemingly distant from ontology and religion. The first involves the constitution of social relations in a contempo[1]rary indigenous multi-ethnic society (Arabela, Peru), the second is related to the education of children and adolescents in residential Indian schools (E’ñepá, Venezuela). We will show that in both areas one may find shamanic understandings of corporeality and patterns of relations with Others, with controlled bodily transformation playing a key role.