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In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia

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In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Darkness and Secrecy brings together ethnographic examinations of Amazonian assault sorcery, witchcraft, and injurious magic, or “dark shamanism.” Anthropological reflections on South American shamanism have tended to emphasize shamans’ healing powers and positive influence. This collection challenges that assumption by showing that dark shamans are, in many Amazonian cultures, quite different from shamanic healers and prophets. Assault sorcery, in particular, involves violence resulting in physical harm or even death. While highlighting the distinctiveness of such practices, In Darkness and Secrecy reveals them as no less relevant to the continuation of culture and society than curing and prophecy. The contributors suggest that the persistence of dark shamanism can be understood as a form of engagement with modernity.

These essays, by leading anthropologists of South American shamanism, consider assault sorcery as it is practiced in parts of Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, and Peru. They analyze the social and political dynamics of witchcraft and sorcery and their relation to cosmology, mythology, ritual, and other forms of symbolic violence and aggression in each society studied. They also discuss the relations of witchcraft and sorcery to interethnic contact and the ways that shamanic power may be co-opted by the state. In Darkness and Secrecy includes reflections on the ethical and practical implications of ethnographic investigation of violent cultural practices.

Contributors. Dominique Buchillet, Carlos Fausto, Michael Heckenberger, Elsje Lagrou, E. Jean Langdon, George Mentore, Donald Pollock, Fernando Santos-Granero, Pamela J. Stewart, Andrew Strathern, Márnio Teixeira-Pinto, Silvia Vidal, Neil L. Whitehead, Johannes Wilbert, Robin Wright

About the Author

\

Neil L. Whitehead is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Among his most recent books are Dark Shamans: Kanaim

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction - The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft Neil L. Whitehead and Robin Wright 1. The Order of Dark Shamans among the Warao Johannes Wilbert (University of California-Los Angeles) 2 Dark Shamans and the Shamanic State: Sorcery and Witchcraft as Political Process in Guyana and the Venezuelan Amazon. Silvia Vidal and Neil L. Whitehead (Instituo Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificias, University of W isconsin-Madison) 3 The Wicked and the Wise Men: Witches and Prophets in the History of the Northwest Amazon Robin Wright (Universidade Estadual de Campinas) 4 Sorcery Beliefs, Transmission of Shamanic Knowledge and Therapeutic Practice among the Desana of the Upper Rio Negro Region (Brazil) Dominique Buchillet -Institut de recherche pour le d

Product Details

ISBN:
9780822385837
Subtitle:
The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20040513
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
327

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » Latin America
Metaphysics » Magic Witchcraft and Paganism

In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia
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Product details 327 pages Duke University Press Books - English 9780822385837 Reviews:
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