Campbell, Alan T.

Campbell, Alan T. – Anthropologist (then at Edinburgh University) whose book Getting to Know Waiwai (1995) is a reflexive ethnography of the Wayapí of Amazonia. Campbell struggles to find ways to convey the wide range of meanings of the term payé (a cognate of piya), which functions as a verb or adjective rather than a noun. That is, people (humans and other-than-human persons) can perform shamanistic activities or be in a shamanistic state. He notes that some people and states can be “very shamanistic” and others “only slightly shamanistic” and sums up the ambiguity of “payépeople” by saying that it is “all very well to be the village doctor; but it’s not much of a role or an office to be the village killer.”

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

BOOKS FOR YOU TO READ IN OUR LIBRARY:

Related Articles

Wayapí

Wayapí – An Amazonian indigenous people. Alan Campbell’s ethnography is particularly interested in the Wayapí’s use of the term payé, which, though roughly cognate with…

Ambiguity

Ambiguity – Shamans in many cultures are perceived ambiguously. While they may be called upon to heal or protect their communities and clients, they may…

Piya

Piya – Various similar and related words in diverse Amazonian languages refer to the kind of shamans who have the ability to heal illnesses or…