Dark shamans

Dark shamans – A distinction is commonly drawn in Amazonia between “curing shamans” and “dark shamans.” This should not be interpreted, however, as “our shamans” versus “enemy shamans” because all shamans may potentially act against their family and neighbors and not only against enemies. The alignment of dark shamans with cannibal deities may be a specific form of shamanic mediation by which the extreme predation of the deities is lessened by a diminished level of violence committed by shamans. Noting that there are “three distinct but related shamanic complexes: piya, alleluia and kanaimà,” Neil Whitehead discusses kanaimà (a particular form of dark shamanism) at length, describing it as a form of “assault sorcery” that “involves the mutilation and lingering death of its victims.”

SOURCE:

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

BOOKS FOR YOU TO READ IN OUR LIBRARY:

Related Articles

Kanaimà

Kanaimà – The predominant form of dark shamanism in Amazonia. Neil Whitehead defines it as “assault sorcery,” which involves the “mutilation and lingering death of…

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…

Whitehead, Neil

Whitehead, Neil – Professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research and publications are mostly concerned with Amazonian peoples and the influence…

Cannibalism

Cannibalism – The seemingly ubiquitous fear of cannibalism is expressed in many similar myths and allegations about cannibals in many cultures. Shamans may be expected…

Sorcery

Sorcery – term used to refer to the harmful (combat or assault) activities associated with some shamans, especially when turned against their own kin or…