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Tukano – Shamans, or payé, among the Tukano of Colombia use tobacco and ayahuasca in order to engage with such other-thanhuman persons as the powerful jaguar. Key research among the payé was conducted by Colombian anthropologist Gerardo ReichelDolmatoff, who wrote the classic The Shaman and the Jaguar (1975) in which he summarized that the principal spheres of a payé are the curing of disease, the obtaining of game animals and fish from their supernatural masters, the presiding over rituals in the individual life cycle, and defensive or aggressive action against personal enemies. In all these aspects the role of the payé is essentially that of a mediator and moderator between superterrestrial forces and society, and between the need for survival of the individual and the forces bent on his destruction—sickness, hunger and the ill will of others.

Reichel-Dolmatoff’s work on entoptic phenomena in the geometric art of the Tukano was also influential on the shamanistic approach to rock art.


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


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