photo: Yanomami: shamanic transformation – Barbara Crane Navarro
«The gold prospectors became very many in our forest highlands, destroying the river’s headwaters and killing their inhabitants with their diseases. The gold miners are earth-eaters, evil beings! Their thought is empty and they are full of epidemic smoke! We must prevent them soiling our rivers and chase them out of the forest.
All the most valiantxapirispirits come down to fight thexawaraepidemic and gather in an innumerable troop to confront it. When it really becomes too dangerous and they must save their people from death, our shaman elders even make the epidemic’s own image dance … once it becomes axapirispirit, it bravely fights the white people’s dangerous metal smoke… This is how our great shamans sometimes succeeded in driving this fierce disease away and curing its victims in the past. Yet most often thexawaraepidemic proves tougher…
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