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In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia (Paperback)
  • In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia (Paperback)
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In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia (Paperback)

(editor), (editor)
£21.99
Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 03/06/2004
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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, Marnio Teixeira-Pinto, Silvia Vidal, Neil L. Whitehead, Johannes Wilbert, Robin Wright

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822333456
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 235 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"The great merit of this volume is that it amply documents the wide variety of ideas and practices that can be classified as shamanistic in Amazonia and, in so doing, establishes that dark shamanism is an essential element of the worldviews and moral philosophies of peoples of this region."-David Maybury-Lewis, Harvard University
"In Darkness and Secrecy takes sectors of Amazonian ethnography to a new level of productive and provocative excellence."-Norman Whitten, University of Illinois

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