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.”

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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