Various similar and related words in diverse Amazonian languages refer to the kind of shamans who have the ability to heal illnesses or commit violence (predation). In some languages (e.g., that of the Wayapí discussed by Alan Campbell), cognate terms are not nouns but verbs and adjectives and should be translated as “shamanize” or “shamanic.” Neil Whitehead distinguishes piya from alleluia and kanaimà practices and practitioners. Although all might be dangerous, it is only “kanaimà’san” (practitioners of kanaimà) who are by definition “assault sorcerers.” Piya shamans “are primarily sought after to heal.”

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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