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Dark Shamanism

Postat 2016-08-04

Dark Shamanism

"Waking from his ecstatic maiden voyage, the candidate begins the second phase of his initiation, which will take a full month to complete. Because he needs to nurture the fraternal hoebo spirits in his chest and make his nascent lariat grow longer, he fasts and smokes incessantly until the tendrils of this bifid sucking snare emerge from the corners of his mouth each time he chants Miana’s song or speaks ceremonially in a loud voice. As the ordeal of his induction draws to an end, the neophyte becomes increasingly emaciated and displays the symptoms of severe nicotine intoxication conducive to confirming the tenets of dark shamanism. He suffers from a smoker’s throat that makes the act of swallowing most painful. But, because his hunger pangs are quieted by nicotinic action he shows no interest in food or drink. Chances are that as the drug transports him deeper into Miana’s world, the neophyte experiences tobacco amblyopia (dimness of vision) and color blindness, which allow him to discern only white and yellow. His world takes on a bone-white, silverish hue, and he sees better in crepuscular light than in the open sunshine. As neurotransmission becomes progressively impaired, the candidate assumes a deathlike state, which in some cases stops him temporarily from breathing.8 In this acutely liminal condition, the novice meets a demonic spirit who beats him on the neck with a heavy cudgel. The spirit comes a second time and places him into a wooden dugout coffin. The fearsome demon then manifests a third and final time to entomb him in a sarcophagus that reeks of putrefaction. Near death, the neophyte beholds a beam of sunlight entering a crack in the coffin wall. Enlightened, he escapes and is reborn a new dark shaman."

 

"When, in the course of maturation, the time has come for the dark shaman to begin his service to the netherworld, the zenithal Hoebo takes the shaman there to present him to the divine macaw. The visitor looks around to see how the macaws are living. He sees the blood canoe with its inactive duct. He also sees the house in the village of diseased dark shamans (hoarao) that he will occupy on future visits and will dwell in permanently after death, when he assumes, like all his predecessors, a chimeric form that is half-parrot and half-human with a simian tail. But when the supreme macaw offers him a meal of human blood and roasted human flesh prepared with peppers, garlic, and onions he must decline,9 thereby demonstrating that, while the macaw’s ally, he is a mortal and not in food competition with the macaw people. Several nights later, a gratified macaw appears to the shaman begging him for food. If the zenithal Hoebo—in whose company the shaman spends his sleeping hours—should consent, the approached dark shaman will target, stalk, and kill a person at the next best opportunity

 

Sitting alone in his boat or somewhere in the forest, the sorcerer smokes five or six cigars to image and sequester the hoa of a particular object in the world around him, usually a plant or animal.¨
Once identified, he draws the fetid agent into himself so that it lodges in his throat. He blows his spirit sons into the final cigar and makes them linger just below the knot that ties the wrapper. Focusing his attention on the head of his intended victim, the sorcerer intones Miana’s ancient song to activate the snare below his sternum: Miana, warao akuamo saba (“dimvisioned, going for a person’s head”). With this, his proboscis begins unwinding and emerging from the corners of the conjurer’s mouth. Potentiated by the spirit sons, its bifid ends travel near or far to find their target and, once at their destination, wind themselves around the victim’s neck. This is the moment when the sorcerer takes another deep draught from his cigar, turns it about, and, holding the fire in his closed mouth, blows forcefully into it. Wafting from the distal end come ribbons of tobacco smoke that now transport the appropriated hoa across rivers and over tree tops to its intended target. It enters painfully below the victim’s rib cage and, with a final exclamation of the sorcerer’s song, “miana!”the snare asphyxiates the victim as the hoa penetrates the heart.
It takes the entire next day for the sucking snare to contract and completely return to its owner and it may take several additional days or even weeks before this magic murder will materialize. Meanwhile, though, the people are well aware of what is going on. The sorcerer had left the village unaccompanied and, soon thereafter, someone began complaining of strong chest pain. This someone will soon face complete annihilation and pass the final hours haunted by the specter of nothingness. Shortly before expiring, moribunds are often urged to identify their killer. The naming of the sorcerer provokes great fury among bystanders, who may revile and physically maltreat the culprit. The cadaverous pallor of his chest is seen as evidence of his culpability, as are his deeply nicotine-stained lips that resemble the macaw’s black lower beak, with which he breaks his victims’ skulls and necks. If nothing else, the mourners want the sorcerer quarantined for several days and scrutinized to see if he will suffer pain or issue blood by mouth or from his body. For when a hoa penetrates a person’s heart, the blood starts flowing through the proboscis into the sorcerer’s body. Furthermore, the morning after the interment, the sorcerer visits the aboveground tomb to criticize the dead person for having refused to give him food, payments, or gifts (such as a machete, boat, or woman). In voicing his complaints, he bends over the covered coffin and sucks the rest of the corpse’s blood out through a cane. The blood exchange between the victim and the sorcerer can also be observed in a spillage in the stools of patients, especially hoa-stricken children succumbing to dysentery; in the sputum of victims dying from hoa-mediated pulmonary tuberculosis; or from still other hemorrhagic specialties of dark shaman sorcery. Because of all these indications of occurring blood transfusion, quarantined sorcerers are expected to become soiled with blood or to leak excess blood from their bodies, thus determining their fault and fate They may be banned from their communities to lead a lonesome life accompanied only by a wife or daughter. However, even ostracism cannot prevent a sorcerer from causing further harm. No matter how isolated he may be from other people, his snare is never out of reach, and his macaw folk will keep prodding him for sustenance. Thus, with compulsive intermittent regularity, the veteran dark shaman must continue carrying blood (within his body) and corpses to the netherworld, dangling them head down on his back, their heads knocking against his heels with every step he takes in spiteful mockery of his victims.

 

 

Read it in...

In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia

by Neil L. Whitehead, Robin Wright

http://www.noaiddi.com/bokguide/shamanismn/in-darkness-and-secrecy/

 

 

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