July 11, 2011


‘We learn with the great spirits’ 

Picture © Claudia Andujar/Survival

The word, ‘shaman’, is thought to have originated with the Evenk people of Siberia, but shamans have a pivotal role in many tribal societies. Typically, they are men and women who specialise in communicating with the natural world and its spirits; people who have a heightened awareness of the divine and the intangible.
Shamans have many roles. They are variously healers and priests, custodians of their peoples’ sacred rituals, weather diviners, cosmologists, dream tellers and keepers of botanical knowledge.
Guided by spirits (xapiripë) and the wisdom of their ancestors,Yanomami shamans (xapiripë thëpë) command thunder storms and caution the winds.They prevent the sky from falling down and use their powers to ensure hunting successes, cure human diseases and put flight to hostile spirits.
The shamans give orders to the sun, and instruct the spirits to speak to the moon.

Picture © Claudia Andujar/Survival

I am shaman of the rainforest and I work with the forces of nature, not with the forces of money or weapons, says Davi.
Our wisdom is different. Our knowledge is a different knowledge.
It is the wisdom of our shamanic spirits, of the Earth, which is very important for the survival of humanity.

Picture © Claudia Andujar/Survival

Through dreams and trances, Yanomami shamans transcend the physical confines of their bodies and the limits of the human consciousness to commune with the xapiripë.
We Yanomami learn with the great spirits, the xapiripë. We learn to know the xapiripë, how to see them and listen to them. Only shamans – those who know the xapiripë – can see them, because they look like humans but are tiny as specks of sparkling dust and bright like light.
Their songs are powerful, and their thinking is straight.

1 comment:

  1. very nice and in accordance with my late thoughts...thank you Miguel