Available now: January 2023, Published by Callender Press
The Diet and Path of an Amazonian Shaman (Amazon.uk link)
Laurent FONTAINE & Fermín RODRÍGUEZ YUCUNA
In shamanism, there are two paths. The first always occurs involuntarily and unexpectedly when one has been chosen by an invisible entity (spirit, ancestor or master of the forest), most often during a traumatic event (illness, accident or Near Death Experience). However, the second path requires that one expresses his will to develop his powers with master shamans by means of rituals and initiation trials. For anyone who has never had the opportunity to be challenged by supernatural entities, the second path not only allows to meet them in order to ask for a spiritual development, but also to recover shamanic powers apparently lost. This is the path that Fermín followed during seven years of dieting and learning incantations, to ‘see’ and ‘extract’ diseases of the body, and even travel as a jaguar in unsuspected worlds.
About the authors
Laurent Fontaine is a linguistic anthropologist who received his PhD in anthropology in 2001 and his Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR) in 2015 from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3. He is an affiliated member of the LACITO (Languages and Cultures of Oral Tradition), a multidisciplinary research laboratory of the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) and a Director of Research at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3.
His PhD thesis was about the rules of gifts and exchanges which are implicitly and explicitly used in every form of speech (mythology, conversations and ceremonial dialogues) of the Yucuna Indians (arawakan language) in the Colombian Amazon, near La Pedrera. Developing a corpus of transcription of the Indian's speech acts collected in different situations, he has analysed it to distinguish Yucuna's institutions (kinship, shamanism and ceremonial residence of roundhouse) with White's institutions.
He has developed the corpus and tried to use the deontic logic of Von Wright to formalise the analysis of the Yucuna Social System in order to study its historical transformations and to show the possibility of comparing it with other societies or cultures. Now he is specialised in the yucuna incantations and ritual songs, and he is developing a corpus of mythology and incantations from the Tanimuca Indians (tucanoan language) who intermarry with the Yucuna.
His co-author Fermín Rodríguez Yucuna, is one of the last Yucuna-speaking shamans, called lawichú (or brujo in Spanish), who are generally considered by Yucuna Indians as the most powerful medicine-men.
Millennium cockspur coral tree in the village of La Pedrera.
Prohibited animals that can not be eaten recently smoked.
Scolopendre-Anaconda Ancestor surrounding the World.