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Author(s): Edmundo Magaa

Review by: Edmundo Magaa
Source: Anthropos, Bd. 84, H. 4./6. (1989), pp. 612-614
Published by: Anthropos Institut
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612 Rezensionen

assortsthemintoninelinguistic-cultural groups:G, Ar- been madeforthisopinion,butno matter:theargu-

awak,Carib,Tup, Pano, Tukano,Yanomama,Jva- mentsbywhichtheauthorproceedsarefullofinsights,
roan,and"otherlinguistic families." Formostofthem, and empiricaldetailand theoretical formulation are
hesummarizes theirrelationship terminologies, systems melded together byanalytical acuity that,besides its ob-
ofallianceandhierarchy, andexternal relations. Local viousappealto regionalspecialists hasproducedan im-
groupsize and composition is providedforsome ex- pressive studyofsuchgeneralimportance as tothrust its
amples, and there is a summary evaluation at the end of relevance welloutside anyethnographic region - even
eachgroupdiscussed. one as expansiveas SouthAmerica!Americanists and
Thissectionoccupiesmostof theauthor'satten- kinship specialists alikewillfindthisengagingly written
tion,butthenheturns tothedaunting taskofattemptingbookmostenlightening reading. DavidHicks
to discern"generalcorrelations" in a typology of the
lowlandsocieties.Indeed,itis an impossible undertak-
ing,forwhatever criteria ofempirical comparison arese- Illius,Bruno:Ani Shinan.Schamanismus bei den
lected,thesetdecideduponcannotfailto be arbitrary. Shipibo-Conibo (Ost-Peru).Tbingen:VerlagScience
Yet Hornborg's selectionis as appropriate to hisambi- & Fiction, + 415pp.,Kt.,Fig.,Tab. (Ethnolo-
tionas onemight reasonably hopefor,andtheyarecer- gischeStudien,3) Preis:DM 51,90
tainlyofheuristic value.Theyinclude:otherdenotations Illius'well-documented workbeginswitha general
ofthetermusedforMBD and FZD; patterns ofpost- butalltoobriefdescription ofShipibo-Conibo society, a
marital residence;and preferred and/or actualspouses montaa fishing, hunting, andhorticultural tribeineast-
formaleego.Whatever thetheoretical merits ofthecon- ernPeru.Inhistreatment ofthegroup'ssubsistence acti-
clusionshe eventually draws,thecorrespondences he vitieshe devotesfarmoreattention to hunting andfish-
discovers are worthknowing, forexample,thatCrow ingthanto thecultivation ofmaniocandotheragricul-
equations virtually exclusive to the G-speakers, turalproducts, and failsto offer anydiscussion ofwom-
thattheDravidianequationofbothcross-cousins with en'scontribution to Shipibo-Conibo society andideolo-
thecategory of"spouse"predominates amongtheCar- gy.It seems,however,thatin Shipibo-Conibo theory
ibs,Pano, and Yanomama, and that the twocross-cous- hunting andagriculture areinitimately connected. Illius
insare terminologically distinguished onlyin societies writes thatmuchofthegameis caughtbythemenwhile
practising uxorilocal residence. working inthegardensand,moreimportantly, thatthe
I do havetoraiseoneethnographic point ofconten- hunters' preferred hunting territories are abandoned
tion.Hornborg confuses twodistinct populations under gardens.According to Illius,thisis because"die Pfade
thelabel"Caingang."Sincemostofthedataheadduces dortsindohne allzu groeMhe begehbar,die ver-
ontheirsocialforms andideationcomesfroma commu- bliebenenFrchtelockenTiere an, und die Sicht-
nityresident at theDuque de Caxiasreservation in the verhltnisse sindgnstig" (68). Elsewhere inthetropical
BrazilianstateofSantaCatarina,thenthislabelis mis- lowlands ofSouthAmericatheoldgardens aremeantto
this ismore termed " Awei- be used and other animals either in exchange
applied: population properly bygame
koma"or"Xoleng"(cf.D. Hicks,Structural Analysis in forthemeatobtainedbymenoras a wayofcompensat-
Anthropology. Case StudiesfromIndonesiaandBrazil. ingtheanimals'original lossoflandto menduring the
St. Augustin: Anthropos-Institut, 1978:Chap. 1). The clearingoftheforest forplanting. The relationship es-
"Caingang" constitute an altogether more numerous se- tablished by the Indians between hunting and agricul-
riesofcommunities scattered aroundthefoursouthern tureallowsustodefinecertain phasesoftheagricultural
statesofBrazil.Noris thedistinction one ofmereno- processas pertaining properly tothedomainofhunting,
menclature. The Aweikomaare cognaticin theirsocial as somevegetable products - likesomespeciesofyams-
organization and non-lineal in theirrelationship termi- and all theremaining plantsin theabandonedgardens
nology;the Kaingangexhibita two-section systemof areplantedorhavebeenplantedjusttoattract gamean-
termsaccompanied a
by patrilineal/uxorilocal form of imals in the overall exchangepattern established be-
descent/residence. tweenmenand animals.Huntingand agriculture, in
Havingcompleted thiscomparative survey, Horn- fact,seemto pertainto thesameconceptual construc-
borgis thenplacedto advancehis theoretical conclu- tion(on thistopic,see: E. Magaa,Oriony la mujer
sions,the mostfundamental of whichis that"social Plyades.Dordrecht 1988).
structure can onlybe surmised through thesystems of OtherdataobtainedbyIlliusareworthdiscussing
classificationinwhichitis imperfectly reflected, andby herebecauseoftheirrelevance to recentdebatesinthe
which itisindeterminately reproduced" (291).Thisfind- ethnology ofSouthAmerican Indians.He observes, for
ingcontrasts withtheviewsofRodneyNeedham,which instance, thattheShipibo-Conibo huntaloneandrarely
serveHornborg as a sortofdialectic foilbywhichhefor- in groups:and thatwhentheydo formgroupsto hunt
mulatesit,andis baseduponhiscontention thatsocial theyareusually formed bymenrelatedbyconsanguineal
structure is something thatexistsin a moreobjective ties(father andsonseemsto be themostcommon prac-
sensethanthesetheorists wouldconcede.Socialstruc- ticeamongtheShipibo).Thereis, however,no treat-
ture,he wouldconjecture, is "out there"readyto be mentoftheideological and/or cosmological basesofthe
perceived, evenifonlysubjectively and imperfectly. sociological organization of hunting. Like othertribes,
The presentreviewer is notsatisfied thecase has the Shipibo-Conibo use ideationalsymbolic meansto


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Rezensionen 613

enhancehuntingabilities,as attestedby the customof Shipibo-Coniboif it could be shown that the shaman,
rubbinga bird's eyes upon the hunter'seyes. Again, while expellingevil forcesfroma patient,intentionally
however,no discussionof thistopicis offered.Hunters, directsthemto certaintargets[. . .] ratherthanjust dis-
as elsewhere,do not carrythe game to the women's missingthemintospace" [The GeometricDesigns ofthe
houses but leave it in the canoe where theirwives or Shipibo-Conibo in Ritual Context. Journal of Latin
daughtershave to fetchit. Illius observeshere a custom AmericanLore 11. 1985: 166 f.]. He thenadvanced the
rarelyconceptualizedin anthropologicalaccounts that claimthatShipibo shamansattributetheirown sickness
he callstheritualdialoguebetweenhunterand womenin to thosewho are "hittingback.") The underworldis in-
whichmenpretend,afterarrivingat thevillage,to have habited by the chai coni, a kind of tribe of ancestors
[hunted]onlya smallthing.Accordingto Illius,thisstan- whosemembersare distinguished frompresent-day men
dardizeddialogue is meantto protectthe huntersfrom in thattheyhave no corporalorifices,do not copulate,
theforestspiritsin whose territories theyhave hunted. and feed themselvesby smellingtobacco smoke and
The Shipibomenalso abstainfromeatingfromthegame maniocbeer. The chai coni are Shipibowho have main-
theyhave caught. tained a pure culturalidentity- but, again, the author
ThoughIllius does not deal withthe cultivationof does not tell us why a closed body could convey this
maniocor itsideology,he includessome notesthatcould meaning.(On thispointRoe [1982: 120 f.] offerssome
add to our understanding of the tribe'sconstructionof interesting insightson the bodyorificesas metaphorfor
culturalidentity.During the last monthsof pregnancy social constructions.)Some other"good spirits"seem to
women have to observe strictdietaryrestrictions:all inhabitthislayer.The skyof the underworldis peopled
land animals, big fish,and some fruits.Eating them by nai yoshinbo,skypeople, and by Dios Inka. It is in-
would resultin a transformation of the foetus.The re- terestingto note here thatmanyspiritsare addressedas
strictionsalso applyforsome monthsafterbirthand it God; in fact,"God" seems to be a synonymfornai yo-
wouldseem thatthe same theoryis at work.The trans- shin. Dios Inka lives in a beautifulcity with golden
gressionsofthedietaryruleswould resultin an assimila- streetsand a marvellouschemist'sfarmaciawhereearth-
tionofthenewbornchildto thenatureofthespecieseat- lyshamansdo theirshopping.In thereal underworldlive
en. In fact,theveryfirstfoodreceivedbybabies is mani- the jacoma yoshinbo,the dangerous spiritswho deal
oc beer,masato,thehumanfood.Accordingto Illius' re- withdeathor withthe dead souls. Waterspiritsare also
vealingobservation,thedrinking ofmasatorunsparallel fearedas theycause several illnesses.Illius' closingre-
to or contributes to the formationof the baby's identity markon shamanismis that shamans mediate between
sincemasatois made frommanioc,thecharacteristic hu- the different cosmic domains.
man food. "Das Essen von Maniok kennzeichnetden A briefchapteron the intriguing and well-known
'richtigenMenschen'" (81). But Illius does not go fur- Shipibo-Conibodesignsincludessome remarkson the
therthanrecordingnativeassertionson the rightfood relationshipbetween art and healingpractices,as sha-
andoffersno discussionoftheintricaterelationshipsbe- mansassociatedesignswithcosmiclayersfromwhichill-
tweenidentity, kinship,manioc,and moon,as tentative- nesses come. In Ayahuasca sessions, straightlines are
ly exploredby P. G. Roe (The Cosmic Zygote. New associated withthe lower domains and curvilinearpat-
Brunswick1982). ternswithhigherregions.In healingtechniques,singing
In the sectionon shamanismand shamanisticcos- playsan importantrole in that"schne Melodien" heal
mology,the authoradds littleto Gebhart-Sayer'sand by weakeningthe effectsof the cacophonous singingof
Roe's contributions to the subject.The Shipibo-Conibo malevolentspiritsthatcauses illness.Their singingdis-
worldhas threemain layers.The middlelayeror, on a turbsthe patient'sown designs.Additionally,in Shipi-
horizontalplane, the centreof the world is the actual bo-Conibo theorysingingitselfhas healingproperties.
Shipiboterritory, a kindof islandsurroundedbywater. Illius' treatmentof the subject, however,is too brief.
The upperworldis inhabitedby skyspiritsand is con- Gebhart-Sayerhad previouslypointedout thatin native
nectedto the earthby a tree, a liana, or a ladder. The notions"each personcarrieswithinhis body a spiritual
watersaroundtheearthare thedomainofani ronin,Boa patternrelatedto hiswell-beingand bestowedon himby
mother-of-the-fish, a figurewho playsan importantrole hisshaman" (1985: 144). (His briefworkon Shipibosha-
in Shipibocosmology.The nativetheoryhas it thatthe manismand healingtechniquesoffersusefulclues to the
lifeprinciple(caya) ofpeople is "digested"byBoa, who studyof designsand singing,but muchof thisarea de-
thusreturnsit to the"cosmicenergycircle." "Vielleicht serves furtherresearch.) These designs remainwitha
bestehthier eine Vorstellung,die mitder des 'Seelen- person'ssoul even afterdeath. Healing techniquescon-
handels'verwandtist,der Annahme,da Schamanenin sist,then,in restoringto the individualits own internal
ihrerFunktionals Wahrereines fiktivenkologischen designthathas been distortedbythespirits'songs.Geb-
Gleichgewichts menschlicheSeelen gegen Jagdwild(in hart-Sayerhad also establishedthat Shipibo shamans
diesemFall Fische)eintauschen"(132) - a commentthat recognizevisual images in songs - a song may indeed
adds little to Gebhart-Sayer'ssuggestion on Shipi- containmore than a hundreddesigns(1985: 162).
bo-Conibo shamanism.(A. Gebhart-Sayer,comment- The book includes several appendices, a 59 page
ing on Desana shamanism as expounded by Rei- Shipibo-Conibo-Germandictionary,a glossary,an ap-
chel-Dolmatoff, wrotethat"a case forsuchan interrela- pendixcontainingseveralmythswithbotha literaland a
tionbetweencaringand harmingcould be made forthe freetranslation,and a translationof 11 songs. Unfortu-


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614 Rezensionen

natelyno indexis included.Illius'book is welldocu- The Claimsof HighTheology"in theformofNilotic,

mented,buta moredetailedandthorough treatment of Christian, and,in a postscript, Islamicinfluences; final-
shamanism anditsimplicationsin Shipibo-Conibo soci- ly,Part3, "TheEbonySpeaks,"looksatthemostprom-
etywouldhavebeenwelcomed.As itis,itseemsto me inentdivinatory ritualand itspractitioners amongthe
that the conclusionof D. W. Lathrap, A. Geb- Uduk.The internal coherenceoftheseparts,whichat
andA.M. MesterthatShipiboshamanism
hart-Sayer, is thefirstglanceappeartodealwithonlylooselyintercon-
a domainthatdeservesmoreintensive study still
holds nectedtopics,consists intheir common, though (as faras
(The Rootsof theShipiboArtStyle.Journalof Latin data and perspectives are concerned)distinct focion
AmericanLore 11. 1985:31-119). For reference pur- "thearchive."One couldsaythatPart2 andPart3 in-
poses,however,thisvolumeis to be welcomed. vestigate howtheelements ofthecultural archive, dis-
EdmundoMagaa cussedinthefirst part,arerevealed(andreassert them-
selvesincontradistinction to thedifferent, oftenthreat-
ening external influences) in the various habitual and
James, Wendy: The ListeningEbony. Moral verbalmanifestations ofUdukmoralandreligious life.
Knowledge, Religion,and PoweramongtheUduk of Part1, as itdealsmostdirectly with"thearchive," con-
Sudan.Oxford:ClarendonPress,1988.xvii+ 391pp., stitutes theintellectual coreofthebook,towhichsubse-
map,photos,fig.Price:40.00 quentdiscussion constantly refers back.WithinPart1,
In '"KwanimPa," WendyJames'first monograph Section(i) ofChapter2 discussesthevariousUdukno-
on theUdukoftheSudan-Ethiopian borderlands (Ox- tionsexpressing theirunderstanding ofthepersonandof
ford1979),theauthorseeksto understand elements of moralandbodilyexperiences; as suchitforms thecentre
socialorganization, myth, and ritualin thelightofthe ofgravity ofthebook.An important placeamongthe
Uduk's(remembrance oftheir)troubledhistory. "The variousnotions ofpersonality isoccupiedbytheconcept
Listening Ebony,"by contrast,is describedin theuseful of arum, and one could say that anunderstanding ofthis
"Introductory Essay"as a studythat"exploreswaysin conceptprovidesthekeyto an understanding ofUduk
whichtheUdukthemselves havelooked,andarelook- philosophy. Hence,an exegesisofthemeaning ofarum
ing, to the future rather than remembering the inUduk thought is taken up at all parts of "The Listen-
past" (2). "As theydo so," Jamescontinues,"they ingEbony"andconstitutes itsAriadnean threadwhichI
drawnotonlyuponthepastas theyconsciously repre- willfollow.
sentit,butalso uponthelong-accumulated cultural de- Numerous Udukstories,as we learninChapter1,
positofunremembered events"(2). In orderto under- on"TheForestandtheAnimals," contain thevisionofa
standthenatureandcomplexity oftheprojectenvisaged primeval gathering ofallthecreatures fora greatdance.
byJamesone has to see thatUdukreligious andmoral As a resultofhostilities arising during thefestivities, hu-
ideasandpractices arequiteeclecticincharacter, as Ni- manbeingsbecamephysically differentiated fromother
lotic,Christian,Moslem,andotherinfluences havebeen creatures; earthandskywereseparated, anddeathbe-
takenup bytheUdukfora longtime.Jamesthenre- camefinal.Thesetales,according toJames,represent a
frainsfrom(re)constructing theUduk religionin the "fragmentary discourse aboutthewayinwhichthepres-
senseofan orthodoxy or theUdukworldinthesenseof enceofarumintheworldcameto taketheformithas"
a coherent tribalcosmos.Rathersheseekstothrow light (39). In bothprimeval, mythical timesand in present
on the Uduk's "receivedelementsof fundamentaltimestheanimating forcearumis seenas theground of
knowledge oftheworldandtheselfwhichliepartly dor- existence ofallmoving creatures. Buttheseparations af-
mantin the'archive'oftheirculture"(3). terthedanceled to an "alienation"of humanbeings
TheimpactofFoucaulton sucha projectis charac- fromarum:todaymanisseparated from thearumofthe
terizedas follows:"Foucault'sgeneralconceptofan ar- wildand,sincedeathwasintroduced, fromthearumof
chive,belowtheleveloftheexplicit statements andfor- thosewhohavedied.Theseideasarereflected inUduk
mulated theory oftheday,persisting a
throughperiod of ritualpractice in two main ways. One focus of ritualis
history and underwriting a certaincoherencethrough thedefensive struggle of humankind againstthewild;
timesofsuperficial change,lendsitselfto ourprojectof thesecondfocusis themaintenance ofa person'svitali-
analysing Uduk moral knowledge. Not describable as a the
ty, repair of itsloss in case of disease, and,ultimate-
whole,perceptible onlyinpart,liketheevidenceofthe ly,theprevention ofthefinaldetachment ofarumfrom
archaeologist, thearchival depository ofculturalrepre- thebody.
sentation neverthelessoffers crucialcluesto anyunder- TheUduk'snotionofthehumanbeingorpersonis,
standing ofthewaythatarticulated creedinitsmostre- as is madeclearin Chapter2, on "Persons,"a rather
centformshas1beenreceivedand reshapedamongthe complexconfiguration ofvariousstrands ofideas.Two
Uduk" (4). vitalnotions (in addition tothe notions of the bodyas the
"The ListeningEbony" consistsof threemain tangible andvisiblepartofthepersonandofbloodas the
parts,whichpresentdatacollectedduringsomefifteen essential carrier oflife)aretheLiver,adu,andtheStom-
months offieldwork inthemid-tolatesixtiesandduring ach,bwa.WhereastheLiveris associatedbyUdukwith
a revisitto thefieldin 1983.Part1 dealswith"The Ar- thespontaneous, passionate innernatureoftheperson-
chiveof a HuntingPeople" and includesa theoretical ality,theStomach is theorganassociated withreflecting
postscript "On MoralKnowledge";Part2 investigates andcontrolled, consciouswilling andthought. Another


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