Tobacco visions: Shamanic drawings of the Wauja Indians

Barcelos Neto, Aristoteles ORCID: (2018) Tobacco visions: Shamanic drawings of the Wauja Indians. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas. pp. 501-517. ISSN 2178-2547

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This article analyzes shamanic drawings based on research of two ethnographic collections gathered between 1978 and 2004 among the Wauja Indians of the Upper Xingu. The drawings present a visual interpretation of animal-spirits (the apapaatai) and their transformations, as seen by Wauja shamans in tobacco-induced trances and dreams. This article argues that drawing on paper allowed the shamans to broadly express their understanding of the many potential bodily forms the apapaatai can take, either voluntarily or involuntarily. The lack of a visual canon for visual representation of the apapaatai on paper gave the shamans the freedom to produce drawings which reflect an extraordinary diversity of singular perspectives. These singularities, when associated with the narratives of myths and dreams, potentiate the drawings as a kind of visual exegesis of Wauja cosmology. Further analysis considering material culture objects shows that the appropriation of pencil and paper by Wauja shamans channelled their creative energy towards an unexpected expansion in the conceptual boundaries of shamanic translation.

Item Type: Article
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 09:30
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 13:28
DOI: 10.1590/1981.81222018000300002


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