The Piaroa not only eat giant spiders that they find in the forests of southern Venezuela, they use them for their shamanic purposes. A European TV channel that specializes in culture and arts programing, the Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne (ARTE), sent a crew to Venezuela in order to broadcast last week a program […]

Alexander Mansutti Rodríguez describes some dramatic episodes of shamanistic violence in an article published last year in a book about lowland South America. One episode he describes, for example, concerns a very powerful Piaroa shaman, called a tjujaturuwa (lord of the people), who was preoccupied with defending himself from the attacks of potentially jealous rivals. […]

Piaroa society has changed over the past 40 years: they have moved to more accessible locations, many have accepted evangelical Christianity, and they are cautious about sharing their knowledge with visitors. Serena Heckler, in an article which she contributed to a recent book, concentrates on the third issue—their indigenous knowledge. The focus of her research […]

Many observers of Inuit societies, both Inuit themselves and anthropologists, believe that shamanism disappeared at the same time other aspects of their traditional culture were replaced by Christianity. In a recent journal article, Jarich Oosten and two colleagues demonstrate that shamanism is still alive and well, though modified, in the Arctic. The opening pages of […]

Shamanism is an active part of daily Paliyan life, according to a 1991 journal article by Peter M. Gardner that has just been added to the Archive of the Peaceful Societies website. Their gods, called samis, are frequently summoned to come into the villages to provide personal healing, advice about stressful situations, or solutions to […]