Mariana Ciavatta Pantoja and Matthew Meyer

in Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond

Published in print June 2014 | ISBN: 9780199341191
Published online June 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199379408 | DOI:

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The Kuntanawa are a tribe that belongs to the Pano linguistic branch, who, by the early decades of the twentieth century, were assumed to have been exterminated owing to the expansion of rubber production in the upper reaches of Amazonian tributaries, and in particular in the state of Acre in Brazil. By the dawn of the twenty-first century, descendants of a Kuntanawa woman, who had until then been identified as mestizo rubber tappers, began a process of ethnic auto-recognition as well as a struggle for territorial rights. The ritualized use of ayahuasca plays an important role as part of this process of cultural reinvention, acting as a Kuntanawa subjectivity operator, as well as working as an ethnic identifier in the larger field of interethnic relations. This double movement is the subject of ethnographic and theoretical reflections on the issue of “ethnicity” and “culture.”

Keywords: culture; ethnicity; Brazilian Amazon; Pano; Kuntanawa

Chapter.  8814 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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