Cubeo Hehénewa Religious Thought: Metaphysics of a by Irving Goldman

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By Irving Goldman

The societies of the Vaupés area are actually one of the so much documented indigenous cultures of the hot international, partially simply because they're inspiration to resemble previous civilizations misplaced in the course of preliminary colonial clash. the following finally is the eagerly awaited ebook of a posthumous paintings by way of the fellow commonly considered as the preeminent authority on Vaupés Amazonian societies. Cubeo Hehénewa spiritual proposal would be the definitive account of the non secular worldview of an important Amazonian tradition. Cubeo spiritual notion accommodates rules in regards to the nature of the cosmos, society, and human existence; the individual's orientation to the realm; using hallucinogenic elements; and a brand new global metaphysics. This quantity was once considerably accomplished ahead of Irving Goldman’s loss of life, yet Peter Wilson has edited it for ebook, delivering an intensive advent to Goldman’s paintings. Stephen Hugh-Jones has contributed an afterword, atmosphere the paintings within the context of latest Vaupés ethnography.

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What I have written is not the investigative study I had promised the Social Science Research Council, for which I apologize. But it is, nevertheless, the right book for the circumstances that unfolded before me in the field. I learned soon enough that Cubean religious culture had not been eradicated. It had gone “underground”; its sacred artifacts are cautiously buried and, for all I know, since tactfully I never inquired, exhumed for use when needed. When I mentioned this to Margaret Mead, she told me of a native village in New Guinea that made quick switches in outward appearance for the benefit of its visiting Christian preacher and returned to the old 4 INTRODUCTION ways as soon as he left.

It is a world that we would think of as one of “altered consciousness” assisted by taking a drug (mihi). However, such a world exists in the minds of Hehénewa as the world of religious thought. It is as if, in the present work, the relative historical powers of aristocracy and religion, first expounded in Ancient Polynesian Society, have been reversed. Nevertheless all three works show how entities of thought that appear to be separate in the physical world—animals, fish, flora, significant places in the landscape, rivers, the sky and cosmic phenomena—are woven into one fabric in the mental world.

33 The kúwaiwa are the creators of all life. But who created the creators? They are self-created males; that is, they are gendered, not hermaphrodite or bisexual, not both male and female. Being male, their self-creation creates only one of several possibilities. But this particular creation is not only differentiated within itself, between older and younger (the principle of rank by seniority), it also provides the foundation for the organization of the human community it creates, namely patrilineal descent.

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