12072 - Shamans and Warriors in the Age of Supermodernity.

Shuar sociality and cultural practises have been marked by processes of transformation and hybridisation for a long time. During the past two decades such changes have acquired a new dimension in regard to extension, acceleration, and diversification. Individual shamans, e.g., have incorporated a great variety of new elements to their repertoire of power, and have expanded their activities to new clients and places. A number of young men have become part of indigenous Special Forces in the Ecuadorian Army - a new field of action for Shuar warriors. “Amici” relationships of alliance and exchange have at times developed into a model for relations between Shuar organizations and (international) NGOs. Individual life stories express on the one hand a wide range of multiple changes and interactive fields of practises, on the other hand, the display great continuities in regard to values and attitudes.

The paper will analyse such processes as part of an “age of supermodernity” in the sense of Marc Augé. It uses his model of an „acceleration of history“ to demonstrate how diverse dimensions of change overlap, and comprise continuity as well as globalization.

Author: Mader, Elke (University of Vienna, Austria / Österreich)


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