10318 - The Shamanic Process and the Globalization: How globalization affects the shamanic practices on a local level among the indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon.


The shaman

is one of the most important figures in Amazonian indigenous

cultures, he is the one that in one way or another directs the life

in the community in which he lives. As the foreign presence on

indigenous territories in the Peruvian Amazon has increased due to

natural resource exploration and migration, the shaman's role within

the community has transformed. There is an ongoing

process among the indigenous peoples and they have maintained their

cultures through a constant redefinition and negotiation of their

identity and being. In many Amazonian societies the shamanic

practices have diminished, and other types traditional medicine

specialists have gained in popularity. The shaman's disability to

cure the illnesses associated with pollution or epidemics has led to

a seeking of new methods among the indigenous peoples.


rising popularity of the curanderos,


herbal specialists who perform the same treatments as the shaman but

without seeking the help of auxiliary spirits, has to a certain

extent gained popularity in the Peruvian Amazon. There are other

factors that affect Amazonian shamanism, as there seems to be a

correlation between multiplied sorcery accusations among the shamans,

and actual killings. However, through

the traditional shamanism's sophisticated complexity it thrives no

matter the milieu. The tradition of exchange and openness to the new

allows the indigenous cultures to continue their traditions, as the

ability include the foreign in a way that is seen as

non-contradictory leads to a multifaceted and multidimensional

shamanic practice. Although the global forces are strong and contact

with the national society is far more frequent now than before, the

indigenous practices will not cease or diminish for that, only

develop in a complementary manner that allows the cultures to

maintain their fluidity, continuity and themselves.


Keywords: Shamanism, globalization, Peruvian Amazon, process, indigenous peoples.

Author: Mulugheta, Luana (none, Sweden / Schweden)


University of Vienna | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43 1 4277 17575