The Village, The State, and Amerindian Shamanic Thought: Becoming Makushi in the Hinterland of Guyana

Carneiro de Carvalho, Lucas, Anthropology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Mentore, George, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
Wagner, Roy, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
Handler, Richard, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
Bigelow, Allison, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

This dissertation presents a comparison between the cultural representations of Coastlanders and Amerindians in Guyana. This is done by contrasting Makushi practices and understandings of sociality, politics, violence, and the power to kill with non-Amerindian practices and understandings. The dissertation presents a series of episodes to illustrate the differences and similarities between these two systems. In these episodes, themes such as group identity, leadership, politics, kinship, development, shamanism, and death and violence are presented and discussed. Moreover, the dissertation explores the underlying Makushi aesthetics of being, together with the intricacies of their shamanic thought, in order to compare and contrast the differences between Makushi and Coastlander cultural representations of violence and the power to kill.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Lowland Amazonia, Amerindians, Makushi, Guyana, Political Anthropology, Shamanism, Personhood
Sponsoring Agency:
National Science Foundation
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