By Irving Goldman

The societies of the Vaupés quarter at the moment are one of the such a lot documented indigenous cultures of the recent global, partly simply because they're inspiration to resemble previous civilizations misplaced in the course of preliminary colonial clash. right here eventually is the eagerly awaited book of a posthumous paintings via the fellow generally considered as the preeminent authority on Vaupés Amazonian societies. Cubeo Hehénewa spiritual proposal could be the definitive account of the non secular worldview of an important Amazonian tradition. Cubeo non secular inspiration comprises rules concerning the nature of the cosmos, society, and human existence; the individual's orientation to the area; using hallucinogenic components; and a brand new international metaphysics. This quantity was once considerably accomplished earlier than Irving Goldman’s dying, yet Peter Wilson has edited it for e-book, supplying an intensive advent to Goldman’s paintings. Stephen Hugh-Jones has contributed an afterword, atmosphere the paintings within the context of up to date Vaupés ethnography.

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The reader will find that much of what Goldman describes in such detail is what we might today call a “virtual” world in which the Cubeo live, in addition to the earthbound world of the daily round. 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.

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. ” Though the Winter Ceremonial seems to have been more formally organized than Cubeo rituals, their meanings are similar.

The term “Cubeo” or “kubéwa” is not a self-designation by the members of the tribe in question, but a rather accidental naming of the sort that happens to native peoples who often persist as creations of their discoverers, interpreters, and, in other respects, masters. The name “Cubeo” appears in the earliest literature of the Vaupés region and has persisted on maps, official records, and ethnographic writings, including my own. The Cubeo, however, share some of the blame for the false appellation because of their remarkable reticence in correcting others.

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