Drawing on anthropologist Ana Mariella Bacigalupo's fifteen years of field research,Shamans of theFoyeTree: Gender, Power, and Healing among Chilean Mapucheis the first study to follow shamans' gender identities and performance in a variety of ritual, social, sexual, and political contexts.
To Mapuche shamans, ormachi, thefoyetree is of special importance, not only for its medicinal qualities but also because of its hermaphroditic flowers, which reflect the gender-shifting components ofmachihealing practices. Framed by the cultural constructions of gender and identity, Bacigalupo's fascinating findings span the ways in which the Chilean state stigmatizes themachias witches and sexual deviants; how shamans use paradoxical discourses about gender to legitimatize themselves as healers and, at the same time, as modern men and women; the tree's political use as a symbol of resistance to national ideologies; and other components of these rich traditions.
The first comprehensive study on Mapuche shamans' gendered practices,Shamans of theFoyeTreeoffers new perspectives on this crucial intersection of spiritual, social, and political power.
Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology
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