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University of Texas Press
Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Chile and Patagonia

Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Chile and Patagonia

by Ana Mariella Bacigalupo


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Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Chile and Patagonia

As a "wild," drumming thunder shaman, a warrior mounted on her spirit horse, Francisca Kolipi's spirit traveled to other historical times and places, gaining the power and knowledge to conduct spiritual warfare against her community's enemies, including forestry companies and settlers. As a "civilized" shaman, Francisca narrated the Mapuche people's attachment to their local sacred landscapes, which are themselves imbued with shamanic power, and constructed nonlinear histories of intra- and interethnic relations that created a moral order in which Mapuche become history's spiritual victors.

Thunder Shaman represents an extraordinary collaboration between Francisca Kolipi and anthropologist Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, who became Kolipi's "granddaughter," trusted helper, and agent in a mission of historical (re)construction and myth-making. The book describes Francisca's life, death, and expected rebirth, and shows how she remade history through multitemporal dreams, visions, and spirit possession, drawing on ancestral beings and forest spirits as historical agents to obliterate state ideologies and the colonialist usurpation of indigenous lands. Both an academic text and a powerful ritual object intended to be an agent in shamanic history, Thunder Shaman functions simultaneously as a shamanic "bible," embodying Francisca's power, will, and spirit long after her death in 1996, and an insightful study of shamanic historical consciousness, in which biography, spirituality, politics, ecology, and the past, present, and future are inextricably linked. It demonstrates how shamans are constituted by historical-political and ecological events, while they also actively create history itself through shamanic imaginaries and narrative forms.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477308981
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo is a professor of anthropology at SUNY Buffalo. She is the author of Shamans of the Foye Tree: Gender, Power, and Healing among Chilean Mapuche.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Permissions
  • 1. Making History in Francisca Kolipi’s Bible
  • 2. Mobile Narratives that Obliterate the Devil’s “Civilized History”
  • 3. Multitemporal Visions and Bad Blood
  • 4. Embodied History: Ritually Reshaping the Past and the Future
  • 5. Shamanizing Documents and Bibles
  • 6. The Time of Warring Thunder, the Savage State, and Civilized Shamans
  • 7. Transforming Memory through Death and Rebirth
  • 8. Reconciling Diverse Pasts and Futures
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Paul Stoller

"Stunning . . . a coherent, thoughtful, and compelling work that advances our knowledge of shamanism, the processes of memory, and the construction of history. Thunder Shaman is a model for doing anthropology in the twenty-first century."

Robin M. Wright

"Bacigalupo's book is a tour-de-force in studies of shamanism, indigenous historicity, and relations of indigenous peoples to colonial histories."

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