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Horizontes Antropológicos

Print version ISSN 0104-7183On-line version ISSN 1806-9983


CREPEAU, Robert R.. A prática do xamanismo entre os Kaingang do Brasil meridional: uma breve comparação com o xamanismo Bororo. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2002, vol.8, n.18, pp.113-129. ISSN 0104-7183.

The Kaingang are an Amerindian society, of the Jê linguistic group, who live in the southern region of Brazil. Among the Kaingang there are shamans, called kuiã, who arise only from one portion, the Kamé moiety, and who have an auxiliary animal associated to their original group. It is as if the Kaingang shamanism involved, on the sociological level, one half of the group, a moiety that is solely occupied, without any complementarity or sharing, with the field of practice. Such a division is in stark contrast with all other ritual aspects of the Kaingang, for their rituals are characterized by the complementary obligation between members of the Kamé and Kairu moieties. If we compare the Kaingang case with the Bororo, we can see that the Kaingang division contrasts with the Bororo's asymmetry and necessary complementarity. In the Bororo case, the bope shamans are usually from the Tugarege moiety, while the aroe shamans are usually from the Exarae moiety. For the Bororo, the bope and aroe shamans complement each other, one being the reverse of the other, and both determine the two related ideological opposites of the Bororo society. The Kaingang shamanism, in contrast to the Bororo's, seems to correspond to the most narrow form of the hierarchical principle - as an opposition of the hierarchical kind, defined as a relationship of the encompassing-encompassed type, where the elements are related by an opposition. One element (Kamé) is identical to the whole and encompasses the other element (Kairu) of the relationship. Such dualism allows useful contrasts to come up, depending on varied and changeable contexts. These contrasts are based on quite simple principles: sameness and difference, one and multiple, center and outskirts, male and female, high and low, etc. Determining the relationship between the moieties in a society with a dualistic organization is important - as the Kaingang and Bororo cases illustrate - to comprehend the complementary and asymmetrical role that each moiety plays constituting both the institution and the practice of shamanism. The present study reveals the need and interest of extending such a comparison to other Jê societies.

Keywords : dualistic organization; comparison with Bororo shamanism; Kaingang shamanism.

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