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Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing Paperback – December 15, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0226790138 ISBN-10: 0226790134 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 538 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1st edition (December 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226790134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226790138
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Michael Taussig is the Class of 1933 Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. 


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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Henri Edward Dongieux on January 28, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Arguably one of the most accomplished anthropologists working today, Michael Taussig provides an intensely individualistic bricolage of literary, historical, and ethnological interpretations of his many years of fieldwork in the Upper Amazon. One of the most detailed and poignant accounts of shamanism in its cultural context - will very soon be regarded as a classic.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
trip through the rubber boom of the 1800's in South America. From detailed historical survey to his first hand accounts of life around the Amazon, he never ceases to confront the reader with reality. His study is comprehensive in that he brings attention to all different aspects of the European, Indian and African people who live there. The study helps integrate the anthropological view of society to consider the religious, political, economic and moral as part of the collective consciousness of a community. Powerful book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer F Armstrong on June 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Generally expressions of shamanism are associated with the lower classes of society who may be subject to great systematic oppression. This reality is exemplified in Michael Taussig's description of the colonization and slavery the Columbians.

Taussig speaks of wildness as a "death space of signification", which implies that rather than expressing subservience to the will of the colonial powers, shamans eliminate meaning as they turn away from civilization.

The "death spaces of signification" - the consequences of a culture of oppression - are a means of negation of the oppression though accepting death.

There are strong conceptual associations with the work of Dambudzo Marechera, especially his shamanistic outlook in Black Sunlight.

One also notes that Georges Bataille's writing, for instance in Unfinished System Of Nonknowledge upholds the value of seeking within a different mode of signification that has the appearance of being "nothing".

Whereas death or "nothing" seem to be the object of shamanistic seeking, one is advised to look very more deeply.
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