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Wizard of the Upper Amazon Paperback – January 27, 1993
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—Peter Warshall, The CoEvolution Quarterly
"A rare glimpse of the private life of a Peruvian healer."
—Andrew Weil, M.D., author of the The Natural Mind
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Cordova must learn how to adapt to primitive, tribal conditions where a Chief must control his people's impulses enough to keep the tribe from spinning apart. The Chief must also assure that his people are able to thrive as hunters in a hostile environment, where a dense jungle covers almost everything and dangers lurk. Success as a hunter requires a lot of knowledge, and that knowledge is acquired not only through experience but through ingesting Ayahuasca (See "DMT, the Spirit Molecule" by Strassman). Cordova relates the extraordinary sessions that were very carefully planned and taken very seriously. By the use of chants and cues given by the Chief, the particpants experienced in unison non-ordinary sensual perception that brought them in touch with the life of the forest.
Although I felt some sympathy for these Indians, who had the wits to evade forces greater than themselves, I got the impression that they were basically an unruly, impulsive bunch easily influenced to the point of being motivated above all by vengence. The violence of their hunting lives seemed to supersede in large part a sacred regard for their environment gained from their shamanistic experiences. That was my impression anyway. For his part, Manual Cordova put his shamanistic experiences, his knowledge of native plants, and healing ability that he acquired to good use.
This book also provides glimpses into the magic or the amazon and her people, with amazing plant medicines, especially but not limited to yage, with her magical visions teaching higher levels of perception, clairvoyance, deeper harmony, and knowledge of the forest and all creatures.
This book is recommended to anyone and everyone who feels the sacred calls of the spirit of the Amazon...
The book acquired some notoriety when it was published in 1971 because of its descriptions of hallucinogenic sessions the Amahuaca (they called themselves the Huni Kui) used to communicate with the spirit world. Although these beautifully described sessions are important events in the book, there is much more here--marriage and funeral customs, hunting techniques, and an elegant depiction of life in the forest for an indigenous people who had little contact with westerners. Córdova’s own personal evolution from a frightened adolescent into a skilled hunter, shaman and tribal leader is the true story here, and his eventual decision to leave the tribe and return home is full of anguish. In a sequel, "Rio Tigre and Beyond," Córdova describes how his love for the forest led him to become a healer and an advocate for all its people, plants and animals.
This is an amazing story, engaging and suspenseful; a vivid glimpse into a way of life that has vanished. Córdova does not idealize the Huni Kui, who are sometimes violent and treacherous, but he leaves the reader with a new appreciation for the forest and those who live in it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I keep giving copies away to my friends-this story is amazing and well worth your time. Unlike most any story you've ever read!Published 7 months ago by George Ginsberg
Fascinating account that served as a guide to writing "The Emerald Forest"Published 17 months ago by Steven R. Urquhart
This is a fascinating account of native life in the jungle of the upper Amazon. The use of drugs resonates with the counter culture. Read morePublished on October 10, 2012 by Casca
I could go on and on about this important book and what it has meant to me. The intelligence of the tribal chief and his ability to lead and teach his members is incredible. Read morePublished on May 14, 2012 by Hopeful Mover