Friday, July 06, 2007

archeology of violence

As if relations between people were not enough to nourish community life, natural phenomena become social events. This is because, in a certain way, there is no nature: a climatic disorder, for example, immediately translates into cultural terms. One late afternoon among the Karohiteri, a storm breaks out, preceded by violent whirlwinds which threaten to carry away the roofs. Immediately, all the shamans (six or seven of them, the great one and the lesser ones) position themselves along the tents, standing, attempting to push back the tornado with great cries and grand gestures. Lizot and I are recruited to contribute our arms and voices. For this wind, these gusts, are in fact evil spirits, surely sent by shamans from an enemy tribe.
Pierre Clastres, Archeology of Violence, Semiotext(e), 1994, p.21, trans. J. Herman.


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