“The shaman gives and takes life. To become a shaman, you go alone into the forest and wrap your entire body in embira. You lie down at a path intersection with your arms and legs outstretched. First come the night butterflies, the husu, who completely cover your body. Next comes the yuxin who eats the husu until reaching your head. Then you grab him tightly. He transforms into a murmuru palm, which is covered in spines. If you’re strong enough and don’t let go, the murmuru transforms into a snake, which wraps around your body. If you keep hold, he transforms into a jaguar. You continue holding him. And this continues until finally you’re left holding nothing. You’ve won the ordeal and you can speak: you explain that you want to receive muka and he gives it to you”.
- Shaman Siã Kaxinawá, Acre, Brazil.
A Huni Kui Shaman smokes herbs during a ritual. Brazil, 2014.
Photography: Lunae Parracho
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