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Accepted Paper:

Contact crises: shamanic explorations of virtual and possible worlds   
Anne-Marie Colpron (Université de Montréal)

Paper long abstract:

The Shipibo-Conibo, an indigenous population of the Western Amazon, have the single word nete to refer to the notions of "world", "life" and "day". Rather than designating a concrete, definite and cartographic reality as in the Western perspective, their concept of "world" seems linked to temporality, movement and experience. "Worlds" are multiple, constantly reshaped through events and encounters and open to possibilities. As mediators par excellence, shamans intensify their social relationships among different "worlds", seeking to remold events for the advantage of their own group. Western contact is interpreted in this realm of extended "worlds", therefore increased encounters with Western representatives has intensified shamanic mediations. This paper explores how Shipibo-Conibo's shamanic conceptualization of multiple "worlds" transcends categorizations of real/imaginary, visible/invisible. It examines the Shipibo-Conibo's ways of experiencing life and Western contact through their own understanding of virtual and possible "worlds".

Panel W003
Crises, crossings and other worlds: exploring the invisible, the liminal and the virtual
  Session 1