vrijdag 25 februari 2011

Jivaro shamanic chant

Drawn by a Jivaro shaman in trance 
The main part of this post is a Jivaro shamanic anent or sung incantation recorded by Philippe Descola and given in The Spears of Twilight (earlier). There is quite a bit of neo-hippie rubbish about on Amazonian shamanic practise but surely even the most severely confused and mentally disturbed middle class American seeking for spiritual redemption does not believe that his of her illness is caused by invisible darts propelled into your body by an enemy shaman. Darts that can only be removed through various voice operations (singing, blowing, sucking) of a drugged out shaman with the appropriate spirits under his belt. There is nothing lovely or tender or wishy-washy about Amazonian shamanic practise, its dark and dramatic, gothic materialism, it deals with death directly, uncosmetic and without excuses. I can imagine that a small, properly delivered, compendium of anents like these could become a underground classic. Anyway here it comes....  

Me, Tsumai [river spirits], Tsumai ....
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
Tsumai, Tsumai...
Me, me, me, while I make my projectile penetrate
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, I am in harmony
Making my Iwianch [spirits of the death] spirits rise up
I make them pas through the barrier of darts
I make them penetrate the wall of little arrows
Giving them an immediate way out
Leaving them a free passage
In this way I blow, me, me, me...
Launching my blown projectile
Submerging everything, saturating everything
I am blowing me, me, me...
Tarairira, tara, tariri-ri-ri-ri-ri
You the extraordinary one
Tarairira, tara, tariri-ri-ri-ri-ri
As remarkable as you are, I am blowing
Tsunki [river spirits], tsunki, my spirits I am summoning you
Violently leaving a path, I am blowing, I am blowing
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
Tsumai, Tsumai...
Me, me, me...
Like a river carrying away its bank, I cover everything with my flood, I overflow everywhere,
Unmoving on this very spot
Stretching into the depths, I am blowing
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. . .
Even when they are embedded, out of reach, I unhook the tsentsak [magic dart] with a dry tap, blowing
Clearing a path for myself, I completely beguile the stranger who has invited himself into your body, by blowing, by blowing, me, me, me, me, me, me!
Tarairira, tara, tariri
Tsumai, Tsumai...
Making my breath penetrate, making it desirable, I work hard to make them let go
I work to get rid of them completely, absolutely, by opening the exit
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
Tsumai, Tsumai... me, me... rari ri ri, rari ri ri...
Supai, supai, supai, supai, supai, supai, me, me...
Like tsunki himself, I know how to speak, me,me, me...
In your head that is so painful, in your painful head
However embedded the pain is, I unhook it with a dry tap
Leaving you perfectly well, I sing and sing, I blow and blow
Tarairira, tara, tariri, me, me ... ri, ri, ri, ri
The pasuk from the entrails of the earth, him too I call, me, me, me
The death that I now ward off, I am brushing it away with my sheaf, proudly
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
Like the pasuk [shamanic helpers] of the great trees, like the pasuk all striped, I am in the grip of natem [Ayahuasca]
Unmoving, I wear the pasuk like a necklace and death itself I beguile, carrying it far away, me, me, me, me
Tarairira, tara...
Tsumai, Tsumai...
Relentlessly drawing the pasuk from the skies, all bleeding
Wearing it constantly around me like a necklace
Death itself I sweep away with me sheaf, that's what I do with the death that inhabits you, that's what I do to the death to which I reveal myself, me, me, me
Superpowerful me, me ... tsumai ... tarairira...
With the pasuk from the entrails of the earth, with the multicoloured pasuk I make myself a necklace
Unmoving, I pass you the necklace and, repairing your lack of appetite, me, me, me, I leave you well recomposed, me, me, me ... tsumai ... tsumai ...
Pasuk from the entrails of the earth, it is you that I summon
Multicoloured one, it is you that I call
It is to you that I speak and I carry off with me all the creatures of natem
That is what I do, me, me,me,me,me,me,me!
The one that is almost unreachable, that is the one I nevertheless wear as a necklace
Unmoving, I am here on the very spot where Tsunki is preparing to do his work, there where he will unleash the floods
My Iwianch spirits, I make them turn blue in my very soul, I make them turn blue
I make them come out quivering 'puririri!', me, me, me!
Tsumai, Tsumai... 
The one called Tsunki, I make him come in that flood that roars 'shakaa!'
Relentlessly I go, unleashing my flood in his very heart, the flood of my own river, ceaselessly summoning the flood, making the waters roar, I go padding on 
I have the power of rivers in flood, ceaselessly I call for the waters to overflow
Formidable I am, like the waves rolling on the pebbles, without respite ensuring my victory, all fragrant, all perfumed, I make Tsunki roll, me, me, me
Tsumai, Tsumai... 
I become like a porcupine, wearing spines like a necklace, clothing myself in quills, I am covered with them
Your very death, I shall chain it up faraway, confident of my fearlessness
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
Having summoned the soul that is here, I seize it and hold on to it firmly
In the golden ink I have spread myself
Imbued with my valour, I am proud of myself
All adorned with the necklace, all arrayed by the porcupine, I sweep away death with my sheaf of leaves, intrepid and confident.  
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
The one called the porcupines of the heavens, that is the one I seize to make a crown of darts and definitely make death draw back from your head
By the shivers I am seized, tsumai, tsumai...
To my call Tsunki has responded
In this golden pot where your soul was enclosed, boldly I make death flee
Dressing myself in new cloths, dressed all brand new, brought by the natem, I adorn myself with them as with a necklace, me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
Tsumai, Tsumai... 
You are girded by the bow of Iwianch spirits
Twisting and turning without cease, I summon death and seize it
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!
I summon the Iwianch spirits relentlessly and my voice makes them tremble
I make them come , brushing with my sheaf of leaves so that they leave you in peace...

At first sight this anent, as a translated text to be read in silence, may appear repetitive and unwelcoming to read. But once you get it into it you soon notice that it builds up incredible tension as the shaman, at the same time curing and telling about his cure, demands the spirits he commands to come out and help him, accumulating power(s), with each new sentence rephrasing and elaborating on a theme brought up in the sentence before it. But the shaman is not reading aloud from a imaginary book, he is performing a ritual at the edge of several colliding planes of reality, with death lingering at each intersection. He sings, pauses and whistles a melody again, emits strange sounds, deep sighs from his gut, ventriqualistic grunts as if a pack of animals hides inside his chest. It's a jam,  a DaDa performance without chicanery.

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