One of the most long-lived and successful aboriginal social and cultural systems in South America is that of the Warao Indians of the Venezuelan Orinoco Delta. This study documents the Warao's ecology of mind as well as their understanding of the ecological worlds that surround them. It demonstrates how they have created a cosmic order with an apparently chaotic marginal niche - primarily by establishing a detailed inventory of the varied microenvironments they inhabit. What are to us the most mundane, material realities are, to the Warao, endowed with profound mystical qualities. These essays illuminate the cosmology and cosmogony of the Warao: their shamanic lore; their anthropocentric world-view, with its different places of ultimate destiny for the human soul; their musical world; the houses that situate them in the religious universe; and their concept of the interaction between heaven and Earth. Wilbert emphasizes the crucial importance of shamanistic ideology in the Warao's preservation of their community's social and psychic equilibrium.
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Johannes Wilbert is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles.
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Book Description Center for the Study of World, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11094545404X