Maloca was asked by the Kamaiura in Brazil to support their first ever Encounter of the Shamans.
The idea of the meeting originated from Mapulu, the woman shaman of the Kamaiura. Her father, Takuman Kamaiura, was the most powerful shaman in Xingu. Mapulu feels the indigenous patients are not treated holistically in the city hospitals. The shamans are not allowed to see gravely ill patients, a very important and sacred duty both for the shamans and the patients.
The meeting will bring together shamans from all ethnicities in Xingu and from outside. There will be also raiceros (with knowledge of medicinal plants), midwives, and rezadores (with knowledge of special healing prayers). The meeting will also be attended by non-indigenous doctors and nurses.
Mapulu’s idea is to show doctors and nurses how the shamans do their work, with the greater goal of having doctors and shamans work side by side to treat indigenous patients.
This is especially needed when gravely ill indigenous patients are taken to city hospitals. These patients need their shamans but they are not allowed in the hospitals to perform their work. There were several cases when the shaman was brought to the city, to the hospital, but not allowed to perform the healing rituals on the patient. This has to change, and shamans and doctors need to work side by side.
During the 5-day meeting, the shamans, raiceros, rezadores and midwives from each ethnicity will explain to the doctors how they work, how they treat patients, what kind of ailments they cure.
LONG TERM IMPACT
This will strengthen the position of the shamans and all other “health workers” of the villages in the national health system. Doctors need to understand the work of the shamans in order to go to the next step and work together. Indigenous patients will benefit immensely if this cooperation between doctors and shamans starts to happen.
Doctors know how to treat certain illness, but shamans know how to treat spiritual ailments that western doctors do not know how to cure. This is why they both need to work together. More so, because for indigenous peoples an illness is not only of the body but of the spirit as well, and both body and spirit have to be healed.
This will be an extraordinary event and will be the first of its kind. It will take place April 5-10, in the Kamaiura village.
You have the chance to support this amazing indigenous initiative that will bring together traditional knowledge and western medicine to the benefit of indigenous peoples.
Also, the fact that the meeting is convened by a woman shaman is notable. Women shamans are recent phenomenon, women are now stepping in the sacred space, becoming healers and shamans, a domain exclusively owned by men.
The funds will go to Associacao Hiulaya, Mapulu Kamaiura’s organization.