Drunk, the curandero – the Andean Quechua shaman – acquires powers that allow him to see into the future, to bestow good or bad fortune and to communicate with the spirits of the dead and of an anthropomorphized nature. Inviting these spirits to drink with him, the curandero partially belonging to their world and is sometimes considered to be a demon. Yet it is this difference from the rest of humanity that allows the shaman to enter into an intrinsically sacrificial ethylic state of trance, in which he experiments a transfiguration of his body and his psyche and enters into a wholly transformed environment. These altered perceptions, nervetheless, lead to a deterioration of both his health and his social relationships. Based on an ethnography conducted with two curanderos of the Bolivian Andes, I describe the sensory exaltation and the behavioral modification brought about by inebriation, analyzing the metamorphosis they experience through the theoretical framework of embodied cognition.
Pour citer cet article :Geffroy Céline (2017). States of Inebriation and Trance. The Inebriation of the Shaman in the Bolivian Andes. In Dumas Guillaume & Fortier Martin & González Juan C. (Eds), Debating altered states of consciousness: Pitfalls of past research and rising new paradigms, Intellectica, 67, (pp.327-346), DOI: n/a.