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Revista da Abordagem Gestáltica

Print version ISSN 1809-6867


KAWAGUCHI, Douglas. Lessons from a Yanomami shaman for the construction of a post-anthropocentric identity. Rev. abordagem gestalt. [online]. 2021, vol.27, n.3, pp. 328-338. ISSN 1809-6867.

Western culture's imaginary positions human figure as exceptional and identified with cosmological wholeness: "humanity" is taken for granted in the construction of people's identity, while non-human beings are assigned a condition of non-subjects. This paper departs from the assumption that this worldview is supported by a fundamentally mythical structure, which has, as an important representant, world creation narrative expressed in the Hebrew-Christian Bible. Thus, this paper proposes an analysis of the relations between humanity and animality that are expressed in The Book of Genesis, first book of the Bible, comparing them with the way those same relations are expressed in an Amerindian creation myth: The Falling Sky: Words from a Yanomami shaman, from indigenous leader and shaman David Kopenawa. The results are interpreted from a dialogue between anthropology of the imaginary and cultural psychology and show that, unlike Western narrative, in Amerindian animality and humanity figure like parts of the same whole, immanently present in all beings: the contact with spiritual ancestors is only possible through animal mediation, which makes "nature" a fundamental dimension of the "divine" in Yanomami cosmology. I discuss the implications of these findings for a fundamental assumption of psychological thought: the notion of humanity

Keywords : Imaginary; Cultural Psychology; Myths; Anthropocentrism; Identity.

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