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War of ShadowsThe Struggle for Utopia in the Peruvian Amazon$
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Michael Brown and Eduardo Fernandez

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780520074354

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520074354.001.0001

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Coda: Amazonian Indians and the Millennial Dream

Coda: Amazonian Indians and the Millennial Dream

Chapter:
(p.211) Ten Coda: Amazonian Indians and the Millennial Dream
Source:
War of Shadows
Author(s):

Michael F. Brown

Eduardo Fernandez

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520074354.003.0013

The Asháninka of eastern Peru are by no means the first Amazonian people to await a tumultuous reversal of their fortunes. This shows that many parts of Amazonian region experienced social changes that would have confronted egalitarian tribal peoples with highly stratified chiefdoms, perhaps precipitating cultural crises long before the arrival of the Europeans. When Indians tear their traditions apart, they may turn to the symbols and paraphernalia of Christianity. Theological purity is a Western obsession. The Indians' “Christianity” may emerge in an indigenized form, with a meaning all its own. Amazonian millennial movements represent experiments in social change undertaken by people who believe that history is made in explosive bursts rather than in slow waves. Pichári is a shaman from the Río Berta. He continues to await an apocalyptic transformation that will move his people from chaos to order, from privation to plenty.

Keywords:   Asháninka, Amazonian people, Indians, Christianity, theological purity, Amazonian millennial movements, social change

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