non-Patamuna kanaima`




"For the Karinya [in eastern Venezuela], Wattopa was also endowed with oracular properties ... and referred to ritual techniques of physical transformation that were used as part of assault sorcery".

"Mapoya of the Karipuna [in eastern Venezuela] ... "... sends ... dark and horrible dreams." ... Sorcerers who specialized in communication with Mapoya and who used him to attack with enemies were called nharoma`n mapoyanum".

"In Tupian [of Brazil] cosmologies ... Aygnan [this being the French spelling], or Yurupari`, appeared as an aggressive ... force who physically attacked people through forest demons such as Kaagerre and if he "were to find no other meat nearby, he would unearth the body and eat it. So that from the first night after a body has been buried ..., they put out well cooked food ... on the grave of the dead person ... until they think that the body is entirely decayed" ... the A~ni~ (Aygnan) spirits of the forest as "ferocious, cannibalistic, kidneappers of women, and assassins of men." "

"Another name for Yurupari` is also given as Ouaioupia [French spelling of this Brazilian god’s name] ..., which suggest a link to ... Opia" – "Opia of other Antillean cosmologies".


Karinya :- "Him who[m] they fear the most is called Chinay [French spelling for S^inay]. ... He eats nothing but their flesh : & he sucks all their blood."


"Along the Cotinga and Zuruma Rivers [tributary-rivers to the Surumu, in Roraima], ... Makushi paddlers fell silent at two places where kanaima`s had bored through the riverbank of the Cotinga to emerge some twelve miles distant on the Zuruma, both places being marked by a water spout some fifteen feet above the river".


[Makus^i plant-name] "Wassy ... is known as koumi by the Patamuna and it is a kind of bulb (Arum venenatum). ...


The first mode of attack would be a poisoning delivered by sprinkling the wassy on the mouth and nostrils of the sleeping victim, who then suffers ... a burning in the intestines, wasting fever, and thirst, which ... would give the victim "the terrible knowledge that his days, yea even his hours, are numbered. Within four weeks the sick man ... dies in the most frightful agony" ".

The Makus^i (in the case of a boy’s death) "attempted to divine the location of the kanaima`" ["divination using the victim’s body parts" (p. 81)] : "the boy’s fingers and heels were cut off and put into a pot of boiling water. Wherever the bubbling water first caused the pot to overflow and deposit a piece of the fingers or heels was taken to be direction from which the attack had come. The boy’s body was then broken and squashed into a tin box for burial".

259, n. 2:13

Xinguano Arawak charm to divine to location of sorcerer who had slain a boy by magic :- "In preparing the body for burial, they had taken several parts (head hair, the fleshy tip of the right ‘index’ finger, and a small bit from the thumb ... of the left hand), to be incorporated into the kume charm."


Makus^i :- "the term kanaima` is given as Canayi". "The ‘Canayi,’ ... puts on a curiously wrought cap {cf. (Lokono tribe?) on the Demerara river "the man who steered wore a handsome tiara of feathers, and had his skin covered all over with bright red spots" (p. 64); and the alleged the "Acawoio" (Akawaio) legend of the "Kana`ima" wherein "Feathered crown adorned his head" (p. 67)} ... to insert a stick into the cadaver {cf. stake inserted into vampire’s dead victim} ... if he taste not of the blood he must perish by madness". ["If the victim could manage to return home and be buried there, so that the kanaima` could not taste the corpse, then the kamaima` himself would be put in mortal danger." (p. 59)]


Lokono :- "a poisonous powder, prepared from the plant called Urupa and carried in a Powis’s wing-bone in the kanaima`’s hair, is forced into the mouth : "Horrible agony and inability to speak {inability to speak, followed additionally by muscular agony, is the result within a few minutes of the administration of "psychiatric" drugs (Haldol, Prolixin [which certainly is a deliberate misnomer, inasmuch as actual prolixity is the very reverse from inability to speak!], etc.), in a "patient" susceptible to them}, followed in due course by death, are the inevitable result" ".

Lokono :- "the family of the victim may try to defend the grave against kanaima` by placing some ourali (curare) on the body or by removing the liver from the corpse and replacing it with a red-hot ... intense heat".


Lokono :- "those ‘Kanaima’ animals are possessed by the spirits of men ..., such a person will assume the shape, or his soul animate the body, of a jaguar, approach the sleeping-places of men ..."


"the Obiah [from the Akan of the Gold Coast] men of the negroes, and these Piai sorcerers of the [Wayana Amerindian] aborigines, do often cause sickness and sometimes death ..."


Akawaio :- in order to facilitate putting "his limbs out of joint, rubbed his body over with a white powder made from a species of wild tannier" {is this account derived from the practice of a self-contortionist?}


"at the headwaters of the Jauapiry and Taruman-Assu, tributaries of the Rio Negro, east of the Rio Branco" :- "tribus canae`me`s ..., not even eating their enemies but using their tibias to make flutes {a Bodish practice}, their teeth as necklaces."


Lokono :- "death mark of Kanaima. ... bowels were dragged out {cf. Japanese hara-kiri} by means of a forked stick, and knotted; ... tongue was twisted and poisoned so that it was instantly swollen and hung down".


Makus^i :- " "real kenaimas" and "imaginary kenaimas" also work in different ways – the former indefatigably seeks to ... poison his victim, rub him down with astringent powders, and dislocate his limbs. The latter appears as an animal, bird, or insect and enters the body or attacks in this form" ".


Pomeroon Karinya :- "use of massi poison by kanaima`s"


Taulipa`n subtribe of the Pemon of Venezuela :- kanaima` "separating from his body as he sleeps and taking charge of all the ... spirits that are in the form of jaguars, boas, etc.".


"Pischauko` -- a Makushi group living in the Sierra To:peki`ng." :- " "Kanaime`" by night, wearing the skins of jaguars and deer."


Pemon :- "magical countermeasures that could be taken against the kanaima`, using the plant woi, which he identifies as being like a rhubarb. ...

the myth-cycle of Makunaim and Piai>ima, its narration of the origin ... of shamanism ..

and the meaning of kalawali (that being both "the star-ladder" and where it leads, that is, the plane of shamanic encounter)".


Makus^i :- Viewed from the Kuyuwini (tributary-river to the upper Essequibo), "Mount Kenaima, is the abode of evil spirits of the same name. The spirits take the form of little men ["little people," forest spirits that come out to make mischief" (p. 80)] and attack the lone traveler at night. They will not attack two persons, even if one is a small child. The deep pools contain great spirits who come up and catch men in canoes."


Karinya of the Barama (tributary-river to the Waini) :- There is to be disaggregated "kanaima` from the other forms of shamanism, particularly piya, but also from aremi emu, a form of Karinya assault sorcery based on drinking pepper juice rather than tobacco juice.

There are techniques of magical assault, talen, known to the Patamuna, that are similarly distinct from both piya and kanaima`, making this an important comparative observation."


Karinya of the Barama :- "banana leaves are deadly to the kanaima` and therefore are wrapped around the dead body of a victim at burial." [However, among the Patamuna it is suggested by the kanaima` (in the case of a woman-victim) "that they place a banana leaf in the coffin" in order "to facilitate his return to her grave." (p. 264, n. 3:7)]


"literary trope by Ro`mulo Gallegos, one-time president of Venezuela, in Canaima (1935 ...), a novel set in the Caroni[`] and Yuruari Rivers" :- "in the "demon landscape," ... "... The jungle goblin" moves through the "green hell" until the intruder utters "the words that set madness free – We’re lost!" ... Gallegos defines Canaima as "the devil of the Waikas [Akawaio] and the Makiritares [Ye>kuana], ... disputes the world with Cajun~a ... The demoniac without definite shape, and able to adopt any outward appearance ... sets free in ... man ... infrahuman elements" ".

262, n. 2:30

fictional literature of the "demon jungle" :-

"Alejo Carpentier’s The Lost Steps,

The Marcelins’s The Beast of the Haitian Hills, or

Jose` Rivera’s La Voraigne, and

Darcy Ribeiro’s Maira. Likewise,

Ma`rio de Andrade’s classic novel Macuna`ima".

263, n. 2:32

description of place of "Kanaima" at :-

"Iara, a mermaid that can take human form and protects the rivers and seas;

Boto (Dolphin), a man that changes into a dolphin and is irresistable to women ...;

Curupira, a human with inverted feet that protects forests and controls animals."


"in the Pemon myth, koumi was "blown" over Makunaima to bring him back to life after he had been killed by Piai>ima. Makunaima’s dismembered body was also sewn up with koumi leaves. Furthermore, Makunaima created the singray out of another species of Araceae, the Caladium arborescens, ... as the "tannier" (from the Carib and Tupi words taya and ta~a) with which the victim’s body was rubbed down, although the term "tannier" is ambiguous and might also denote yet another Araceae, Xanthosoma [thus spelled in n. 3:11, p. 265] sagittifolium."

"the Akawaio ... koumi charm (murang) is used by women to make things grow, and it attracts Akumawali, the garden spirit. Women


also call on Mawraima , the anteater spirit who aids the development of roots and fruits."

Awaruna :- "plant "souls," which can be aggressive and dangerous, particularly those souls associated with ... arrowroot and gingers, that are linked to the activities of sorcerers."


Awaruna :- "souls of manioc plants can be extremely dangerous and may even eat the souls of or drink the blood of passing humans".

270, n. 3:27

"In a Waiwai village ... all affinal relations remain tantamount to sexual access, any more individuals than one’s spouse has legitimate access to one. There is a joy in having sex with someone other than one’s spouse ... for Waiwai women".


Karinya at Manawarin :- "kanaima are people ... possessed of the ability to become invisible ... kanaima can see into the future".


Karinya at Wallaba :- "At nights ... when ... about to leave to perform a kanaima act, he would make himself invisible before their eyes. In order to become invisible ... [the kanaima practitioner] had first to locate and kill a land camoudie (anaconda). He would then leave it to rot on the ground and on every bone of this snake a little plant would spring up without anyone having planted it there. {perhaps intended as a description of an insect (caterpillar?) dying of a parasitic fungus-infectation?} [The kanaima practitioner] would then choose some of those plants and make a special preparation with them by putting them in some sort of oil. ... using this preparation he would ... rub them on his body in order to transform himself into a kanaima."


Wapis^ana :- "Kanaima ... is a simple thing, a bina, just a plant. ... The kanaima travels in the wind. He takes the plant and passes it over the soles of the [seeker of revenge], from heel to toe. The person closes his eyes and in a minute he travels miles and miles with the kanaima. ... They attack as human beings but they wear masks on their faces; some paint their faces ugly. A lot of people appear but only one is a real person; the others are manifestations of the spirit of the plant. One by one they attack with a piece of wood with leaves tied on top."


"For the Makushi, kanaima` may have been deployed as a defensive technique against the slaving predation of the Karinya, Patamuna (who sold them to the Akawaio), and the Akawaio."


"the Akawaio use of the term idodo may be related to the regional Cariban term itoto".

272, n. 4:6

"Alexander’s account ([Journal of the Royal Geographical Society 2:65-72] 1832), redacted from the manuscript diaries of one Lieutenant Gullifer {cf. Gulliver’s Travels?} ... includes a rather salacious ... description of female Makushi captives and their anthropophagous Karinya captors on the upper Essequibo. See also the accounts in Richard Schomburgk [Travels in British Guiana 1840-1844] 1922 (I:288-89) and Robert Schomburgk [Travels in British Guiana and on the Orinoco during the years 1835-1839] 1931 (116, 125, 130)."

272, n. 4:8

"Richard Schomburgk ... also mentions "Smyth" as having been a chief of a small Lokono settlement on the upper Essequibo, near Benhuri-Bumocu Falls ... Formerly a merchant in Georgetown, he had been "banished" from the city ... Following his revelation of treasure through a dream of the "Great Spirit," he tried to prevent the development of the neighboring Waraputa mission, even destroying its provision fields at night."


Mormon-inspired Akawaio debacle in 1845, with its praelude & aftermath :- "It was in the days [1839-1840] when Joseph Smith was ... setting up his temple in Nauvoo. His fame had reached our colony. Probably in emulation of his ... example another, also named Smith, conceived the idea of establishing a spiritual dominion over the ...


Indians of the interior, with whose language he was acquainted, being the son ... of a settler on the upper Demerara. ... Smith made two attempts to establish his "spiritual dominion." The first was "high-up" on the Essequibo River, where, "having secretly buried a quantity of beads and other articles, near an Indian place," Smith claimed that he had received a divine revelation of secret treasure, which he promptly found and distributed. Accordingly, "He was treated by the people with much respect." ...

In the region north of Roraima, along the upper Mazaruni River at its junction with the Cako River, in the year 1845, "The Acawoios there became ... his chief agents," through whom he sent a summons to come to that place to "see God, be freed from all the calamities of life, and possess lands of such boundless fertility, that a large crop of cassava would grow from a single stick!" ... Smith ... [harangued to the resultant assembled "multitude" in ] "a voice commanding ... to ... fetch friends and neighbors, as a great fire and water would come upon the whole earth except that spot." .. "the


Imposter" remained hidden from view delivering his predictions by night, and ... his voice sounded like that of a white person. ...

[Smith’s chief promoter] Capui himself was given "A document, ... inscribed with hieroglyphic characters ... which he was told was a commission from Makonaima, the Almighty ..." This document also had a "leaden seal" attached".


There was also "a similar initiative by the Akawaio at "Queah-queh" on the Curiebrong (Kuribrong) River."


Christian-inspired Warrao delusion (in 1850s?) :- "A Warau woman of singularly weird appearance was employed


to spread the rumor that she had seen ... [in] Kamwatta ... the figure of a white man on horseback, riding through the air, who promised to give ... valuable presents ... to all of her tribe who would assemble at that spot and dance from early morning to early afternoon".


anti-Christian Akawaio enthusiasm in the Indian mission at Muritaro in the upper Mazaruni valley (in 1870s?) :- "Christian claimed "he had been, like Mohammed, translated to the abodes of the ‘blessed,’ where ... he saw the spirits of many Indians, some of who[m] had died, other yet alive in the body on earth. They were seated on thrones, clothed in great splendor, and enjoying perfect happiness. His commission from that blessed place was to tell all the Indians that they did wrong by renouncing the religion of their fathers and adopting that of another people; that by their apostacy they were left to the uncontrolled power and malice of evil spirits." "


Christian-inspired apocalyptism (in the Kukenaam valley to the west of mt. Roraima) responsible for (Pemon?) mass-suicide in Ch.E. (in 1860s?) :- Awacaipu "founded a settlement,


Beckeranta, and called on all the Amerindians to join him there, where they would learn how they could become equals to the whites. ... Like the prophet Smith, Awacaipu also handed out pieces of inscribed paper as tokens and charms ... Awacaipu even promised that his followers would get white skins ...

However, what was new ... in the prophecy of Awacaipu, and which ... anticipates the more recent cult activity of the Reverend Jim Jones ..., was ... that those who wished to attain these benefits must first die : "All who wanted to obtain these advantages would have the opportunity between that night until the one after the morrow, but those who followed this course must die during one of these three nights, at each other’s hands. The night after the full moon, the bodies of those killed would rise from the dead and come down the slopes of Roraima to meet with their families, in color ... they would become equal to the whites, and rule over the other brown men who had not undergone this ordeal" ...

Awacaipu immediately clubbed ... individuals standing next to him ... into a large cassiri container from which, as their ... brains spread into the liquid, he drank and offered to others. There followed an "orgie" of killing that lasted three nights, claiming nearly four hundred dead. ... Awacaipu claimed that his vision of how the Amerindians could gain equality was received directly from Makunaima". {did Jim Jones choose to transport his followers to the same country for mass-suicide on account of his having (through, perhaps, one of his devotees) heard the story of this event, deeming it to have been propitious?}


"Among the waiwai, the kamara picho (tiger-skins) all live on the "Brazil side" now, not the least because all tiger-skins are chased to Brazil if they are found ... in Guyana." ["For the Waiwai kamara picho are persons who can transform into a jaguar by using its pelt. ... Kamara means tiger" (p. 277, n. 5:11)]

277, n. 5:12

"wind ... is ... used to evoke the action of iupithatem assault sorcery by WQanhi`wa and Baniwa shamans of the Rio Negro ... The wind, pei>cho, is also the agent of karinya shamanic attack".


Makus^i (?) shamanic curing-caerimony :- "the piaiman’s soul travels and goes up vertically into the air into the spirit world, shown by a leaf rising up into the air. ... The piaiman then threatens the kenaima with physical harm if he does not stop bothering the patient’s soul. The kenaima then departs, showing that the piaiman won that ... battle for the patient’s soul."


"Vicente Gomez, the dictator of Venezuela in the 1920s and 1930s, was held to have maintained contact with the spirit-queen. ... This is reminiscent ... of Forbes Burnham, who was associated with obeah-men ... in Guyana during the 1970s and 1980s".


Baniwa :- "the class of chants and evil spells comprised by hiuiathi {cf. [Iroquois] /HIaWATa/} (sorcery) is employed by Baniwa shamans to assail their enemies".


Akawaio :- "The corpse of the victim of itoto is eki:long (black), but for those thought to have suffered an attack by talen magic or the spirits controlled by a piya, the corpse is seen as ai:domong (white)."


Pemon :- "taren esak (possessors of talen chants) are unable to cure when kanaima` assault is involved". "Kaniama>ton (kanaima`s) can assume animal or human forms and ... The term also refers to a spirit or an embodiment of that spirit". "unlike for the Patamuna, the piya can "order about" kanaima`".


Pemon :- "the original kanaima`s were the sons of Chankon, ... who lives in Korume (Thunder Mountain)."


Karinya :- "kanaima` seems to indicate ... the use ... of snake magic".


Warao :- "the hoaratu, dark shamans capable of inflicting pain and death ..., ... are engaged in a cosmic quest". "among the Warao the daunonarima, "Fathers of the Wooden Figurine," are also assault sorcerers."

282, n. 6:11

Warao figurine :- The effigy ... is ... fashioned ... in the form of the swallow-tailed kite’s head and neck ... The shaman keeps the effigy in a small calabash bowl and basket in the sanctuary. Also stored in this container are three quartz pebbles, representing the elite of the kite’s avian companions." [The Patamuna trapezoidal figurine’s "arrowlike form recalls the shape of the Warao figurine’s helpers, quartz pebbles that fly in triangular formation and tear into the victim like ‘an arrowhead." (p. 220)]


Warao :- "As well as the daunonarina, weather shamans are also ... able ... to shamanically engage the powers of Caiman, the alligator, who is the spirit-double of the ... hoaratu."


Warao :- "The cosmological origins of the hoaratu lie in ... the Hebo {cf. [Yucatec] HoBnil; HoB-gOblins} who still reside at the cardinal points of the aerth. To the west is the Scarlet Macaw, the most gruesome and violent of the Hebo. In times past the Scarlet Macaw was able to directly garner the blood of the Warao via a long tube that was projected from his terrible house ... over the village. Here it hovered and then plunged down ... into the skulls {via the fontanelle, supposed to be as yet open in order to communicate with heaven as in the mythic 1st world-age of the Hopi (BH, pp. 9-10)} of the sleeping from whom it then sucked out the blood. {"blood" here would symbolize "dream-thoughts".} This was delivered to a giant canoe from with the dark spirits could drink, not unlike the kanaima` drinking up his victim in the cassiri canoe. However, this blood tube was eventually broken, and ever after it has been the responsibility of the hoaratu to ensure that the Scarlet Macaw and his spirits ... are appeased with a supply of human victims to replace the blood tube. ... The dismemberment of the Warao {re-enacting the Osiris-like dismemberment of the god Makunaima (on p. 100)} who dies at the hands of the hoaratu ... [immortalizeth sempaeternally] the individual who becomes ... the furniture of the gods."


the Wari> "see ... a connection between eating their own dead and eating their enemies".


Tupi cannibalization of adopted captive warriors :- "Tupi captives ... were anyway transculturated by their adoption into the group, in the manner of a affine or "pet" ... Europeans of the sixteenth century then compared this rite to the transubstantiation of the Eucharist in Catholic ritual".

BH = Frank Waters : Book of the Hopi. 1963.

Neil L. Whitehead : Dark Shamans. Duke U Pr, Durham (NC), 2002.