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Encountering Supai: An Ecology of Spiritual Perception in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Mezzenzana, Francesca (2018) Encountering Supai: An Ecology of Spiritual Perception in the Ecuadorian Amazon. ETHOS, 46 (2). pp. 275-295. ISSN 0091-2131. E-ISSN 1548-1352. (doi:10.1111/etho.12197) (KAR id:66791)


In this article I set out to draw an “ecology” of spiritual perception among the Runa of the Ecuadorian Amazon. In particular, I look at the ways in which supai beings—forest spirits—are perceived by the Runa through two main sensory modalities: smelling and dreaming. Inspired by recent advances in the anthropology of religious learning, I then explore how certain Runa people—those who have undertaken a bodily training known as sasi—are more likely than others to encounter supai beings. This ritual training is conceived as corporeal learning. I conclude by suggesting that attention and self-attention developed during such corporeal practices play a central role in the perception of forest spirits.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/etho.12197
Uncontrolled keywords: spirits, perception, attention, learning, Amazonia
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Francesca Mezzenzana
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2018 08:43 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 05:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Mezzenzana, Francesca.

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