Mayský šamanismus v teorii a v praxi: pojem šaman mezi bytím a nebytím

Jan Kapusta email
   Ústav etnologie, Filozofická fakulta, Univerzita Karlova v Praze


This article examines how the general theory of shamanism fits with the specific shamanic practice in contemporary Mayan culture. In this context of the relationship between the universal and the particular, the question of the nature of the phenomenon arises: is shamanism a useful anthropological category or a vacant, ambiguous notion to abandon? The essay begins with a look at the great – the Eliadean and neuropsychological – theories, suggesting that these approaches ontologize and reduce  reality. Then, exploring the way by which anthropologists have tried to describe and define the Maya shaman, it is argued that no dichotomization can capture the totality of the neuropsychological, social and cultural significance of this practitioner. Nevertheless, it is maintained that dichotomization can be a good analytic tool if it is used only as a tool for understanding and thinking. Identifying shamanism in Mesoamerica, it is concluded that the term may be used cross-culturally; however,  avoidance of ontologization is necassary because of the heterogeneity and multidimensionality of the phenomenon.

Klíčová slova

shamanism; Mayas; anthropology; phenomenon; notion

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