Fuori di sé. Viaggi 'sciamanici' ed esperienze di malattia nel Messico indigeno e meticcio

Alessandro Lupo


In this paper, I discuss traditional Nahua (Native Mexican) conceptions of how the spiritual entity believed to be the individual's center of cognition perceives the external world and moves through space, including when it leaves the body. By examining some ritual healers' narratives, I focus on how the Nahuas perceive, represent, diagnose and cure illnesses caused by soul loss. Finally, I consider the case of a mestizo for whom these conceptions turned out to be surprisingly useful in giving a satisfying form and meaning to the dramatic experience he lived after a brain stroke. This shows how the natives' ideas about the senses can be meaningfully reinterpreted and adapted even outside their original context.

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