Shamans II Episodio XVIII: Equipment of the curioso,curandero or spiritual healer

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Pic. 1. Ishi a powerful healer of Tibuxi . Noord,Aruba_________________________________________________________________________________________________

The means by which spiritual healers practiced their role and powers includes:

  • Knowledge of the trance state and use of trance-inducing methods and techniques to go on a vision quests and incite tribe members
  • The use of symbolic regalia and sacred objects such as the pipes, maracas or images of saints and angels in their ceremonies and rituals
  • Symbolic magic, incantations, harvest and, rain dances, spirit blessings and cleansing. Offerings to the sky and sea spirits and his protection against evil eye or hoyada in Papiamento through prayer with the use of rattles, contras, incense, tobacco and drums.

Pic. 2. Bonchi Hoyada or evil eye bean a talisman. Aver effective contra or stopper._____________________________________________________

Fasting and cleansing ritualshealerof thespirits
The belief in spirits and the ability of the Curioso Curandero to communicate with the earthly spirits:“God, the angels or saints” was fundamental to the effectiveness of expected result.

The fundamental doctrine is based on the belief that every object in nature is controlled by its own independent spirit, or soul.

Spirits inhabit the rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, trees, plants, sky, stars, sun, moon, animals, insects, fish, flowers and birds.

Some spirits are good and help men who please them whereas other spirits are bad and liable to wreak havoc and harm on people and on tribal communities as a whole. It is the bad spirits that cause trouble, suffering, sickness and death.

If a healer had control over the spirits he became extremely powerful, such power of conscience or quality of awareness was there to be used for good and not for one`s own benefit.

Pic. 3. A Native healing ceremony__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Medicine, mystery and wisdom
The healing role of the person was critical. Many Native American Tribes believe that when a man is ill a bad spirit has taken away his soul or has entered into him, it is therefore not surprising that the Native Americans would wish to gain power over these spirits.

The man with knowledge of spirits and the supernatural was the Shamanic healer, he who would know protective words, chants and have the knowledge obtain through objects, substance, the burning of tobacco and botanical resins. Others use feathers, corn pollen or talismans, which, if carried, would disarm bad spirits and protect their owners against bad omens etc. Such wisdom, knowledge and discipline is what Amerindians believe and respect as “true medicine” or “mystery healing” in the ceremonial context of indigenous American communities, “medicine” usually refers to spiritual healing.

The Native Americans who seeks knowledge through this tradition are referred to as medicine men, witch doctor, medicine people and mystery men, Shaman, Curioso or Curandero.

Regalia – masks, rattles and drums
Healers are equipped with a number of objects that helps him to communicate with spirits in other worlds. They practice dances, gestures and sounds as the symbolic powers of curandero to enter the spirit world. A curandero also wears ceremonial clothes and carries sacred objects such as rattles and feathers special seeds, beans, talismans, drums and smoke to incarnate the spirits of nature and amplify their power. The curandero of some tribes or communities also used masks that were believed to hold spiritual powers and would identify them with the spirits in other worlds and activate their powers, the means by which spiritual healers embodies their role.

. Pic. 4. Showing a Amerindian Spirit cleansing ceremony__________________________________________________________________________________________

These powers included faith in the shamanic perspective. True healing — spiritual healing — cannot be achieved on a physical level. There are two main types of shamanic healing practices that we still can encounter in rural America: Ethno-botanical ceremonies using the healing powers of herbal potions and extracts and the spiritual practitioner who calls for the assistance of spiritual beings to heal and restore the afflicted.

Shamans can call on good spirits to help restore portions of the soul. Today shamanic healing is part of a holistic system. This starts with the person who is seeking help, answers or cure. The central concept or focus is based up on the faith and trust of the participant, that he or she will be cured. In many cases other modalities, such as eastern medicine, folk or Western medicine can offer complement, support and contributes to the necessary wellness.

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