The Shaman, the Virgin and the Taxation Authorities

  • Dorthe Brogård Kristensen


In this chapter, the focus is on the healing performance of a famous shaman (machi). I explore how shamanistic practice provides patients with a language to express and act upon a social reality. The focus is on the relationship between José Caripan’s healing practice, the community coalescing around it, and social and political processes. It is suggested that the shaman’s religious and shamanistic practices provide a framework for an alternative community within the framework of the nation-state. This relationship is characterized by complexity and cannot be reduced to a simple opposition to the state, as the shaman’s medical practice largely draws on elements and common symbols that are related to social, religious and political processes and intertwined with the Chilean community. By so doing, the shamanistic healing practice mediates conflicts and gaps and provides an alternative space for the articulation of certain collective experiences within the context of the Chilean nation-state.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorthe Brogård Kristensen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

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