Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Whether Curanderos Can Affect Weather

Someone recently asked whether curanderos in the Amazon could affect weather conditions. I don't know about making snow or melting ice and things like that, but I do know, having seen it countless times, that some of them certainly could/can affect rain clouds.
I think it's fairly standard among curanderos in the Amazon region that there is a connection with all things, clouds among them. In my experience, though, they don't generally call for rain, but prohibit rain from falling where they don't want it. Prohibit is too strong: They move the clouds out of the range of where they don't want it.
Anyone who ever traveled in a peque-peque with Julio with me will know that when storm clouds came up he'd blow them away because he really didn't like being on the river and being rained on. It didn't always work but it worked so often that it was much more than uncanny.
Still, Julio was nothing compared to Pablo, the Matses headman on the Rio Galvez. Pablo really didn't like his pueblo to get rained on. His primary wife, Ma-Shu spent time every day keeping every blade of grass out of the common area of the village and the rain would, of course, make it sprout again. So when Pablo was in the village and rains would come, he's take out his nu-nu and blow it to the four corners of the village: It never ceased to amaze me to watch the rain fall--often torrential rain-- on all sides of the village with none falling in the village itself.
Neither Pablo nor Julio thought this was a big deal and their basic lesson on doing it yourself (myself) was simply to make your arm or breath very very long and go up to the clouds and push them aside.
So if the initial question had to do with whether curanderos in Amazonia could affect weather, I think the answer is yes. Whether they could make rain as some of the Plain's indians could and can, I don't know. In Amazonia the point is generally to make it quit, not make it happen.


Hummingbird said...

Do you practice this now?

Peter Gorman said...

Yes, but I'm not great at it. When it works it's a wonder, but when it doesn't I just get wet.

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