Wizard of the Upper Amazon
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Wizard of the Upper Amazon

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Wizard of the Upper Amazon is an extraordinary document of the life among a tribe of South American Indians at the beginning of the 20th century. For many readers, the most compelling sections of the book will be the descriptions of the use of Banisteriopsis caapi, the ayahuasca of the Amazon forests. This powerful hallucinogen has long been credited with the ability to tr...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 27th 1993 by North Atlantic Books (first published 1971)
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This is a fascinating book. One of the most interesting things about it is what Rivas-Cordova describes as "collective dreaming" among the community. While a number of anthropologists dismissed this story at the time, I found it to be a credible tale. The collective dreaming seems to be corroborated by what Loren McIntyre described as telepathic "beaming" between himself and the headman of the band of Mayoruna who kidnapped him (recounted to Petru Popescu in his amazing book "Amazon Beaming").
Scot Quaranda
An interesting account of a teenage cuacho (rubber tapper) capture by an interior Amazon forest-dwelling tribe that is taken in, assimilated and prepared to be their next chief. From an anthropological point of view, it is an excellent view into the organization and inner workings of the tribe. From a spiritual vantage point it is much more fascinating as it looks closely at the tribe's use of ayauasca for deep connection to the forest ecosystem that they inhabit and for fostering creative probl...more
Erik Graff
Jan 24, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
One of the major problems of cultural anthropology, other than our rapid extermination of indigenous peoples, is that of perspective. Even with years of immersion, the trained anthropologist may be suspected of lacking much of the fundamental mindset of those studied. Wizard of the Upper Amazon, however, gives an account which may bridge the usual gap.

While a boy, Manuel Córdova-Rios‎ became lost in the Amazon jungle and was rescued, adopted and raised by the Huni Kui. Years later, now a young m...more
Short, interesting account of a young Peruvian rubber-tapper's kidnapping and 7-years apprenticeship with the Huni Kui Indians of the Upper Amazon, especially of the regular collective visions sessions undertaken via the psychotropic root-based potion ayahuasca. "Guided" by their chief and led by rituals and chanting, participants of the sessions do experience collective visions, and the ayahuasca is essential in developing hightened sense-worlds and the relationship with the forest needed to pr...more
The retelling of a true story, a younger cauchero (rubber harvester) is kidnapped by indians of the upper Amazon forest and trained to become a chief and medicine man. Through a regimen of hallucinogenic spirit journeys he learns and develops the skills and knowledge of these people that thrive in one of the most treacherous and beautiful landscapes on earth. These indians can SMELL different types of snakes before they see them, they can find a single insect making a noise in a multi-mile radiu...more
Essa Merchanttiger
one of my favorite.
An amazing book. The true story of a 15 year old boy kidnapped and raised by Amazonian indians in the early 1900's. Interesting on many levels, including but by no means limited to the use of Ayahuasca by the Indians. It's compelling for so many other reasons that I find the emphasis other reviewers and back cover endorsers place on the drug to be a bit sensationalist and annoying. The book-- highly recommended. The back cover-- you can skip it ;-)
Niklas Spitz
A remarkable biographic adventure in the wild - a right of passage offering an insite into the resilience and constitution of a bigone era, of the profound relations of men and nature. A refreshing perspective of who we are, where we have come from and how we may continue to grow through our trials...
Bohužel, toto téma mě neoslovuje. Unesený chlapec, který poznává život v "necivilizovaném" kmeni indiánů v Horní Amazonii... Nu, tady jsem se nesešla se všeobecným vkusem. Asi.
An amazing true tale of a young man held captive for years in the South American jungles by a primitive tribe of native indians -- a very exciting adventure story.
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ marked it as to-read
The great autobiography of Manuel Cordova Rios (with the help of Bruce Lamb). The movie "The Emerald Forest" was loosely based on this.
Evan Mantri
Wonderful short book about epic shaman, Ino Moxo.
Ethnobotany can be rad.
Great book!
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