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Glossary of Terms and Phrases about Shamanism in Peru

This is an ongoing effort to compile key terms and phrases that describe folk-healing in Peru.

Draft January 2, 2009
Glossary of Folkloric Terms Relevant to the Shamanic Industry, the Cocaine Industry and Indigenous Life in the Upper Amazon
and the Peruvian Andes.
Compiled by Douglass G. Norvell, Ph.D. based on academic works listed at the end as references, who in turn compiled them from indigenous sources, largely in the Amazon Basin.
Abrazo - A hug or embrace when love potions are sometimes passed from one person to another without the knowledge of the latter.
Adivina - one who reads fortunes using Tarot cards. Often found in public markets sitting at a folding card table with some seguros.
Aja - Swidden (slash and burn) agricultural plots located near to houses (Aguaruna).
Agengibre - Ginger, which is used for stomach aches, colds and dysentery.
Agregado - A supervisor of manual laborers under the feudal system imposed by Spain after the conquest (Andean).
Agua Florida - Flower scented water, used in healing sessions.  Aqua Florida made in England has been imported into Latin America since the early 1800's.
Aguardiente - Distilled cane alcohol often used to combine with medicinal plants for treatments.
Ajo-sacha - The bark of a creeping bush that is used to create rheumatism, bone pains, inflammation (Ashanika).
Ahuilus - Ancient spirits that protect fauna and flora (Andean).
Aliados - Spirit allies who animate healing plants.

Aire Sacha - Used for liver irritations.
Alrededores - The outskirts of a town, inhabited by apartados.
Aliados - Spirit allies who animate healing plants.
Alt(o)a - A geographical term used to describe the land surrounding the upper reaches of a river.  Generally speaking, it refers to the part of the river above the head of navigation.
Alta Mesayoc - knowledgeable Andean shaman.*
Alto Mayo -  Geographical region on the Eastern slope of the Andes, largely inhabited by the Aguaruna.
Alumbre (Alum) Used as a snakebite remedy.
Amachenga - Benevolent spirits that have power over plants and animals (Ashanika ).
Amaciza - Erythrina glacuca used for infections.
Amarillo - "yellow" a variety of Ayahuasca.
Amor Cochinado - "piggy love" generated by the action of a hechiero or other faith healer. Piggy love carries a negative connotation as they cause damage to another.
Anen - Magical songs with the ability to act upon (enforce outcomes) on the social and natural worlds (Aguaruna).
Antis - Traditional folk enactments in the Upper Huallaga emphasizing indicating that the original contacts between the highland people and jungle people were hostile (Andean).
Arawak - The linguistic variety that encompasses most of the indigenous languages in the Upper Amazon.
Arriero - A muleteer (Andean).
Arrozcal - A plot of rice (Ashanika).
Artes - artifacts found on a "mesada" (shaman's altar).
Aucas - Traditional folk enactments in the Upper Huallaga emphasizing indicating that the original contacts between the highland people and jungle people were hostile (Andean). Groups of men in jungle costumes come to town where they are confronted by groups of women (pallas), guided by an old man (ruku) shouting obscenties confront the aucas.
Aviados - Trusted suppliers of rubber to European Companies during the rubber boom of the early 20th century.
Ayahuasca - Amazon vine containing DMT used as a base for preparing Shamanic drink.
Ayahuasquero - a person skilled in the preparation of Ayahuasca potions and conducting ceremonies.  Normally, these practitioners are not full-fledged Shamans.
Ayllu - A social institution that consisted of a group of extended families that governed within a marca, or designated territories (Andean).
Ayompari - A barter system between three or more partners whereby one pays for goods received by someone else (Ashanika)..
Ayumara - Food fish from freshwater rivers.
Bajo Mesayoc - Pseudo Andean shaman that lacks knowledge.
Bailiados - Dance done in hoasca ceremonies in the Santo Daime church in Brazil.
Banco - The highest level of mestizo shaman.
Barbasco - Plant used for fish poison.
Barriada - A settlement of squatters that illegally occupy government or private land.
Besejatjamu - Describes a dream state that explains one hunter's failure at marksmanship. The dream often involves the success of another hunter that contrasts with the temporary incompetence of the dreamer (Aguaruna).
Bikut - A powerful variety of nightshade that is believed to cure unproductive hunting shimpankamu (Aguaruna).
Bodegueros - Owners of small shops (Andean).
Botaina - Guazuma crinita Esterculiaceae. A tree whose lumber is used to make boats, houses and furniture.
Bloodwood Tree - Sap used to stop bleeding from a cut.
Bomanuna - Shipibo shamans capable of special powers such as transporting themselves through space and for fortune telling.
Barbacoa - A triangular wooden platform built on the side of a tree to make a cut above the wide flaring buttress (Campa).
Barboncocha - A Septronic village near Pucallpa called Shirambari.
Botica - Small stores in jungle towns that sell medicines, processed foods and other consumer goods.
Brujo - one who places danos.
Brujeria - The practice of brujeria (Andean).
Burracheira - consciousness change due to Shamanic potions.
Caapi Vine - vine used to prepare a hallucinogenic drink, often called Ayahuasca.
Caleador - Small piece of wire used to add lime to a cud of coca leaves (Andean).
Canal - A sugar cane plot (Ashanika).
Canaveral - A sugar cane plot.
Canabrava -  Wild cane (Ashanika).
Caboa - Swietenia Macrophulla, melianceae, S. mahogani used to make houses and boats.
Cajero - A musician who plays the flute and drum (Andean).
Casta - A term used on baptismal certificates before 1864 that refers to a person of Spanish descent.
Caucho - Balls or bundles of latex gathered from  the forest.
Calamina - Narrow strips of steel used to make roofs.
Cama - A seed bed for Coca seedling production.
Carino - A payment, often in kind, to a curandero for services.
Cargo System - A redistributive institution employed in peasant systems to assign responsibilities and rewards within a civil-religious hierarchy.
Caserios - Literally means a "hunting camp" but has evolved to mean a small village of several hundred people.
Cashueleros - Seasonal workers who are hired independently and do not enjoy tenure with a company (Ashanika).
Cedro - Cedrela maliaceae - Wood used to make houses and boats.
Ceja de la Montana - a slowly descending chain of mountains coming off the Andes into the Amazon Basin. Literally translated, it means "eyebrow of the mountain."
Ceu do Mapia - A village where the headquarters of the Santo Diame church is located. Translated into English, it is "heaven of Mapia."
Chacruna - A plant that is often mixed with Ayahuasca to make a hallucinogenic drink, described as B. rusbyana that contains Dimethyltryptamine.
Chapo - A breakfast puree made from boiled plantains (Ashanika).
Chica - Beer made from fermented germinated corn, which is called jora (Andean).
Chica de Jora - A beverage made by burying corn in the soil for three days, milling it and allowing it to ferment for three to four days (Ashanika).
Chingadero - An Amazon trader.
Chiricsango - Tree leaves from a plant Rauwolfia duckei used to treat rheumatism, bone pains, inflammation and as a hunting charm (Ashanika).
Cholo - A resident of the Amazon who has lost his tribal roots, but not yet acculturalized into the mestizo culture.
Chonta - A palm tree with an extremely hard wood used to make weapons. Chonta thorns or splinters stuck into someone are believed to cause evil spells until removed.
Choque del Aire - A psychosomatic disease treated by shamans.
Civilizados - "Civilized Indians" or those who have abandoned the traditional lifestyle.
Chullachaqui - A forest monster with small feet and a horrendous face that lives in the forest and terrorizes forest Indians.  The term is based on a Quecha world for feet of unequal size.
Chuncho - A perjorative term for forest indians (Andean).
Chuncos - Traditional folk enactments in the Upper Huallaga emphasizing indicating that the original contacts between the highland people and jungle people were hostile (Andean).
Cielo - variety of Ayahuasca.,
Chacapa - bundle of leaves that makes a drumming sound.*
Chancaca -A thick sweet liquid produced by cooling huarapo (Ashanika).
Chacruna - plant used with Ayahuasca, contains DMT*
Chovarios - A tribe of accused cannibals within the Ashanika territory.
Chullachaqui - forest mystical creature similar to Bigfoot.
Chuncos - Peruvian term for forest people.
Chiricsango - hallucinogenic plant found in the Amazon.
Cobranzos - A highly ritualized system of individual transactions characterized by face-to-face shouting and waving sessions accompanied by accusations and threats (Ashanika).
Cochinada - hexes sold that cause harm to others.
Colectivo - Wooden boats about 60 to 80 feet long that carry people and goods back and forth from villages on the main Amazon and tributaries.
Colocho - Technically, a "Colocho" is a Colombian, but the term has come to mean someone who is a manager of drug operations from another country.
Colpa - A natural saltlick, or marsh-like jungle site where various animals come at night in pursuit of salt.
Compadre - A phrase used by father and godfather to describe each other.
Compadrazco - A social relationship based on strong emotional ties usually formed outside the family.
Compromiso - An engagement between sellers (Ashanika).
Comuneros - Individual members of an indigenous community (Andean).
Congonillo - A strong smelling plant that is used as a pusanga, or love potion. Washing a spouses clothes in a brew made from this plants will keep them close to home.
Convencional - term used to describe packaged tourism.
Corredores - Large scale Coca buyers.
Correrias - Slave raids during the rubber boom.
Creda - White clay that women use to wash their hair (Andean).
Cuca Pishkas - Cloth or hide bags used to carry Coca leaves (Andean).
Cuca tumasik - A Coca trader who operates in high altitude villages.
Culebra - A generic term for snake. Indians believe a snake; particularly a boa constrictor is the mother-spirit of Ayahuasca who will appear to ceremony participants. If the participant is able to overcome his fears, the snake offers his special icaros as a special reward.
Curandero - male folk healer.
Cuidado - Looking after logs after the revolcada, until they are shipped downstream.
Cultura - The social distribution of knowledge, referring narrowly to learning as opposed to the totality of a lifestyle (Ashanika).
Cumala - Virola myristicaeceae - Wood used to make boats, furniture, and roofs.
Curandera - female folk healer.
Curioso - Fortune teller or faith healer.
Cushma - A long poncho like garment made of cotton worn by Ashanika.
Dano - a negative spell placed on a person deemed deserving.
Despejo - Clearing of a plot dedicated to swidden agriculture after the first harvest, that is, when all of the large trees have been cleared (Ashanika).
Despecho - An imprecise terms used to describe psychological disorders. Sometimes refers to a grudge or ill will.
Devil's Garden - A forest of duroia trees where ants living in the trees eliminate other vegetation.
Doctorcito - A diminutive term used to describe curanderos and shamans.
Empirico - Fortune teller or faith healer, means the same as Empirico.
Encanto - a positive spell placed on someone deemed desirable.
Enfermero - Community health worker paid by the government.
Enganche - The debt-peonage system whereby a patron advances goods to peons, who in turn pay with rubber.  Employed during the rubber boom to keep workers tied to a patron.
Ensalmo - A spell put on people by early Spanish conquerors, or religious practitioners who traveled throughout Peru.
Entidades - Forces that come to shamans during visions that tell them how to use healing plants.
Envialada - Clearing the vial, or logging lane, of all obstacles.
Estrada - A trail leading to a wild rubber tree (Ashanika).
Faena - Communal labor provided on public work projects in lieu of taxes (Ashanika/Andean).
Farina - Cassava flour (Ashanika).
Ferrenafe - A small town north of Chiclayo famous for faith healers.
Ganadores - artifacts emitting negative forces that are found on the left-hand side of the mesada.
Gaponga - a weight tied to the end of a line attached to a pole that is repeatedly dropped to the surface of the river to imitate falling fruit. The sound attracts fish that feed on the fruit.
Genios - Spirit allies, often refers to spirits that an Ayahuasquero calls forth to help ceremony participants.
Gran Pajonal - Geographical area south of Pucallpa between Rio Tambo and the Ucayali south of Pucallpa.
Gringo (a) - A light-skinned person.
Guavas - A tart fruit.
Guardia Civil - Government soldiers, often stationed in remote areas.
Habilitados - A contractor who supplies workers with equipment and supplies in return for future delivery of wood (Ashanika).
Habilitaciones - A channel of distribution composed of habilitados who harvest and transport lumber to market.
Hacendados - Landowners (Andean).
Hechiecero - a specialist in placing danos and encantos.
Henoki - "Up above" in the flat earth world of the Campas (Ashanika).
Herbalero - a seller of curative plants in Northern Peru.
Hoasca - Brazilian term for Ayahuasca preparation.
Huancabamba - Town in northern Peru famous for faith healers.
Huaringas - Sacred lakes in Northern Peru famous for healing qualities.
Huaca - A scared place often inhabited by spirits.
Huaco - Scared pottery.
Huacho - Town three hours north of Lima famous for brujos.
Huanta - Coca leaves picked when mature and dried indoors
Huarapo - Fermented sugar cane juice (Ashanika).
Huaros - Rustic hand-powered cable cars crossing rivers.
Hueseros. - folk healer specializing in healing bones.
Huiro - A Quechua word that refers to the stem of a young corn plant.
Ibo - The flesh, bones or plant material that contains the mother spirit.
Icaro - Song sang in Ayahuasca-based Shamanic ceremony.
Llipta - Quinua stalk ash made into balls that is mixed with Coca leaves to be shewed (Andean).
Indio - Term used on baptismal certificates to describe people of indigenous descent, used before 1864.
Inga pods - Honey-sweet fruit from Suriname.
Inkite - Sky (Ashanika).
Inkani - Rain (Ashanika).
Intaton - The headwaters of a river that defines the upriver boundary of a Campa universe (Ashanika).
Isangos - Spider mites that live in the jungle (Tetranicus molestimmus).
Ishire - The human soul, that resides in its perishable body clothing (licare) (Ashanika).
Ishku puru - A small dry gourd used to store llipta (Lime) that is mixed with coca leaves while chewing (Andean).
Itinkami - Term referring to the head of household, and also the
main beam in the roof. (Ashanika).
Itomi Pava - the son of the sun (Ashanika).
Iwishin - A curing Shaman.
Kamarampi - Campa term for Ayahuasca.
Jacu - Ten kilos of potatoes (Andean).
Jako - Indigenous term for brother (Guyana)
Jeajeamadoe Tree - the sap is used to cure toothache. (Guyana).
Juan Santos Atahualpa - A shamanic messiah of the mid-nineteenth-century.
Junta - Gathering branches into piles for burning as the last step in swidden agriculture (Ashanika).
Kamari - A demon (Ashanika).
Kamaveni - Man's earth (also called Kipaci) that is typified by the mortal nature of human beings (Ashanika).
Kintu - Three piles of coca leaves assembled by a curandero when treating a patient (Andean).
Kivinti - The subterranean world of the Campa, where below there is hell (Sarinkaveni), which is ruled by the devil (Koriospiri) (Ashanika).
Konko - A traditonal stool in an Andean household.
Kurinku -  A gringo, meaning non-indian, light-skinned outsider. Pergorative (Aguaruna).
La Virgen de Dolores - A religious icon referred to by shamans.
Lanzetilla - A sedative for internal fever and measles (Ashanika).
Llanten - A garden plant Plantago major that is used to treat convulsions, bronchitis, and internal fever.
Latifundios - Owners of large estates that raise coffee, sugarcane, cattle or bananas.
Llanqui - An advance partial payment made for pack animals to transport goods such as wheat, beans, vetch, dried pork and lamb, from the high Andes to Coca-producing areas where they are traded for Coca leaves.
Llushtu pichu - unhusked corn or wheat stewed with dried pork or fresh lamb meat (Andean).
Locatorio -  A tenant farmer in the historical feudal system after the conquest of Peru (Andean).
Locura - Madness.
Lucero - variety of Ayahuasca.
Lupuna - Ceiba entrada - A common wood that is used to make plywood.
Lupuna Colorado - A tree believed
Madrinhas - Female spiritual leaders in the Santo Daime church.
Mal de ojo - Nervous illness resulting from an envious look coming from another person.
Mala Vida - A jungle term referring to a hard, poverty stricken life.
Maestro - A musician, but is also used to describe a variety of tradesmen.
Maizal - A corn plot located near a river (Ashanika).
Maldad - Evil.
Maloca - Traditional long houses of the forest tribes.
Mal Aires - Bad airs that cause illness, also means negative energy.
Mal Ojo - The evil eye, often blamed for an individual's afflictions.
Malava - A calming plant often given to children for intestinal infections.
Malliques - A one-half meter measure of land (Ashanika).
Maracujas - Bittersweet fruit found in Suriname.
Marca - A defined territory governed by an ayllu (Andean).
Mareado - Dizziness or upset caused by strong hallucinogens during ceremonies.
Mashonaste - Clarisia moraceae Wood used to make furniture.
Mateada - The first step in harvesting wood from the rain forest. It can take place any time from January to June, but must be completed before July or August. It is carried out by a montaraz (Ashanika).
Mavete  Shrub - a bush with leaves that are made into a tea that cures liver aliments (Guyana).
Maracujas - Creamy Brazil nuts.
Masateada - The feast of Yuca beer (Ashanika).
Masato - Manioc beer (Ashanika).
Maspacho - Jungle tobacco, organic.
Machi - A sorcerer child, usually a female (Ashanika).
Mate - Boiled corn that is mixed with pork meat to make tamales (Ashanika).
Mato - Freshly picked Coca leaf.
Matsi - A sorcerer child, usually a female (Ashanika).
Mazamorra - A kind of vegetable stew made from grains (Andean).
Menkori - The cloudy atmosphere composed of water-like air and wind, which combined, are called tampea, rain (inkani), lightning (porekaciri), and thunder (otire).
Meraya - The highest level of shaman among the Shipibo-Conibo.
Merca - Literally means "mercahndise", but is a slang term used to describe fresh balls of Coca paste.
Merienda - Supper served at the end of a faena (Andean).
Mesa -  The physical part of a mesada, that is the wooden altar
Mesada - Expanded concept of a Shaman's altar as employed in coastal areas of Northern Peru.
Mesayoc - The highest level of shaman among Andean shamans who speak Quecha.
Mestizo - A mixed race person with Spanish and Indian ancestry (physical definition) or a person who has abandoned traditional tribal culture for a more modern lifestyle.
Mestre Irineau - founder of the Santo Daime church in Brazil.
Mestre - elder in the Santo Daime church in Brazil.
Mita - An arrangement in the feudal system imposed on Peru by Spain after the conquest whereby unmarried women served as household workers in the hacienda (Andean).
Moena - A category that covers 46 species of Lauraceae used to make houses, furniture and boats.
Montana - uplands of the rain forest on the eastern slope of the Andes.
Monte - Uninhabited virgin jungle.
Motoristas - People who carry products and materials up and down rivers in motorized canoes (Ashanika).
Motelo - A forest turtle that natives wash with soap or bury on a beach to bring on heavy rains (Ashanika).
Montjoly Bush - a bush whose leaves are used to make a tea that cures fevers (Guyana).
Mokomoko Plant - a plant with sap that is used to stop bleeding.
Montaraz - Someone who knows the jungle very well and can find trees, then mark them for cutting.
Mureyas - Shamans with a deep knowledge of medicinal plants, along with the magical aspects of nature.*
Naipes - fortune telling cards.
Nantag - Magical stones (Aguaruna).
Negro - a variety of Ayahuasca.
Niomparia - A Campa term used to describe a white patron who is a trading partner (Ashanika).
Nuguno pichana - Exofuiariaceae, used as a laxative, for nose ulcers, skin diseases, stomach and vaginal ulcers and as an emetic.
Obrero(a) - A working man or woman.
Ocitiriko - A down-river point where the river ends and falls into a hole toward the kivinti, or subterranean world.
Oje - Plant used to treat worms (helminthes disease).
Onika - Earthquake tremors (Ashanika).
Onka - A flood caused by a gigantic crab (antari oshero) that obstructs the Ocitiriko hole (Ashanika).
Otire - Thunder (Ashanika).
Otsitiriko - Ashanika word to describe the river's end, a place where good spirits live.
Ovayeri - A killer (Ashanika).
Pachacuti - An apocalyptic rupture of time leading to a new era (Quecha).
Padrinhos - Male spiritual leaders in the Santo Diame church.
Pago - Offerrings to Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) (Andean).
Palizada - A pile of recently harvested logs ready to be shipped downstream.
Pampero - A field laborer under the feudal system imposed by Spain after the conquest (Andean).
Pananakari - Indigenous term used to describe foreigners or those from another culture. (Guyana).
Partera - Midwife.
Patronos - A wealthy mestizo who lives in the rural Amazon and trades products from the forest (Ashanika).
Parvulo - Traditional burial party (Andean).
Pava - The father sun (Ashanika).
Pela Cara - dreaded legend of the forest, whereby foreigners steal women and children, then peel the oil parts of their face which is made into rocket fuel in industrialized countries.
Peon - A day laborer (Andean).
Pica - The second step in clearing for swidden agriculture, which consists of using an axe or machete to cut branches that impede the large trees from falling to the ground (Ashanika).
Pijpig - Also known as pirpiri, which is used as a fertility drug, a mense regulator and a hunting charm.  One kind is mixed with red paint, when beginning the day's hunt (Aguaruna).
Pincullo - An andean flute.
Pintal - A plot where cane stalks are used to support beans (Ashanika).
Pishtaco - another dreaded legend of foreigners who catch indigenous folk to be boiled down for body fat that is processed into lubricant for heavy equipment.
Platanal - A plantation where plantains are grown (Ashanika) consisting of 400 or 500 malliques (Ashanika).
Platanero - Worms that infest plantains and must be removed by
hand (Ashanika).
Pongo - A narrow canyon in the Andes where rivers flow downstream into the Amazon Basin.
Pongo - A land tenure arrangement under the feudal system imposed by Spain after the conquest whereby members of a pampero (field laborer's) family provide one week of labor each year to the landowner (Andean).
Porekaciri - Lightning (Ashanika).
Porotal - A bean garden (Ashanika).
Poseada - Hole-digging phase of land preperation for Coca production.
Prepare - Ceremony conducted to prepare large amounts of Ayahuasca in the Uniao do Vegetal church in Brazil.
Puerto Inca - A town of about 1000 people where Jacques M. Chevalier carried out his classic 1982 exhaustive study of an Ashanika and meztiso community.
Pulsario - An psychosomatic illness, mainly affecting women, with symptoms, restlessness, hyperactivity and free-floating anxiety.
Purma - Small bushes or trees.
Pusangas - love potions used by Shamans at the request of someone who wishes to attract a specific mate.
Pusangero - A person skilled at mixing love potions.
Quema - The burning phase of swidden agriculture (Ashanika).
Quinilla - Humiria humiriacae. Wood used to make boats.
Quiruma - An improvised wooden stake to support creeping food plants such as beans (Ashanika).
Rantin - Traditional labor exchange including: festive labor, payment in kind (such as food), wage labor, or mutual aid labor (Andean).
Rantinpanakuy. -  An oral agreement between two parties involving the exchange of labor (Andean).
Recaudadores - Tax collectors who enforced a special tax on Coca leaf production imposed by the Estanco de Coca.
Regaton - A maverick trader who travels rivers in the Upper Amazon in search of profitable ventures.
Rematistia - An Amazon trader.
Renaquilla - Ficusaballina F. mathensii, which is used to prevent fever caused by fracture, dislocation and wounds (Ashanika).
Retirados - Highland Indians who come to the jungle after escaping from incarceration or involuntary servitude.
Revolcada - Rolling logs to the bank of rivers.
Rosadores - Wood cutters.
Rozo - The initial bush-clearing operation in swidden (slash and burn) agriculture (Campa), or for Coca cultivation.
Sabio Viejos - wise elders.
Sacha huiro or cana acida - The Zingeberacae stem is ground and used as a laxative or expectorant, for convulsive cough and tosferina , as well as being an emetic.
Sal de Frutas - An antacid that is used a part of a cure for dysentery.
Saladera - A debilitated condition brought about by either physical or spiritual (hexes) initiatives originating outside an individual. Often stress-related. Thought to be the primary complaint of about ten percent of patients who visit shamans.
Salado - The state of bewitchment, often thought to be transmittable.
Sanangos. A group of hallucinogenic plants used to treat abdominal pain.
Sanitario - A paramedic who gives antibiotic injections.
Sangre de Grado - A red resin of the Croton salutaris whose caustic juices close wounds and a treatment for cuts (Ashanika).
San Cipriano - patron saint of curanderos in Peru.
San Pedro - Hallucinogenic cactus used in ceremonies along the coast.
Sangre de Grado - popular plant medicine useful for healing cuts and abrasions.
Santo Daime - church in Brazil that uses Ayahuasca in ceremonies.
Sanitarios - Paramedics who give injections of antibodies.

Sarenkaveni - Hell, which is below ground.
Schacapa - A plant whose leaves are dried and gathered into bunches that are used as rattles in Ayahuasca ceremonies.
Secadores - Drying houses where the fresh picked leaves of Coca are dried for further processing.
Sectorista - Regional information officers who are representatives of the Peruvian government (Ashanika).
Selva Alta - Literally means, the high jungle, but usually refers to the eastern slope of the Peruvian andes.
Seguros - objects that bring good luck, or combat bad luck. Usually found on the right hand side (facing) the mesada.
Selmin - One-half of an arroba of grain (Andean).
Senor Cautivo - black saint whose effigy is in Ayabaca, Piura in Northern Peru.
Septronism de la Amazona - A Peruvian religion that was started by Don Caudillo. It combines several mainstream religions and adapted them to local conditions.  Originally led by Don Caudillo.
Septimia. A Septronic term that literally means, "the seven" and generally describes a combination of forces that created the earth and the visible universe
Shaman - a practitioner who specializes in the traditional healing arts.
Shimi-Pampana - A small tuber that is chewed into a mash by someone wishing to place a love potion on another.  After chewing, the mash is mixed with the users perfume.
Shimkanpamu - The inability to find game that afflicts some individuals (Aguaruna).
Shiripiari - The highest level of shaman among the Ashanika.
Silos - Underground deposits for human waste (Andean).
Sinchis - A special antisubersive unit of the Peruvian military that specialized in combating the Shining Path guilleras. They are named after a legendary unit of Inca warriors.
Siembra - planting phase of swidden agriculture (Ashanika).
Sirvinacuy - Marriage petitions from males that guarantee spouses the comforts of life.
St. Ciriano - the patron saint of folk healers.
Suelda con suelda - The leaves of a creeping plant, Loranthaceae, that treats internal wounds, stomach aches, fractures and hemorrhages.
Susto - fright caused by a brujo.
Symphonia Tree - Produces a resin called mah-tah-ke that is rubbed on turtle shells to produce music. (Guyana).
Swidden - A technical term for slash and burn agriculture.
Tabaco Rustico - organic jungle tobacco.
Tagkan - A tree inhabited by fiery ants that is used by hunters as a last ditch effort to cure shinpankamu, or bad luck in hunting.
Tamal - Milled corn mixed with pork meat and spices, wrapped in a leaf, then boiled (Ashanika).
Tambo - A small thatched shelter without walls, that is used to get out of the rain.
Tampea - Water like air and wind (Ashanika).
Tanrrilla - A small long-legged jungle bird, whose hollow leg bone is used for a telescope to view love objects. Viewing a person through the leg bone will cause the object to fall in love with the viewer.
Tarrafa - A sweepnet used to catch fish (Ashanika).
Tasorentsi - One of the good powerful gods that will come during the actualization of the millenium dream.  This deity is often accompanied by fire and has power over plants and animals. (Ashanika ).
Tambo - A small enclosure open on all four sides.
Tsentsem - A plant medicine used to attract game (Aguaruna).
Tapig - A plant medicine used to attract game (Aguaruna).
Timolina - A liquid sprayed on patient's heads to cure Choque del Aire and Pulsario.
Tinlado - Shade for a Coca seedling bed.
Toe - a dangerous hallucinogenic plant found in the Amazon.
Tornillo - Nectandra rodioci a wood used to make houses, furniture and boats.
Trapiche - An intermediate technology sugar cane mill where two men walk and grind cane between two wooden wheels Ashanika).
Trigueno - A light-skinned person with dark hair.
Trimurti - A Septronic term that literally means, "the three" and generally describes a combination of forces that created the earth and the visible universe.
Truneo - "thunder" a variety of Ayahuasca.
Tswea - A mythical character with the characteristics of a spider monkey and man, who taught the Aguaruna hunting sons.
Trozada - A step in the lumber harvesting process, where trees are cut into twelve foot lengths.
Tsumaik - An herb with multiple uses. The first where leaves are made into a brew that is given to dogs so they might track better. The second is for peccary hunting, and the final for paca hunting.  Here, the mixture is mixed with red paint that hunters use (Aguaruna).
Tullpa - A traditional hearth consisting of three stones that support clay pots (Andean).
Tumbda - The second step in swidden agriculture, where all large trees are felled with a large axe or a chainsaw (Campa).
Tunchis - Birds who make whistling sounds that are thought to be the reincarnation of an animal or human spirit that predicts misfortune by its song. The whistling song is also thought to come from recently departed souls retracing their footsteps through the jungle.
Tuyuk - A plant medicine used to attract game (Aguaruna).
Ubos - A tree bark also known as ciruelo, spondias mombin, used to treat infected wounds and cuts (Ashanika).
Uman caldo - A soup made of the head and tripe of lamb that is usually served at a yahuapa (Andean).
Una de Gato - "cat's claw" a plant medicine used for a variety of illnesses.
Uniao do Vegetal -  a church in Brazil that uses Ayahuasca in ceremonies.
Varayoq - A traditional political authority that schedules work parties for festivals (Andean).
Ventisho - A drink formed by boiling huarapo for a half-hour (Ashanika).
Vegetalista - plant doctor.
Vial - A logging lane in the rain forest.
Vidente - fortune teller.
Videncia - A separate sense of sight that enables some to sense illnesses in others.
Vientecuatro - A beverage made by adding Huarapo to trapiche. (Ashanika).
Viracocha - A benevolent spirit who appeared in the culmination of the millenium dream. (Ashanika ).
Virote - dart shot into a enemy's body to cause illness and death.
Vizcacha - A rabbit like animal, Lepus Vizcacia,  that lives in the mountains (Andean).
Wakani mantuamu - Dreams that cause "soul killing" A complicated emotion based on the belief that dreaming about killing a game animal will cause one's own children to develop serious illnesses (Aguaruna).
Wapa Tree - bark used to make tea that stops toothaches.
Wiakuch - People of great wealth who move easily through the chaos of jungle towns (Aguaruna).
Yacuruna - Demons that live in the water and cause problems for people. (Andean).
Yacumama - Mother spirit of the water that is associated with the boa constrictor.(Andean).
Yahuapa  - A heavy breakfast served to volunteers about to contribute communal labor (Andean).
Yanaconaje - Collective term used to describe feudal and class distinctions after the Spanish conquest of Peru (Andean)..
Yanacunas - Subjects who served noblemen in the feudal system (Andean).
Yarga Aspiy - Term used in Ayacucho to describe collective labor to clean irrigation canals (Andean).
Yarinacocha, a large lake near Pucallpa where the Summer Institute for Linguistics translates native languages. Established in 1945.
Yatiry - The highest level of shaman among the Aymara.
Yoshin - The intrinsic spirits of every living plant or animal.
Yucaal - A plot of land where Yuca is grown (Ashanika).
Yuka - Stones that attract people and animals (Aguaruna).
Yuquilla - A forest creeper used to treat eye pains and conjunctivitis.
Brown, Michael F. and Fernandez, Eduardo, War of Shadows, University of California, Berkley, 1991.
Dobkin de Rios, Marlene, Amazon Healer, The Life and Times of an Urban Shaman, Avery, Garden City Park, New York, 1992,  ISBN  1 85327 076 8.
Morales, Edmondo , Cocaine: White Gold Rush in Peru, University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, 1987.
Plotkin, Mark, Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice, Penquin, New York, 1993.  ISBN 0-670-83137-9.
Dobkin de Rios, Marlene, Visionary Vine: Hallucinogenic healing in the Peruvian Amazon, Waveland Press, Inc., Long Grove, Il., 1972.

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