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South America Religion - Indigenous Peoples' View - Conceptualizing Space-times, The Axis Mundi, Shamans And Ritual, European Contact, Conclusion

systems religious cultural life

Unlike Western systems of worship, religious thought and action from South American indigenous perspectives pervade every aspect of existence. As cultural systems, indigenous South American religions encompass quotidian life and become especially salient at times of life crises and during festival and protest activity. With more than three hundred languages grouped into a dozen or more macro families, cultural, and hence religious, diversity is enormous. Such complexity and diversity are compounded by the fact that South American indigenous numinous systems are understudied and the underpinnings of history and archaeology are informative and provocative but inadequate. The European conquest and subsequent colonial era violently introduced hegemonic Roman Catholic Christianity with highly variable affects on indigenous sacrality. Nevertheless, commonalities exist. This entry offers indigenous perspectives on pools of religious elements that adhere and cluster in a multitude of cultural systems ranging across vastly different topographical and ecological zones and boundaries. All elements are not found everywhere, but systems of religious adhesions that constitute native thought and culture expressing ineffable, reverential dimensions of life, death, afterlife, and the cosmos do exist.

Religion - Latin America - Bibliography [next] [back] Religion - East and Southeast Asia - The Daoist Yin-yang, Three Teachings Are One, Modern China, Korea, Japan

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over 6 years ago

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about 10 years ago

I am researching Andean genealogical links to their weaving industry and I'd like to include information from your web site concerning the concept of the axis mundi. May I include info from your site? If yes, can you please give me the proper bibliographical reference that I can place in my bibliography?

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almost 3 years ago

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