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versão impressa ISSN 0254-9212


SANTOS GRANERO, Fernando. San Cristóbal en la Amazonía: Colonialismo, violencia y hechicería infantil entre los arahuacos de la selva central del Perú. Anthropologica [online]. 2005, vol.23, n.23, pp.43-80. ISSN 0254-9212.

The article analyzes the phenomenon of child sorcery, that is, of children accused of being sorcerers, among the Arawakan people of eastern Peru. It is suggested that this practice was the result, in colonial times, of the mimetic appropriation and structural transfomation of the Christian legend of St Christopher and the Christ Child into the myth of a cannibalistic giant and his evil infant son. The notion that children could become potent witches would have been reinforced in postcolonial times by epidemics affecting mostly adults. If this is so, the belief in child sorcery would be one of those unforeseen and tragic products of the colonial encounter. In their eagerness to exorcise colonial violence Peruvian Arawaks turned against themselves, unleashing violence against their children's bodies and through them to the body politic at large. This practice, thought to have been abandoned it the 1970s, has reappeared with renewed force in recent times as a result of the violence and social disruption resulting from confrontations with insurgent groups and the Peruvian Army.

Palavras-chave : Amazonia; arawak; child sorcery; history; mimesis; mythology.

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