Full Text

Souls (South American)

Subject Religion

Place Americas » South America

Key-Topics soul

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxiii ] Sullivan [33: v ] has distinguished two systematic tendencies in Native South American soul beliefs: (1) physiological, which affirms that the soul is a spiritual element situated in specific body parts, coterminous with the functioning of bodily organs and defined by ‘animal’ appetites (food, sex); often, such souls extend to animals, who are the doubles of human soul-elements; (2) epistemological, in which spiritual elements are associated with specific human faculties (thought, memory). Here, the human being is affirmed as a self-contained and autonomous being set apart from the object of its perceptions. In some cultures, souls are linked in a network extending back to the primordium; in others, the soul is associated with ceremonial groups based on names, residence or types of ritual performance. Frequently, multiple souls gained throughout a lifetime comprise the person, each of which is transformed at the moment of death. Dream-souls and dream interpretation are particularly important in numerous cultures. Sonic imagery – in naming ceremonies, sacred music and song – is everywhere constitutive of the person. Articulated to the notion of the person is a rich symbolism of corporality through which South American cultures express fundamental values used to understand spaces constitutive of human life. [2] ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top