In a work that spans nearly two centuries, anthropologist Alan Kilpatrick explores the occult world of the Western Cherokee, expounding on previously collected documents and translating some forty new shamanistic texts that have never been disclosed to outside audiences. For over a hundred and fifty years, the Cherokee Indians have been recording their medico-magical traditions in the native script of the Sequoyah syllabary. These shamanistic texts, known as idi: gawe’: sdi, deal with such esoteric matters as divining the future, protecting oneself from enemies (living and dead), destroying the power of witches, and purifying one’s soul from all forms of supernatural harm. As one of the few scholars able to translate the discourse, Kilpatrick’s work underlines the critical role of transformational language in the ritual performance.
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