March 14, 2011

Chronicle of a Death Foreclosed: Mysterious disappearance of an Amazonian shamaness

After publishing, in May 2002, a confessional article on Matsigenka grief and mourning based on a disturbing field experience in Peru,[1] then being summoned two months later from fieldwork in Brazil to my mother’s entirely unexpected funeral, I decided never again to read, write or research on the topics of death, grieving, or funerary customs.  It is far too depressing, being an uncomfortable reminder of one’s own mortality, besides cutting too close to home for me personally.  It might even be bad luck. 


Then something happened:  Angelica vanished.