Day 18: The Tribe’s Medicine Man

I have been observing and interacting with this tribe now for 18 days.  I have communicated with the natives, the tribe’s leader and observed many tribal customs and ceremonies.  However, today, I will have the opportunity to meet the tribe’s chief medicine man with the youngest native.

The younger native, being in the early stages of life, requires the protective powers of the tribe’s medicine man.  The “Shaman”, as I shall refer to him, offers preventative medicine to ward off disease brought on by evil spirits.  After bundling up the younger native for the short trip to the Shaman’s tent, I noticed the intensity of the precipitation that was coming down outside the tribe’s living area.  Grabbing the younger native in her vehicle safety seating apparatus, I dashed toward the tribe’s mode of transportation.  My efforts to remain dry were sadly in vain; however my efforts to keep the native dry were successful.

The Shaman is a tall man, of reasonable and somewhat positive disposition.  During his examination of the younger native, he demonstrated approval of her progress by displaying charts and pictures of her growth.  I found the Shaman to be quite knowledgable and wise; his descriptions and ramblings provided me with a better understanding of the younger native’s development, therefore providing me with more insight into the inter-workings of the tribe.  After the Shaman’s examination, he explained that the medicine elders would perform the vaccination ceremony on the younger native, thus warding off evil spirits from the native and the tribe.  I found this to be particularly fascinating.  The younger native, however, on completion of the vaccination ceremony, was not so fascinated with the medicine elders nor the vaccination ceremony.  In fact, I found the native to be particularly disagreeable and unruly.  Perhaps, the vaccination ceremony did not work?  Perhaps the native had already been attacked by the evil spirits?  Indeed, the younger native required more observation.

The eldest native continued to demonstrate her great skill at climbing by achieving new heights in the tribe’s living area.  After, once again, admonishing her to remove herself from those higher elevations, she demonstrated actions and behavior contrary to my request.  Upon observing these actions, I immediately sought to physically remove her myself, thus avoiding any further disobedience.  Overall, the eldest native has begun displaying behavior, similar to that of the younger native: disagreeable, cranky and otherwise, inconsolable.  I will continue to monitor her behavior as it continues to atrophy.  Perhaps a visit to the Shaman to ward off the evil spirits that have possessed her may be needed….


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