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Giuliano Rigotti


(about 1900? - September 1st, 2006)

Vicente Júa was a great Uwishín (Shaman in Shuar tradition) who reunited with his ancestor on September the 1st, 2006 at the age of over 100 years.

He spent most of his life, during the first 70 - 75 years – when Shuar lived free in the north-west Amazon rainforest (Ecuador) – hunting wild animals and fighting territorial wars against Achuar people, historic enemies.

Starting from 1975 the real westernisation began: Shuar, Achuar and other native people were deprived of their territories, given to settler farmers (who wanted a piece of land to grow crops) and cattlemen.

The natives were assigned territories of their own land and were forced to stop the tribal wars.

Since then the Shuar, like the other people, needed to send their children to school: the kids had to study in order to defend their people in the future at national and international level – as many Shuar born in those years are now doing.

Vicente Júa, at a very old age, lived the transition from the ancient way of living to the westernisation.


He had 5 wives, about 50 children and 150 nephews. Having many wives (most of Shuar people have 2) is a prestigious sign, since it requires many resources and great effort: it means that many people brought him gifts for the help he gave as Uwishín.

Illiterate, he spoke a poor Spanish and our conversations were a mix of Spanish and Shuar language.

Like many shamans of the Amazon, for a long time he was the leader of his community. When he left the command of his tribe, he retired with 3 of his wives (still alive) and some of his youngest children in an isolated house in the jungle, near the village of Pomona (Morona-Santiago region, Ecuador).

Despite he didn’t live any more with his community, he would continuously be visited by sick or suffering people who did come not only from the jungle, but from the entire Ecuador.

His reputation grew so much that he started to receive patients from Peru and even United States.

I was his apprentice for about 10 years, and he gave me the task to spread the shamanic knowledge in the West because the young Shuars don’t want any more to sacrifice themselves to become Shamans and “prefer to watch a movie instead of the visions of the Spirits”.

In Summer 2004 he told me that he was close to the end of his life and decided to transfer all his shamanic Powers before they became too weak – as it happens to very old Shamans.

His son Domingo later told one of my apprentices that his father didn’t give this gift to anybody else.

In 2005 he moved with his youngest wife to Santa Rosa (Macas) near his son Domingo’s house.

In August 2006 he told me he was about to “transform into his arútam” (i.e. to die). I never saw him again – alive. On September the 1st of the same year he reunited with the Ancestors.

The night after, before I was informed of his death, he appeared to me in the form of his arútam and guaranteed his help and support for my task.

Now I am happy that he is constantly in contact with me, as Master Spirit.

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