“The Cat’s Water is very powerful for bringing rain,” Felipe Painen said. “In 1944 there was a severe drought here, so the Mapuches and the Catholics made a bet on who could get God to bring the rains. They got together on a hill near The Cat’s Water. First a priest named Father Luis said his Mass and prayed. Nothing happened – the sky stayed perfectly clear and dry. Then an old mach named Juan Cheuquecoy came out in his bare feet, dressed in his blanket. After he prayed, the sky turned black and you could hear Manquian’s cat start purring. Whenever it’s going to rain, you hear Manquian’s cat purring: lullull.” “The Highest Altar” by Patrick Tierney p. 153
“Machi Juana said she knew this snake, Chinufilu. This in itself was important, because it suggested that Machi Juana’s “spirit” was a snake entity, something I’d suspected anyway because of Cerro Mea’s connection with the great serpents Tren Tren and CAi Cai Filu.” Tierney, p. 187
Ecology, orographic precipitation, serpent-spirit cataracts streaming down from the highest mountains awakening to prayer with the sound of great cats purring, weather magic battles between Indigenous and Colonial practitioners – these are a few of the issues we address in our two part discussion of human sacrifice.
Other topics include the history and weaponization of anthropology (including the Tierney/Napoleon Chagnon controvery); Pinochet and the Dirty Wars; human sacrifice through the Judeo-Christian tradition; moral panics including Satanic panics; blood libels; various abstractions of academia including ‘shamanism’ and the ethnographic present; the Incan state and the ecology of gifts as it relates to the subtle cosmology of human sacrifice; numinous grimoires; George Hunt Williamson; Werewolves through time and space; Nancy Scheper Hughes and organ trafficking/the anthropologist as advocate for the disadvantaged.
Listen to Part One
Listen to Part Two for Patreon Subscribers
Resources and References:
“The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved” by P.V. Glob – my introduction to human sacrifice as a young girl, it was published in 1965
“The Highest Altar: Unveiling the Mystery of Human Sacrifice” by Patrick Tierney (I read it first in hard copy from my local library years ago, then re-read it online at the Internet Archive which is unfortunately briefly offline at the time i am writing this)
The Children of Llullaillaco – three Incan child mummies discovered by high altitude archaeologist Johan Reinhard in 1999. Tierney discusses the many issues of high altitude archaeology in “The Highest Altar”; he accompanied Reinhard on some treks to mountain peaks so outlines the misery and practical problems of this type of work well.
An introduction to some concepts and history of ethnography and fieldwork done by anthropologists
Napoleon Chagnon interview in Scientific American where he addresses the Tierney controversy
Nancy Scheper Hughes – The Organ Detective
Carlo Ginzburg “The Night Battles” includes the info on the Livonian Werewolf. Here is a little summary online. This werewolf apparently inspired a metal song which I ran across while putting together these notes
Tracing Owls podcast with a reading of Serbian epic poem “The Walling of Skadar: Ballad of the Walled Up Wife” which reflects many recurring themes of human sacrifice including using this sacrifice for luck in battle and to ensure the solidity of a human built structure. The idea of choosing a sacrifice through chance which involves apparent volition on the part of the victim is found very widely, it echoes thru the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast for example.
Conspirinormal podcast has created a nice introduction to the history of blood libel in this episode of their ‘Paranoid Styles’ series.
6 Degrees of John Keel is doing a multi-part series on the history of Blood Libel with part One available – subscribe so you don’t miss any in future (plus it’s an awesome podcast).