FRONT FLAP. $ Shabono. “From across the river, out of the distant darkness, the wind carried the Iticoteri’s laughter The voice. Shabono has ratings and 17 reviews. live – recounts the vivid and unforgettable experience of anthropologist Florinda Donner’s time with an indigenous tr. ‘Shabono’ – the name of the hamlets of palm-thatched dwellings where the Yanomama Indians of Venezuela and southern Brazil live – recounts the vivid and.

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Published in Anthropology Newsletter. American Anthropological Association Decemberpp 2,7.

Shabono has been described by one reviewer Kendall as an “anthro-romance”, by another Vesper as a “modern-day version of the British colonial novel”, and in the pages of the American Anthropologist Picchi Adding to the evaluations of this book is not the purpose of our commentary. As the former committee of a previously registered graduate student, now turned author, it is incumbent on us to provide some information to the serious implications raised by Holmes AA When Shabono was first published, this committee did express our concern privately to a prominent Yanomama scholar.

Shabono: A Visit to a Remote and Magical World in the South American Rain Forest

Since that time three issues now force us to make a public statement. The first is the commentary by Holmes; the second is the fact that the author of Shabono, Florinda Donner, has been reported by the press as currently pursing her studies floinda UCLA Japengaand the third is the reported chronology of the Yanomama peregrination which appears to florinxa that it was done while Donner was a student under our supervision. Legal xhabono confidential factors constrain what her committee can report.

For convenience we will refer to her as Donner. It should be immediately pointed out that the publication of Shabono was four years after Donner had allowed her graduate studies at UCLA to lapse, and that there had been no formal connection between this student and her committee since the fall of Indeed, on publication of this shbaono in , this committee was not even aware that its author was our ex-student.


It was only after one reviewer, learning from the publishers that Donner had been at UCLA and eventually tracking down her chairman, that the connection was made reported in Vesperi On learning that her student identity had now been discovered, Donner telephoned the chairman and acknowledged that she had fflorinda her name and written this book.

Briefly, all that we are advised to report on Donner’s graduate career is the historical record.

She entered the anthropology department as a graduate in She was advanced to doctoral candidacy in April, She applied successfully for leave of absence forafter which time she never re-registered. It is true to state that Ms. Donner was in good scholastic standing when she left. Donner’s graduate committee approved her dissertation proposal, which was for the study of curing practices at Curiepe, on the coastal region of Venezuela, which she subsequently reported.

It may be pertinent to state that the graduate record indicated that another research proposal was earlier made in the spring of for a study of curanderos in Tucipata, described as an urban center on the Orinoco river in Venezuela. This proposal stated that she had already made a visit to this town. All the time that Donner was under our supervision she never informed this committee of any extended visit, research or contact with the Yanomama.


We find it perplexing that she failed to tell us of this undoubtedly exciting trip and of her traumatic experiences with donnrr people there. Thus this committee regrets that we are unable to provide any information on this reported field experience.


It would be helpful if Donner had been precise as to exactly when this trip was made. In Shabono there are no dates whatsoever. It was only subsequent to publication of the book that some dates have been reported to reporters for local presses.

Shabono: A Visit to a Remote and Magical World in the South American Rain Forest by Florinda Donner

These dates have left this committee further puzzled. From Vesperi the chronology was given out as From Japenga the dating was extended to “about 10 years ago”. This implies that the period wasor perhapswhich would mean that it was before her research visit to the coast.

It is possible that will never know domner sure, as from the helpful interview with Japenga we learn that “Donner said she gave up keeping track of the years when she lived with Ritimi, Tutemi and Texoma, her Yanomama friends, who never saw a need to count higher than three”. Holmes makes the point that by “coincidence” Carlos Castaneda graced the jacket cover with his comments.

By further coincidence, and as an aficionado of the Don Juan series could scarcely miss, an entire chapter in Castaneda’s sixth book was devoted to a certain sorceress by name of Florinda. This lady donner Castaneda the art of “stalking” original italics. Alluding to stalkers she said: Perhaps there is some truth in this.