Anthropology

Confessions of a White Vampire

Several times during my stay in the [ayahuasca drinking] community, different men took me aside and confided that they knew of nearby gold deposits that they would be willing to show me.

They said this as if to test my interest. I would reply with indifference to these propositions, much to my interlocutors’ surprise. A gringo uninterested in gold? Was it possible? People would regularly ask me questions about the world of gringos. One question in particular kept cropping up: why is it that gringos never have enough wealth? You can give them gold, they’ll only want more. Why? Davi Kopenawa, a Yanomami shaman says this of the white people he’s encountered: ‘Their thought remains constantly attached to their merchandise. They make it relentlessly and always desire new goods. But they are probably not as intelligent as they think. I fear that this euphoria of merchandise will have no end and that they will entangle themselves with it to the point of chaos.’

Original Article (Granta):
Confessions of a White Vampire
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Initiation into a Living Planet