The anthropology of shamanism is vast and has a long-storied history. It is a robust literature that is deeply entangled in colonialism and the inception of anthropology as a discipline. What makes Shamanism and Vulnerability such a refreshing and remarkable contribution is not only Kathleen Bolling Lowrey’s use of disability theory and feminist scholarship, but her critical and candid examination of parallel historiographies within the North and South American heartlands.

By using disability theory, Lowrey both interprets field data and reads North and South American literature through the framework of Eva Feder Kittay’s “dependency work,” referencing debility and vulnerability as a “paradigmatic moral relation,” a universal claim that in the context of shamanism illuminates indigenous revitalization movements and ethnogenesis. Lowrey also counters a previous emphasis on masculinity in shamanism studies with that of feminist allyship, “in which shamans commit to long-term solidarity with fellow community members in difficulty, relationships in...

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