The Legend of the Yurupary: Bridge for an Amazonian Theology?
In his travels through the Amazon during 1850, the renowned English naturalist Russell Wallace, coauthor with
Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution, was the first to describe the myth of the Yurupary: “One of their most singular superstitions is about the musical instruments they use at their festivals, which they call the Jurupari music. These consist of eight or sometimes twelve pipes, or trumpets, made of bamboos or palm-stems hollowed out, some with trumpet-shaped mouths of bark and with mouth-holes of clay and leaf. Each pair of instruments gives a distinct note, and they produce a rather agreeable concert, something resembling clarinets and bassoons” (Wallace 1890). The myth of Yuruparí can motivate future generations to work in the company of both locals and foreigners for the reconstruction of the various Amazonian cultures and the worship of God from their own culture, participants in the architecture and understanding of a local theology and the use of local arts.
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