The meaning of Arutam

Tour to the Rainforest in EcuadorArutam is the greatest spirit of the indigenous Shuar people, who inhabit the jungles of Ecuador and Peru. They live between the upper mountains of the Andes and the tropical rainforests of the Amazonian lowlands. For the Shuar, Arutam is a spiritual force that can be sought to enhance their life force and spirit, and to give meaning to their life. When a Shuar goes on a vision quest, the spirit of Arutam often appears as a jaguar, an anaconda, a volcano or another force of nature. The role of Arutam has changed over time. In the 1920s, the descriptions of the role of Arutam focused on protecting and aiding warriors, while more recent accounts point to its more general role in giving power and productivity to all Shuar. This shift can be attributed to the cessation of their warfare, the growing importance of their identity as Shuar and the use of Shuar myth as a basis for evangelism.

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