1966, a study of trance rites and shamanistic skills


Stewart Wavell, with Audrey Butt and Nina Epton


George Allen & Unwin, London, 1966

Printing Details

First edition, first printing. Hardback in dustwrapper. 22 × 14cm, 253pp.

From the dustwrapper, "Trances is a strangely disturbing, even prophetic book. Through a gap in the scientific curtain, it reveals glimpses of trance rites and shamanistic skills showing what lies in store for humanity once the techniques of trance become available to all. Trances is disturbing because each of the experiences described by its three authors, fantastic though may sound, are true. Central to the book, and unique as a scientific study of Amazonian Indians, is Oxford lecturer Dr Audrey Butt's account of the trance world of the Akawaio, having probed the darkness of Akawaio seances. Also, Nina Epton and Stewart Wavell describe their own experiences of trance among such widely differing peoples as the dream-inspired Temer aborigines of Kelantin; Malay tiger-shamans; fire-walking Chinese and needle-piercing Indians near Kuala Lumpur' the Gnaoua slaves of Morocco; religious brotherhoods in Algeria; Sufi mystics; kris dancers in Bali' Bhairavi worshippers in Sumatra; and the Shingon, Tenri and other sects in Japan."


This copy is in good condition for age. The book has some spotted foxing to the page edges and is a little musty. The dustwrapper slightly worn to the edges and with some light surface abrasion but the whole remaining in strong readable condition.



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