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Observations placeholder

Reichel-Dolmatoff – Amazonian Cosmos - Humming and buzzing



Type of Spiritual Experience


Humming and buzzing sounds are usually the precursor to an out of body experience or a kundalini experience, thus all these instruments are symbolically representing that experience.


A description of the experience

Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff – Amazonian Cosmos

The opposite sound [to that of the flute] is that of vibration, a buzzing or humming noise.

lt is the male principle associated with the hummingbird, bees, ants, and the horsefly, those animals that "buzz" when they fly, that "bite" and "sting," that 'suck honey."

The buzzing is a warning, a threat: it is the voice that warns and thus establishes a dialogue with the whistling sound. The model of the symbolic interpretation of the buzzing is, essentially, the sound of the kettle on the fire; water as it begins to boil; the combustion of firewood and tobacco; the creaking of elastic reeds when a basket is being filled; the distant roar and murmur of the rapids.

When he said: "The buzzing is the result of accumulation," the informant expressed the concept of retained energy, ready to explode, to overflow.

Associated with the buzzing and humming instruments are the yurupari flutes, the bull-roarer, and the stick-rattle, when they are swung in a wide, circular movement.

The source of the experience

South American shamanism

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps