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Ritual Mask

The masks are made with tree trunks, gourds and straw buriti and are commonly used in ceremonial dances. This relation of reciprocity maintained between the sick person and the apapaatai demonstrates that they are not simply ferocious monsters or the enemies of humans. They are indeed enemies, although potentially friendly. Among the Wauja, at least, the reversal of the allied apapaatai’s aggression depends on the skills of the shamans in negotiating the rescue of the stolen soul and offering them festivals (meaning food, joyfulness and beauty).