"The great fissure is seen as a deep riverbed; it is a
depression that was formed in the beginning of time (of mythical and embryological time)
by the cosmic (serpent)... The fissure can also be seen as a stream, a great current
of bogá, or cosmic energy...
"The shaman makes one realize that the river, after all, is the body of the (serpent)
and that the stepping stones are the dark circular markings on the snake skin.
Furthermore, since the huge serpent is moving...it is difficult to gain a firm footing on
one spot and to accomplish the crossing by a series of well-coordinated steps or jumps. It
is important to never attempt a straight crossing, perpendicular to the river's current;
the shortest distance is not the most desirable, and a crossing must be pondered in
detail, each move being thought out beforehand." G. Reichel-Dolmatoff,
"Brain and Mind in Desana Shamanism." Journal of Latin American Lore. 7:1
"to understand more deeply the meaning of the
boundary, to attempt to experience the strange, we need not become the strange; we
need only incur the risk of comprehending it." P.C. van Wyck, Primitives
in the Wilderness. Albany, NY., 1997. p.91.