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The Three Halves of Ino Moxo
Teachings of the Wizard of the Upper Amazon
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Author(s) :
César Calvo
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Inner Traditions
In The Three Halves of Ino Moxo, one of South America's most imaginative writers, César Calvo, takes the reader on an extraordinary journey into the rain forests of eastern Peru. The magical story of Calvo's search for and encounter with the reclusive shaman Ino Moxo conveys, as no previous book has done, the fantastic, mysterious, and sometiems grotesque world of Amazonian sorcerers.

Ino Moxo (1887-1978) began his life as Manuel Córdova-Rios, a Spanish Peruvian who as a boy was kidnapped by a band of Amawaka Indians. During his years with the Amawakas, described in F. Bruce Lamb's classic Wizard of the Upper Amazon, Córdova-Rios mastered the Indians' traditional way of life. That way rested on a keen sensory awareness, an encyclopedic knowledge of plant and animal lore, and the ritual use of the powerful visionary plant ayawaskha, the "vine of the dead." In recognition of his mastery the Amawakas named him Ino Moxo, the Black Panther. His remarkable work as a healer became legendary among both Indians and whites, who turned to his botanical cures when conventional medicine failed. Near the end of this long and extraordinary life, and partly in reaction to his growing celebrity, Ino Moxo secluded himself in the most remote regions of the rain forest.

In this atmospheric memoir César Calvo travels through the dream-like world of the native visionaries Don Javier, Don Hildebrando, and Don Juan Tuest--intense, powerful sorcerers who share with Calvo their amazing insights into the nature of reality--to find Ino Moxo's jungle retreat. Cast in the form of an evening's ayawaskha session, with its attendant visions of past, present, and future, The Three Halves of Ino Moxo evokes an Amazonian world where the magical dimension is always present, where animal life is always near, and where the boundary between this and other worlds is continually crossed.

César Calvo was born in 1940 in Iquitos, the capital of the Peruvian Amazon. Winner of the first prize in the "Young Poet of Peru" competition in 1960, he was awarded the National Poetry Prize of Peru in 1970 for his book Pedestal for No One.