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Cogender is an anthropological term used to refer to genders found in certain societies.[1]


In Chile, among the Mapuche in La Araucanía, in addition to heterosexual female "machi" shamanesses, there are homosexual male "machi weye" shamans, who wear female clothing.[2][3][4] These machi weye were first described in Spanish in a chronicle of 1673 A.D.[5] Among the Mapuche, "the spirits are interested in machi's gendered discourses and performances, not in the sex under the machi's clothes."[6] In attracting the filew (possessing-spirit), "Both male and female machi become spiritual brides who seduce and call their filew -- at once husband and master -- to possess their heads ... . ... The ritual transvestism of male machi ... draws attention to the relational gender categories of spirit husband and machi wife as a couple (kurewen)."[7] As concerning "co-gendered identities"[8] of "machi as co-gender specialists",[9] it has been speculated that "female berdaches" may have formerly existed among the Mapuche.[10]


Among the Saʼadan (eastern Toraja) in the island of Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia, there are homosexual male toburake tambolang shamans; although among their neighbors the Mamasa (western Toraja) there are instead only heterosexual female toburake shamanesses.[11] Among the Iban of Sarawak (in the island of Borneo, Indonesia), there are homosexual male shamans.


  1. Mariko Namba Walter; Eva Jane Neumann Fridman, eds. (2004). Shamanism. ABC-CLIO, Inc. Retrieved 2018-03-02 – via Google Books. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. Bacigalupo, 2007. pp. 111-114
  3. Bacigalupo, Ana Mariella. "The Struggle for Mapuche Shamans' Masculinity: Colonial Politics of Gender,Sexuality, and Power in Southern Chile (Book)." Ethnohistory, vol. 51, no. 3, Summer 2004, pp. 489-533. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=13945408&site=ehost-live.
  4. Vilaça, Aparecida. "The Re-Invention of Mapuche Male Shamans as Catholic Priests: Legitimizing Indigenous Co-Gender Identities in Modern Chile" in Native Christians : Modes and Effects of Christianity among Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, edited by Robin M. Wright, Taylor and Francis, 2009, pp 89-108. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/cunygc/detail.action?docID=438515.
  5. Francisco Núñez de Pineda y Bascuñán : Cautiverio felíz y razón de las guerras dilatadas de Chile. Santiago : Imprenta el Ferrocarril, 1863.
  6. http://www.buffalo.edu/ubreporter/archives/vol38/vol38n24/articles/BacigalupoShamens.html
  7. Bacigalupo, 2007. p. 87
  8. Bacigalupo, 2007. pp. 131-133
  9. http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/excerpts/exbacsha.html
  10. Bacigalupo, 2007. p. 268, n. 5:18
  11. VERHANDLINGEN VAN HET KONINKLIJK INSTITUUT VOOR TAAL-, LAND- EN VOLKENKUNDE, 229 = Kees Buijs : Powers of Blessing from the Wilderness and from Heaven. KITLV Pr, Leiden, 2006. p. 140


Walter, Mariko Namba; Fridman, Eva Jane Neumann (2004). Shamanism : an Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-645-8. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
Bacigalupo, Ana Mariella (2007). Shamans of the Foye Tree. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-8240-9306-2. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

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