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Forum di sciamanesimo, antropologia e spirito critico

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 Florinda Donner Grau

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Numero di messaggi : 2141
Data d'iscrizione : 04.02.09
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Località : Roma

MessaggioOggetto: Florinda Donner Grau   Lun 25 Ott 2010 - 11:10

Florinda Donner (originally Regine Margarita Thal, later Florinda Donner-Grau) was born February 15, 1944 in Amberg, Germany to German parents Rudolph Thal and Katarina Claussnitzer. She is an American author and anthropologist. She disappeared in 1998.[1]

In her childhood she emigrated with her parents to Venezuela where she probably lived as a school-aged child. Her personality and background are very controversial. She sometimes claimed she was born in 1954 in Venezuela and that her parents were both either German or Swedish. Sometimes she called her mother Carolina Claussnitzer, but in an official document from the marriage with Carlos Castaneda in 1993 her mother's name is Katarina Claussnitzer and her father's name is spelled Rudolf rather than Rudolph.[2]

She was nicknamed "Hummingbird" because of her ceaseless energy. She was said to have similar intelligence and charisma as her later husband Carlos Castaneda. Florinda tells in her books that she was an apprentice of Castaneda. She was also called one of "the witches" in Castaneda's books. The type of shamanism that Castaneda and his followers practiced led the followers through a process known as recapitulation, which is a rehashing of one's entire life's memories. This process "rebirthed" the sorcerers by causing them to erase their personal history.

In 1982 Florinda Donner published a best selling book, Shabono after the Yanomami word for shelter, with contradictory pseudo-anthropological stories in which she claims to have lived among the Yanomami Indians in the Amazonas. Among critics the book is called "anthropologically inspired fiction".[3] She lived in Westwood Los Angeles and traveled often to her old hometown Caracas.

Florinda Donner-Grau
Born Regine Margarita Thal
February 15, 1944(1944-02-15)
Amberg, Germany
Occupation Anthropologist, Author
Nationality American
Period 20th-century
Subjects Shamanism
Notable work(s) Being-in-Dreaming: An Initiation into the Sorcerer's World; Shabono: A Visit to a Remote and Magical World in the South American Rain Forest; The Witch's Dream


1966: Regine Thal marries a Houston petroleum engineer Edward M. Steiner in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.[4]
1970: According to her book Being-in-Dreaming (published 1991) she has her first meeting in dreams with members of don Juan's party. Don Juan Matus was the famous Yaqui shaman often described in Carlos Castaneda's books.
1971: Carlos Castaneda's book A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan is published.
1971: Regine Thal meets "Mexican anthropologist" Jose "Joe" Luis Cortez, better known as Carlos Castaneda at UCLA. Her apprenticeship with Castaneda begins.
1972: Regine divorces Edward M. Steiner after 5 years and 4 months of marriage and gets back her surname Thal.
1972: Regine Thal Receives her B.A in Anthropology from UCLA.
1973: Carlos Castaneda receives his Ph.D. in Anthropology from UCLA.
1973: Castaneda starts organizing a secretive group of devoted followers. He teaches Recapitulation and the teachings of the Yaqui shaman don Juan Matus, who appears in his books together with a movement technique "Tensegrity," that he claims is an ancient technique passed down by 25 generations of Naguals, the Toltec shamans.[1]
1973: Regine submits a proposal to UCLA to study curanderos in the town of Tucipata by the Orinoco river in Venezuela. She claims to have already visited the town.
1974: Regine's ex-husband Edward M. Steiner dies at age 44.
1974: Regine Thal receives her Masters degree in Anthropology from UCLA.
1974: Regine, together with Castaneda and a three others, forms a corporation "to produce documentary ethnology." The name of the corporation is Hermeneutics Unlimited. Later this corporation changed its name to Laugan Productions inc.
1974: Samurai-magazine publishes rare photos of Regine Thal doing karate exercises. In the article she is called "Gina Thal."
1975: Castaneda executes a will leaving his entire estate equally divided to four women: Mary Joan Barker, Anna Marie Carter, Beverly Evans and Regine Thal.
1976: Regine is advanced to doctoral candidacy at the UCLA Department of Anthropology.
1976?: UCLA graduate committee approves Regine's dissertation proposal for studying curing practises at Curiepe, Venezuela.
1976 - 1977: The year that Regine claims to have lived with the Yanomami in the Amazon rainforest near the border of Venezuela and Brazil.
1977: Regine Thal leaves the UCLA graduate program without receiving a Ph.D.
1978: Regine Thal changes her name (unofficially) to Florinda Donner. Her new name is based on the name of Carlos Castaneda's teacher's don Juan's wife Florinda Matus. She also calls herself Donner-Grau. A Grau means a "Dreamer" in the shamanistic practice of don Juan and Castaneda.
1982: Florinda Donner's book Shabono: A visit to a remote and magical world in the South American rainforest, is published by Delacorte Press.[5]
1983: An article in American Anthropology [Vol. 85, p. 664] is published entitled: "Shabono: Scandal or Superb Social Science?" Florindas book seems to have similarities with an earlier book: Ettore Biocca's Yanoáma (Dutton 1971), the oral autobiography of Helena Valero, a Caucasian girl kidnapped by Venezuelan Indians.
1985: Regine Margarita Thal changes officially her name to Florinda Donner.[6]
1985: Florinda Donner's book The Witch's Dream is published by Simon and Schuster with a foreword by Carlos Castaneda.
1991: Florinda's book Being-in-Dreaming: An Initiation into the Sorcerer's World is published by Harper San Francisco.[7]
1990's: Florinda Donner gives lectures and workshops about her books and shamanism in various places.
1992: Florinda says in an interview that she is no longer doing academic research.[8]
1993: Florinda changes her name to Donner-Grau.[2]
1993: Carlos Castaneda marries Florinda Donner in Las Vegas.
1994: Florinda Grau marries Tracy Kramer in Las Vegas.
1998: Castaneda signs a will leaving all his property to the Eagle's Trust.[9]
1998, April 4.: Florinda Donner's last public appearance. She appears in a workshop at Santa Monica College Gymnasium together with the other two "witches": Taisha Abelar and Carol Tiggs.
1998: Carlos Castaneda dies. The day after his death the "witches" Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar vanish together with Amalia Marquez and Tensegrity teacher Kylie Lundahl, and nobody hears from them. A few weeks later Castaneda's adopted daughter Patricia Partin disappears as well.[10]
2003: A skeleton is found in Death Valley, California near the location where Patricia Partin's car was abandoned. The skeleton remains unidentified for three years.[11]
2006: The skeleton is identified as Patricia Partin's with a new DNA technology. Some former associates of Castaneda suspect that the missing women have committed suicide (possibly as soon as Carlos Castaneda died in 1998).
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Femminile Serpente
Numero di messaggi : 1826
Data d'iscrizione : 22.03.10
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MessaggioOggetto: Re: Florinda Donner Grau   Ven 26 Set 2014 - 14:00

Buon pomeriggio Admin, inserisco un aggiornamento di wikipedia...buona lettura.



In 1982 Florinda Donner published a book, Shabono: A Visit to a Remote and Magical World in the South American Rain Forest, named after the Yanomami word for shelter, a narrative of her life among the Yanomami Indians in the Amazon rainforest.
While initially praised as a compelling account of Yanomami culture, in 1983 controversy broke out when an article in American Anthropologist[4] accused the book of not being based on original ethnographic work, but instead being a patchwork made of previously published ethnographic accounts. Rebecca De Holmes, the author of the critique, stated that it was unlikely that Donner had spent any amount of time among the Yanomami. Particularly she criticized Donner for having plagiarized the biographical account of the Brazilian woman Helena Valero, who grew up as a captive among the Yanomami, without acknowledging having borrowed large parts of her life-story. Another critical review, by Dr. Debra Picchi, argues that the book was invalid as social science because of the authors auto-biographical focus on her personal development and experience, rather than on describing the Yanomami people.[5] One critic suspected that Donner might have worked from the many ethnographic movies about the Yanomami and argued that in that case her book could be considered an interpretive study of the visual documentary data.[6]
The validity of De Holmes' critique was largely accepted by the anthropological community. Even though Donner did not anywhere claim that her book was based on having actually lived among the Yanomami, she was roundly criticized for having used the ethnographic writing genre without her work in fact being based on anthropological methods. Eventually her former doctoral committee at UCLA published a letter in the Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association in which they expressed their disbelief in Donner's account stating that she was present in Los Angeles during the period in which she supposedly lived among the Yanomami. When the book was published they were not aware that the author was their former student, due to her having changed her name in the meantime.[2]
Some scholars later wondered why her book was criticized for being unscientific, even though it never made any explicit claims to scientific authority.[7] Combined with the controversy generated by the writings of Carlos Castaneda, the controversy about Donner's book contributed to sparking the ethnography "crisis of representation" of the 1980s, represented by the "Writing Culture" movement. The book is now generally considered "anthropologically inspired fiction".[8]
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