Sukias were healer and also could work sorcery. They came to the older people of South America, sometimes three times a week but they seldom come anymore. They would cure people. When asked, they also worked spells. They also instructed people how to find and do things. They were never wrong, but must be paid. They were always right even when not know the people who the question concerned.
When the priests came, they never spoke to the sukias. The priests always spoke against the sukias to the people, saying they were not to believe them. The people, however, knew the sukias possessed power, and knew the priests were just trying to separate them from the sukias. Sukias still aid those needing their help.
Apprentices are chosen. When a sukia wants to bring an apprentice into their society he takes him to their meeting where they sit in a circle and discuss it. The chief sits in the center while the others sit in the circle having a small basket of little rocks and other secret things. When the individual graduates the chief gives him his personal rock explaining he then has total power, and the people will respect him. The rock symbolizes his power. These rocks are not crystal like those of the priests, but are of adda.
The rocks are used in the healing performed by a sukia. A rock can be placed in the center of a dish of food prepared for a sick person to eat. The food heats the body till where person wants to remove his clothing. With other sacred items such as animal teeth inflammation can be drawn from the body. Along with the rocks there are different skins to be used for different illnesses: skins of wild pigs, small reindeer, anteaters, and so on.
Sukias go into the night and sing songs in a very special, ancient language. They may repeat the songs again and again. Sometimes it sounds as if many are singing, but there just may be one sukia singing and shouting.
The singing is said to be the calling of the spirits. This is why they sing loud and long, for they are singing a message to the spirits. And, in turn, they must to the spirits for instructions on what medicine to use to heal. A.G.H.
Wall, Steve. Shadowcatchers. New York. HarperCollins. 1994. pp. 138-143.