(d. August, 1967)
Is considered by some to be at least one of the sources of information Carlos Castaneda used regarding Sacred Datura and other hallucinogenics presented in his first two books. Lopez was a member and highly revered spiritual elder of the Cahuilla band of Indians of the Morongo Reservation, Banning, California. True, the possibility does exists that Lopez could have contributed in some fashion as an informant of Castaneda's, but it is questionable. It becomes an even more remote possibility if Lopez is thrust into the role of the primary source of information, especially considering the fund of of knowledge Castaneda presented in his first two books.
Lopez was known for being quite stoic and non-communicative even among his own band, so it would be highly unlikely that he would depart very much in the way ancient and guarded tribal secrets to a total stranger or outsider, most particularly so in the short space of time Castaneda had with him.
Lopez was said to be a special class of Shaman called a Bear Shaman, Shamans who have received their power from grizzly bears and who possess many of the qualities of the grizzly, especially their apparent invulnerability to fatal attack. Bear Shamans are said to have the ability to assume the form of bears and that they can be killed an indefinite number of times when in this form and each time return to life.
In some tribal beliefs the Bear Shaman was not thought to actually become a bear, instead being a man clothed in the skin of a bear, but capable through Shaman powers of inflicting greater injury than a true bear. To see a photo of a Native American Bear Shaman costume using the skin of a real bear, click image above right.