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Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond$
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Beatriz Caiuby Labate and Clancy Cavnar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199341191

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199341191.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2021

Will the Real Shaman Please Stand Up?

Will the Real Shaman Please Stand Up?

The Recent Adoption of Ayahuasca Among Indigenous Groups of the Peruvian Amazon

(p.16) 1 Will the Real Shaman Please Stand Up?
Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond

Glenn H. Shepard

Oxford University Press

The ayahuasca brew (Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis) was introduced very recently among the Matsigenka and Yora (Nahua) indigenous people of southern Peru. The Matsigenka used Banisteriopsis liana previously, however they did not learn to add the potent Psychotria admixture in preparing the brew until the 1950s. Introduction of ayahuasca to the Yora (Nahua) was even more recent and drastic. Shortly after their contact and decimation by contagious diseases beginning in 1985, the Yora adopted ayahuasca and abandoned previous shamanic substances and rituals. These two case studies demonstrate how quickly and completely ayahuasca shamanism can be adopted, supporting the idea that widespread ayahuasca use even among indigenous populations may be fairly recent. The studies also attest to diversity and dynamism in indigenous practices on par with the differences observed among various urban ayahuasca practices.

Keywords:   ayahuasca, shamanism, ethnobotany, Manu National Park, isolated indigenous peoples

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