Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good News from the Heart of the Forest

Amazon Heart

Ayahuasca is declared a cultural patrimony of Peru

The decision of the Peruvian government, signed by the director of the National Institute of Culture, Javier Ugaz Villacorta, was published in the Saturday (July 19th) edition of El Peruano, the official daily of the country. According to the Peruvian government, ayahuasca has extraordinary cultural history because of its psychotropic qualities.

The resolution that formed the basis for the Peruvian declaration asserted the following conclusions:

- That the Ayahuasca plant—Banisteriopsis caapi—is a vegetable species which garners an extraordinary cultural history,


by virtue of its psychotropic properties, used in a beverage associated with a plant known as Chacruna-Psychotria viridis;


- That such plant is known by the indigenous Amazon world as a wisdom plant or plant teacher, showing initiates the very foundations of the world and its components. Consumption of it constitutes the gateway to the spiritual world and its secrets, which is why traditional Amazon medicine has been structured around the Ayahuasca ritual at some point in their lives, indispensable to those who assume the function of privileged carriers of these cultures, be they those charged with communication with the spiritual world, or those who express it artistically.

- That the effects produced by ayahuasca, extensively studied because of their complexity, are different from those produced by hallucinogens. A part of this difference consists in the ritual that accompanies its consumption, leading to diverse effects, but always within the confines of a culturally determined boundary, with religious, therapeutic and culturally affirmative purposes.

- That available information sustains the fact that the practice of ritual ayahuasca sessions constitutes one of the basic pillars of the identity of the Amazon peoples, and that the ancestral use in traditional rituals, warranting cultural continuity, is closely connected with the therapeutic attributes of the plant;

- That what is sought is the protection of traditional use and sacred character of the ayahuasca ritual, differentiating it from Western uses out of context, consumerist, and with commercial objectives.

More information on the Peruvian declaration is here.

A similar movement has been initiated in Brazil where a
fantastic chain of events led to this historic moment of the proposed recognition of the sacramental tea that carries the force and wisdom of the forest into the world.

Here is the Daime being made in Vila Fortaleza.


Andrea, Ashland said...

Thanks Lou, I really appreciate your blog!

Lou Gold said...

Hi Andrea,

Let me know when you come to Brazil. Is it to Belo?

hugs, lou