Ayahuasca, diet and traditions: some cursory reflections on diversity

During the Eleventh International Congress of Ethnobiology: Local Livelihoods and Collective Biocultural Heritage (2008/Cusco, Peru) we put together an ayahuasca ceremony with a group of Kichwa shamans from Napo and a group of shamans from Colombia. It was a ceremony for academics and practitioners attending the conference – for them to get an insight into what ayahuasca is and how shamans work.

One of those present during an initial Q&A said: “I’ve just eaten, can I partake?”, to which a Colombian shaman answered: “Yes, no problem; you drink a cup, you vomit, then your stomach is empty and you’re ready for the dosis”.

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