Monday, August 06, 2007

Marri, update

As described in an earlier post, marri is the indigenous name for Bannister caapi, a woody vine used in making the ceremonial tea called ayahuasca. Some cuttings were given to me by my Swiss friend and fellow guide, Pierre Swartz, more than a year ago. I kept them in a vase until a root system had developed and then transferred them to the ground next to a small tree. Mestre Joaquim at the UDV center outside Santarém, told me that the vine is quite delicate in the formation stage and that it would be better to use a string or wire network for them to get started climbing. That I did with some old discarded telephone wire. As you can see in the attached image, the vines are growing along the wire and also up the tree. What I've discovered is that the vine likes to grow up but not along the horizontally directed wires. After some careful training, they move along the wires but them double back on themselves. So, now I'm taking the attitude that the vines know better than me. Let them do their own thing. I only hope that they grow into the very thick vines used for making the tea, as depicted in the next image.

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