Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ayahuasca tea, culture

My old friend down in Natal, Horacio Betcel, sent me an interesting Globo article on Gilberto Gil's promotion to make the use of ayahuasca tea official cultural patrimony. Most people in the world know Gilbert Gil as a famous Brazilian musician and singer, but he's also Minister of Culture under the the current PT Government. His introduction of the proposal to IPHAN, the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Patrimony, will certainly favor the non-indigenous groups now using ayahuasca tea in their religious ceremonies. Uniao do Vegetal is one such group, as I reported on in some previous posts on this blog. The attached image is one of the plants used in the making of the tea. It's the Bannister vine (Bannister caapi), which I filmed at the UDV Center on the road going out to Alter do Chao. The other ingredient is chacrona (Psicotria viridis), the leaves of which are boiled together with the woody substance of the Bannister vine. We have both plants at Bosque Santa Lucia, right next to the reception center. Friends at UDV invite me to participate in the tea ceremonies, but my main interest is botanical.

5 comments:

Sandpiper said...

I like this picture of twisted stems. The tea ceremony sounds interesting. On a different subject, I've left an award for you on my blog. If you stop by my blog, you can pick it up there. Thanks for the great work you do on your blog.

Steven Alexander said...

Wow! That's great that you have passed this award on to my Tropical Biodiversity blog. The first award! I'd like to add the image to my blog. Is that the right thing to do? How do I do it? I copied the icon but can't separate the two different awards. My e-mail address is amazonto@gmail.com

Huggs

Steven Alexander said...

Sandpiper, I think I figured it out. Have a look. Is it correct? SA

Sandpiper said...

Oh, it looks great here and it's well deserved, too. The ones I have at the bottom of my page are connected images to save room on my blog, but the ones in the top of the post were separate. Sorry I wasn't clear on how to do it. I'm happy that you posted the award on your blog and hope that more and more people will visit your very worthwhile blog. Congratulations on having such a wonderful blog. :)

Steven Alexander said...

Sandpiper, glad that I did it right. Again, thanks for the recognition. Coming from Sandpiper, that is indeed an award. Keep it up and keep blogging.