Literally, “vine of the dead” in Quechua; also known as yagé and cognates in various indigenous Amazonian languages. A blend of extracts of the Banisteriopsis vine and Psychotria virdis or a similar (DMT-containing) plant from which a vomit- and visioninducing drink is brewed and ingested by shamans and healers in many cultures and religious complexes (including some forms of Christianity). For example, vegetalistas (plant-inspired shamans such as Pablo Amaringo), who are justly famous for the elaborate and colorful paintings that represent some of the resulting visions, treat the vine as a powerful other-than-human person and teacher. Marlene Dobkin de Rios demonstrates that ayahuasca is not used as a curative agent, a medicine in the Western sense, but “gives the healer entry into the culturally important area of disease causality, enabling him to identify the nature of the illness from which a person is suffering, and then to deflect or neutralize the evil magic which is deemed responsible for illness.” She has also commented critically on the rise of “ayahuasca tourism” conducted by “common drug dealers” rather than “authentic ayahuasca healers,” in which Western tourists (including psychonauts and others interested in “entheogens”) are charged for drug experiences disguised as “advanced shamanic training.” Dobkin de Rios’s background in medical anthropology and psychotherapy provide her with tools for judging the psychotic results of much of this tourism.
   Benny Shanon has systematically charted the phenomenology of the ayahuasca experience and characterized it from a cognitive psychological perspective as well as discussing philosophical ramifications. Principally, he characterizes the effects of ayahuasca as manifestations of unusual enhancement of cognitive functioning, creativity, and intuition.
   Ayahuasca is central not only to traditional indigenous practices but also to Santo Daime and the União do Vegetal that have spread from Brazil to many other countries. These groups were preceded or are paralleled as ayahuasca enthusiasts and missionaries by William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Wade Davies, and Dennis and Terence McKenna. The psychoactive ingredients of ayahuasca and many other plants were first scientifically analyzed in the 1930s by Richard Schultes.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ayahuasca — wird sowohl die Dschungelliane Banisteriopsis caapi (auch: Banisteria caapi) als auch das Gebräu aus selbiger mit den Blättern der Psychotria viridis genannt. Durch die in dieser Lianenart enthaltenen Monoaminooxidase Hemmer (MAO Hemmer) wird das …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ayahuasca — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para la liana, véase Banisteriopsis caapi. Preparación de ayahuasca being en la Provincia de Napo en Ecuador. Se conoce como ayahuasca a las diversas infusiones enteogénicas …   Wikipedia Español

  • ayahuasca — (Ec.; Banisteriopsis caapi y Banisteriopsis quitensis) f. Cierta *planta malpigiácea narcótica, cuya infusión toman los indios para embriagarse y tener visiones fantásticas. ⇒ *Alcaloide. * * * ayahuasca. (Del quichua aya, muerto, y huasca,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • ayahuasca — (Del quichua aya, muerto, y huasca, cuerda). f. Ecuad. y Perú. Liana de la selva de cuyas hojas se prepara un brebaje de efectos alucinógenos, empleado por chamanes con fines curativos …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • ayahuasca — [ä΄yä wäs′kä] n. [AmSp < Quechua, lit., vine of the dead < aya, cadaver + huasca, vine] 1. a hallucinogenic drink containing harmine, C13H12N2O, prepared by Amazonian Indians from the bark of various vines of a genus ( Banisteriopsis, esp.… …   English World dictionary

  • Ayahuasca — This entry focuses on the Ayahuasca brew; for information on the vine of the same name, see Banisteriopsis caapi Ayahuasca cooking in the Napo region of Ecuador Ayahuasca (ayawaska pronounced [ajaˈwaska] in the Quechua language) is any of various …   Wikipedia

  • Ayahuasca — Peruvian Ayahuasca Liane Banisteriopsis caapi utili …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ayahuasca — n. tropical woody vine noted for its properties that causes hallucinations (found in the Amazon region); hallucinogenic drink prepared from the bark of ayahuasca …   English contemporary dictionary

  • ayahuasca — [ˌʌɪə waskə] noun 1》 a tropical vine of the Amazon region, noted for its hallucinogenic properties. [Genus Banisteriopsis.] 2》 a hallucinogenic drink prepared from ayahuasca bark. Origin 1940s: from Latin Amer. Sp., from Quechua ayawáskha, from… …   English new terms dictionary

  • ayahuasca — noun Etymology: American Spanish Date: 1949 a hallucinogenic beverage prepared from the bark of a South American woody vine (Banisteriopsis caapi of the family Malpighiaceae) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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