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Vegetalismo - Shamanism Among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon

Vegetalismo - Shamanism Among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon

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Published by Projekt E 012
Doctoral dissertation for the doctor's degree in humanities at the University of Stockholm, to be publicly examined in English in room 7, house D, Frescati on Thursday, June 5, 1986 at 10 A.M

by
Luis Eduardo Luna

Department of Comparative Religion, Stockholm 1986
ISBN 91-22-00819-5
Doctoral dissertation for the doctor's degree in humanities at the University of Stockholm, to be publicly examined in English in room 7, house D, Frescati on Thursday, June 5, 1986 at 10 A.M

by
Luis Eduardo Luna

Department of Comparative Religion, Stockholm 1986
ISBN 91-22-00819-5

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Published by: Projekt E 012 on Feb 08, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/29/2013

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ACTA UNIVERSITATIS STOCKHOLMIENSISSTOCKHOLM STUDIES IN COMPARATIVE RELIGION
27
VEGETALISMO
SHAMANISM AMONGTHE MESTIZO POPULATIONOF THE PERUVIAN AMAZON
BY
LUIS EDUARDO LUNA
ALMQVIST & WIKSELL INTERNATIONALSTOCKHOLM/SWEDEN
 
VEGETALISMOSHAMANISM AMONG THE MESTIZO POPULATIONOF THE PERUVIAN AMAZON
Doctoral dissertationfor the doctor's degree in humanitiesat the University of Stockholm,to be publicly examined in Englishin room 7, house D, Frescation Thursday, June 5, 1986 at 10 a.m.by
Luis Eduardo Luna
Department of Comparative Religion, Stockholm 1986ISBN 91-22-00819-5
ABSTRACT
In the Amazonian provinces of Peru indigenous shamanisticpractices are preserved among the mestizo population. Prac-titioners who call themselves
vegetalistas
(from which theterm
Vegetalismo
may be formed) believe that certain plants,which they call
doctores
(plant-teachers) have spirits fromwhich knowledge about this and other worlds may be gained,if these plants are ingested under certain conditions invol-ving sexual segregation and a diet that may extend from sixmonths to several years. Several of these plants have pycho-tropic properties, or contain important biodynamic compounds.Two of these plants,
Banisteriopsis caapi
(Spruce ex Griseb.)Morton and
Psychotria viridis
Ruiz & Pavon, are used in thepreparation of
ayahuasca,
a psychotropic brew with the aid ofwhich
vegetalistas
contact the spirit world in order todiagnose and cure illnesses. Other plant-teachers may also beadded to the basic
ayahuasca
preparation.This book presents information about shamanic initiation,and of the spirit world of
vegetalistas.
Shamanic knowledgeand power transmitted to the neophytes have two principalmanifestations: 1) magic melodies or
icaros
which are learnedfrom the spirits and used to perform various shamanic tasks,and 2) a magic substance received from the spirits andcarried by
vegetalistas
in their chests, and which is used inthe extraction of magic darts or
virotes,
shot by evil sor-cerers, and which are believed to be one of the causes ofillness. This book also provides information about
ayahuasca
sessions and the ideas held in the Peruvian Amazon about ill-ness and its treatment.

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