Moreover, a type of radioactive isotope analysis called luminescence dating placed the three snuffing bowls roughly between 400 and 100 BC—that is, somewhere between five and eight centuries before they were carried to the islands by migrants from South America.
The second is the odd affectation of European colonialism that indigenous people are —that, unlike Europeans, they are unchanging in their isolation and innocence.
It then follows that the practices of present-day indigenous peoples must reproduce the practices of thousands of years ago.
Both reasons, I believe, malign the creativity, adaptability, and ingenuity of indigenous cultures. 85, 86), although I am not aware of any chemical analysis of residues on these snuffing devices. 301), perhaps depicting a form of shamanic transformation (Cordy-Collins, 1977).
Archeological evidence—ranging from the discovery of distinctive snuffing devices to the identification of plant residues in snuffing kits—points to a long history of indigenous South American peoples parenterally ingesting DMT-containing plants by both snuffing and smoking (for an excellent survey, see Torres, 1995; see also Wassén, 1967). Particularly striking is artwork at Chavín de Huantar that shows figures with wide-open eyes and streams of mucus running from their nostrils, presumably as a result of snuffing; some of these heads appear to be half human and half feline or half bird (ill. Of similar antiquity are three ceramic snuffing bowls found on the island of Carriacou, near Grenada in the Antilles.
45-46) says that “we are probably not far wrong in suggesting that [the ayahuasca drink] is at least as old …
as 3000 BC or even before.” The claim that the ayahuasca drink has been used for 5000 years has become formulaic.But clearly they were important enough to be preserved, passed on for centuries, and carried by boat from South America to the Caribbean.Much later in time, the site of Tiwanaku, recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourished as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power approximately between 7 AD.A quick search of ayahuasca tourist and related websites reveals virtually identical statements of this claim: “The use of Ayahuasca has been recorded over 5000 years ago by the natives of Amazon and surrounding areas,” “Ayahuasca has been known to people for over 5000 years,” “This plant medicine has been used for over 5000 years throughout the Amazonian basin,” “Ayahuasca has been used for over 5000 years.” These examples could be multiplied. Just for perspective, the date of 3000 BC would make the origins of the ayahuasca drink as old as the founding of the first Egyptian dynasty, five centuries older than the reign of the Sumerian king Gilgamesh, and almost ten centuries older than the earliest South American devices yet discovered for the ingestion of DMT-containing plants—two pipes found in association with seeds in northwest Argentina, which have been radiocarbon dated to 2130 BC, and which had residues that tested positive for DMT (Torres, 1995, p. And while it is true that the parenteral ingestion of DMT-containing plants is of considerable antiquity in South America, there is no corresponding archeological or documentary evidence prior to the eighteenth century for the combination of a DMT-containing plant with the ayahuasca vine for oral ingestion.But first: Why such extraordinary claims for which support is so thin? The first is that, in an attempt to legitimate ayahuasca use, its proponents invoke the culturally resonant trope of a millennia-old indigenous wisdom.As we noted above, such inhaled DMT is unaffected by the MAO-A in the gastric tract, and thus acts as a hallucinogen without the addition of the ayahuasca vine—and thus too without the gastrointestinal effects of the ayahuasca beta-carbolines. These Caribbean islands were colonized from South America about 400 AD.