B. Labate & C. Cavnar present their new book about Ayahuasca Shamanism in the AYA2014

B. Labate & C. Cavnar present their new book about Ayahuasca Shamanism in the AYA2014

In the context of the AYA2014, on Saturday morning 27th, Beatriz Caiuby Labate & co-editor Clancy Cavnar will be presenting their new book Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2014), with the presence of Daniela Peluso, Glenn Shepard and Alhena Caicedo.

This book discusses how Amerindian epistemology and ontology related to certain indigenous shamanic rituals of the Amazon spread to Western societies, and how indigenous, mestizo, and cosmopolitan cultures have dialogued with and transformed these forest traditions. The collection also focuses on how shamanic rituals have been spreading and developing in post-traditional urban contexts throughout the world.

Special attention is given to ayahuasca, whose use has spread beyond its Amazonian origin and instigated a variety of legal and cultural responses in the countries it has spread to and how this responses have influenced ritual design and performance in traditional and non-traditional contexts.

Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond is a recently published book which:

  • Analyzes how displaced indigenous people and rubber tappers are¬†engaged in creative reinvention of rituals, and how these rituals help¬†build ethnic alliances and cultural and political strategies for their¬†marginalized position.
  • Explores modernity’s fascination with¬†”tradition” and the “other”. This phenomenon is directly tied to¬†important classic and contemporary issues in anthropology. One of them¬†is the relationship between the expansion of ecotourism and ethnic¬†tourism, recent indigenous cultural revivals, and the emergence of new¬†ethnic identities.
  • Focuses on trends in the¬†commodification of indigenous cultures in post-colonial contexts, and¬†the combination of shamanism with a network of health and spiritually¬†related services.
  • Addresses the topic of identity¬†hybridization in global societies. The previously unpublished¬†ethnographies and analysis collected in these chapters will add to the¬†understanding of the role of ritual in mediating the encounter between¬†indigenous traditions and modern societies.

Beatriz Labate is Visiting Professor at the Drug Policy Program of the Center for Economic Research and Education (CIDE) in Aguascalientes, Mexico. B. Labate has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of psychoactive substances, drug policy, shamanism, ritual and religion. She is also Research Associate at the Institute of Medical Psychology, Heidelberg University, co-founder of the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), and editor of NEIP’s website. She is author and co-editor of twelve books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles.

Clacy Cavnar¬†received a doctorate in clinical psychology from John F. Kennedy University (California), with a dissertation on gay and lesbian people’s experiences with ayahuasca, and graduated with a master’s in counseling from San Francisco State University. She¬†got in touch with the Santo Daime in the USA and has traveled several times to Brazil since then. She is co-editor of three books with B. Labate¬†and is a¬†Research Associate of the NEIP.

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