Indigenous peoples are any ethnic group of peoples who are considered to fall under one of the internationally recognized definitions of indigenous peoples, such as “those ethnic groups that were indigenous to a territory prior to being incorporated into a national state, and who are politically and culturally separate from the majority ethnic identity of the state that they are a part of.” Some people refer to the indigenous as ‘first nation peoples,’ or ‘original peoples.’ They were the first to walk on any given earthly land before it was colonized by other nations/peoples.
Indigenous peoples all have their own unique culture that they live by, with inherent morals, principles, beliefs, customs, traditions, philosophies and practices. For the most part, what unites indigenous cultures in commonality is that they are earth-centered and animistic – believing that everything in existence holds consciousness. Some of these cultures feature practices surrounding the use of psychotropic plants, believing that such practices are a way of gaining direct access to this animistic consciousness that is considered to be wise and divine. It is these practices that brought a global upsurge in interest in the cultures of the world’s indigenous peoples.
The indigenous community has long been a male-dominated society. With the title of pajé or shamans only for the males, and the housework and child-bearing for the females. But unlike the world we live in, where we can now vote for the next president and be elected president without much complain from our male counterparts. For…Read More
Benki Piyãko, Ashaninka indigenous leader, 2006 Ashoka Fellow, 2013 Human Rights Award recipient, 2017 UNDP Equator Prize recipient, could be criminally condemned for reporting threats to his person, and faces up to 8 years in jail. After facing conflicts in the city of Marechal Thaumaturgo, Acre, during April 2015, Benki Piyãko, Ashaninka leader from the…Read More
Iboga is one of the most psychedelic plant medicines in the world, and can can refer to many plants in the Apocynaceae family of perennial rainforest shrubs with psychoactive properties, including Tabernanthe iboga, Tabernanthe manii, and Voacanga africana. Iboga stimulates the central nervous system when taken in small doses and induces visions in larger doses.…Read More
Rapé – pronounced ha-PAY (and also spelled “hapeh” by gringos who can’t get over that it’s spelled with an “r” but pronounced with an “h” in Portuguese) – is a sacred shamanic snuff you blow up your nose. It has been used ritualistically by tribes in the Amazon basin for thousands of years for healing,…Read More
Ayahuasca is one of the strongest, wildly potent psychotropic substances in the multiverse. She can catapult any brave soul who gobbles down her tea into a tirade of terror so intensely convincing, death can feel like a blessing. There are a bazillion tales of massive breakdowns caused by Ayahuasca on the web, and yet many…Read More
Ouch! I practically jump out of my skin as the medicine woman burns me with a stick. She does this twice more. She then spits on a piece of bamboo, vigorously scrubbing it with a small knife. As she scrapes, small globules that resemble boogers start to form. She then applies the blobs to my…Read More
The Huichol People are rare when it comes to North American shamanic traditions. Unlike most indigenous populations of this region, which have undergone some degree of death, transformation or fragmentation post-Columbus, the Huichol maintain an unbroken lineage which extends back to the earliest roots of their tribal heritage. The Huichol People refer to themselves as…Read More
The world of shamanism is full of interesting offshoots and fascinating blends of religion, culture, plant medicines, and practices. Unique amalgamations of historical lineages, psychoactive plants, and direct spiritual experience are constantly emerging from the fertile field of practice and life-way that is shamanism. Umbandaime is one of those special cultural syntheses that has resulted…Read More
Indigenous People are humanity’s connection to the land and to its’ history. Whether it is through an understanding of plant-medicine, ceremony, or stewarding the land, we all have a lot to learn from tribal communities. Long before Bill Mollison coined the term Permaculture, natives were living and working in harmony with the natural elements in…Read More
Tribal festivals are a great way to immerse yourself in the indigenous culture of the Amazon Basin. Tribes like the Yawanawá, Huni Kui and the Kuntanawa in the state of Acre, Brazil, like to host festivals and welcome outside visitors. Festivals like these are the fantastic events to attend because you get to see and participateRead More