Colombia: The Sacred Plant of the Amazon

Ayahuasca may be a famous plant, but rather little is known about it. Shamanic tourism aside, what are the real reasons that this creeper – or Banisteriopsis caapi to botanists – is considered sacred, and has been used by 72 different tribes for centuries, almost throughout the entire Amazon region?

In Columbia, at the foot of the Andes, on the Amazon plain of Mocoa, Bernard sets out to gain a better understanding of the traditional uses of ayahuasca, known locally as “Yagé”. The shaman, or “Taïta” Aureliano Chindoy, a representative of the Inga ethnic group, leads him into ancestral territories. For Aureliano, Yagé transforms human beings, and is the source of all medicinal knowledge.

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