The Expanding World Ayahuasca Diaspora: Appropriation, Integration and Legislation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Expanding World Ayahuasca Diaspora

Appropriation, Integration and Legislation, 1st Edition

Edited by Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Clancy Cavnar


226 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-02-22
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During its expansion from the Amazon jungle to Western societies, ayahuasca use has encountered different legal and cultural responses. Following on from the earlier edited collection, The Expanding World Ayahuasca Diaspora continues to explore how certain alternative global religious groups, shamanic tourism industries and recreational drug milieus grounded in the consumption of the traditionally Amazonian psychoactive drink ayahuasca embody various challenges associated with modern societies.

Each contributor explores the symbolic effects of a "bureaucratization of enchantment" in religious practice, and the "sanitizing" of indigenous rituals for tourist markets. Chapters include ethnographic investigations of ritual practice, transnational religious ideology, the politics of healing and the invention of tradition. Larger questions on the commodification of ayahuasca and the categories of sacred and profane are also addressed.

Exploring classic and contemporary issues in social science and the humanities, this book provides rich material on the bourgeoning expansion of ayahuasca use around the globe. As such, it will appeal to students and academics in religious studies, anthropology, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, biology, ecology, law and conservation.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Ayahuasca and its Controversies

Óscar Calavia Sáez 

1. A Critical Review of the Literature on the Diaspora of Brazilian Ayahuasca Religions

Beatriz Caiuby Labate and Glauber Loures de Assis

2. Interpellations and Challenges in the Neoshamanic and Ayahuasca Fields in Uruguay

Juan Scuro

3. "Altered by the Hand of Man": Contextualizing Ayahuasca Law in Britain and Europe

Jonathan Hobbs

4. Santo Daime in a "Post-Catholic" Ireland: Reflecting and Moving on

Gillian Watt

5. From Village to Forest: Artistic-Spiritual Partnerships between Ernesto Neto and the Huni Kuin

Ilana Seltzer Goldstein & Beatriz Caiuby Labate

6. The Global Expansion of Ayahuasca through the Internet

Matthew Conrad

7. Ayahuasca’s Influence on Gay Identity

Clancy Cavnar

8. "Men," "Shaman," and "Ayahuasca" as Overlapping Clichés in the Peruvian Vegetalismo

Ana Gretel Echazú Böschemeier & Carl Kevin Carew

9. What Ayahuasca Wants: Notes for the Study and Preservation of an Entangled Ayahuasca

Silvia Mesturini Cappo

10. "La Dieta": The Western Reinvention of Indigenous Amazonian Food Shamanism

Alex K. Gearin & Beatriz Caiuby Labate

11. Power and Legitimacy in the Reconfiguration of the Yagecero Field in Colombia

Alhena Caicedo Fernández

About the Editors

Beatriz Caiuby 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 Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and Visiting Professor at the Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Guadalajara. She is co-founder of the Drugs, Politics, and Culture Collective, in Mexico (, and co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil, as well as editor of NEIP’s website ( She is also Chief Editor at Chacruna ( She is author, co-author, and co-editor of seventeen books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles (

Clancy Cavnar has a doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. She currently works in private practice in San Francisco, and is an associate editor at Chacruna (, a venue for publication of high-quality academic short texts on plant medicines. She is also a research associate of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP). She combines an eclectic array of interests and activities as clinical psychologist, artist, and researcher. She has a master of fine arts in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, a master’s in counseling from San Francisco State University, and she completed the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is author and co-author of articles in several peer-reviewed journals and co-editor, with Beatriz Caiuby Labate, of eight books. For more information see:

About the Series

Vitality of Indigenous Religions

Routledge's Vitality of Indigenous Religions series offers an exciting cluster of research monographs, drawing together volumes from leading international scholars across a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Indigenous religions are vital and empowering for many thousands of indigenous peoples globally, and dialogue with, and consideration of, these diverse religious life-ways promises to challenge and refine the methodologies of a number of academic disciplines, whilst greatly enhancing understandings of the world.

This series explores the development of contemporary indigenous religions from traditional, ancestral precursors, but the characteristic contribution of the series is its focus on their living and current manifestations. Devoted to the contemporary expression, experience and understanding of particular indigenous peoples and their religions, books address key issues which include: the sacredness of land, exile from lands, diasporic survival and diversification, the indigenization of Christianity and other missionary religions, sacred language, and re-vitalization movements. Proving of particular value to academics, graduates, postgraduates and higher level undergraduate readers worldwide, this series holds obvious attraction to scholars of Native American studies, Maori studies, African studies and offers invaluable contributions to religious studies, sociology, anthropology, geography and other related subject areas.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Ethnic & Tribal
RELIGION / Spirituality
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Customs & Traditions