Manuel Córdova-Rios

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Córdova-Rios in 1976
Rivers and cities of the Amazon Basin and vicinity

Manuel Córdova-Rios (November 22, 1887 – November 22, 1978) was a vegetalista (herbalist) of the upper Amazon, and the subject of several popular books.

The young mestizo joined a company that left Iquitos for the surrounding Amazon forest to cut rubber trees. He was apparently captured by a native tribe, among whom he then lived for seven years. The elderly chief taught him in intensive private sessions traditional knowledge, e.g., about medicinal plants of the jungle, and about leadership. From the tribe he learned hunting skills and acquired the name Ino Moxo (black jaguar). The chief also led group sessions using ayahuasca. After the chief's death, Córdova gave youthful leadership to the tribe for some years.

Then he returned to Peruvian life, raising a family. Eventually he became well known in the Amazon region for his success as a curandero (healer), by his skill in using the chief's herbal teachings.

In the early 1960s he met an American forester, Bruce Lamb (1913–1993), who knew life in the Amazon. Lamb then wrote Córdoba's life story in Wizard of the Upper Amazon (1971), and about his healing arts in Rio Tigre and Beyond (1985). Both books sold well and drew academic interest, acclaim and controversy. Later, a Peruvian poet-novelist and an American poet published works focused on Córdoba.

Early years[edit]

Amazon youth and caucho[edit]

Iquitos on the Amazon,
first decade of 20th century

Until the age of twelve Manuel Córdova-Ríos attended schools in Iquitos his birthplace, the major Peruvian city on the Amazon (then with about 40,000 inhabitants). His Uru mother came from Moyobamba, a town west of Iquitos in the Andes foothills between the Río Marañón and Río Huallaga. His father worked in the surrounding forest as a tapper (Spanish: cauchero; Portuguese: seringeiros) or cutter of wild rubber trees. His origins lay near Arequipa (a provincial capital far to the south).[1][2][3][4]

The Amazon trade in rubber (Sp: caucho) had then recently come upriver to Iquitos from Brazil. Eventually his mother let him go with his elder sister Mariana and her husband Lino Vela into the hinterland to learn the booming rubber business. In the small town of Iberia on the Río Tapiche the couple's trading post served rubber tappers, who would bring in their harvest of latex to sell, as well as to buy gear and supplies. Before long young Manuel went further into the bush, by boat with a company of four others under Roque to a remote, makeshift caucho camp by the Río Juruá near the Peru–Brazil border. From here they could fan out into the unexploited forest in search of wild rubber trees.[5][6]

Captured by a forest tribe[edit]

On a day when it was Manuel's turn to cook and clean camp, he was alone while the others hunted for rubber. Surprised suddenly by the deft appearance of a group of forest natives (about 15 in number), Manuel was quickly seized and nearby weapons removed. With hands bound, he was required to run at an accelerated pace along with the silent tribal party, through the forest southward for several days and nights, stopping only briefly. Exhausted and disoriented, he surmised that his fellow caucheros had been killed; he later noticed his captors with their weapons. After about nine days on foot, they reached a small village in a jungle clearing (called Xanadá he later learned) located near the Peruvian headwaters of the Río Purús. It was about 250 km. from the caucho camp.[7][8] An elderly chief greeted him and expressed kindness toward him. His name was Xumu Nawa. Manuel was naturally apprehensive. Eventually the village came to accept him, and slowly Manuel began to be reconciled to his new situation; ceremonies were held. Village children became casual and friendly, and the chief started to teach him the tribal language.[9][10][11][12][13]

Life in Huni Kui village[edit]

Being young, after adjustment Manuel Córdova-Ríos quickly took to the tribal ways of the Huni Kui ["real people" or "true, genuine people", also "chosen people"].[14][15] A readily apparent difference was that the Huni Kui for the most part went naked. Their home was the tropical rainforest, which Córdoba had only known from a Peruvian perspective. He learned their language and their hunting styles, ate the diet of cultivated vegetables, wild fruits and game meat, lived their village life, and went without clothes. He retained inwardly, however, a submerged but unresolved conflict, due to the harm caused by his initial capture.[13][16][17][18] The chief Xumu taught Manuel Córdova-Rios much traditional knowledge of the tribe, which constituted valuable lessons enriching Manuel's entire life. Here Xumu Nawa might be further described as a shaman, or as a curaca, a title for leaders used among tribes of the upper Amazon.[19][20]

Ayahuasca and hunting[edit]

Lowland forest in Peruvian Amazon

A major occupation of the men was hunting, which provided a substantial part of the Huni Kui diet. Xumu the elderly chief would, periodically, lead the hunters in secluded, group sessions calculated to renew and improve their hunting skills. The preparation usually required, e.g., a purge of the bowels, followed by taking only selected foods, and sexual abstinence. In a clearing away from the village a dark-green drink was made mostly from vines of ayahuasca [HK: nixi honi] and chacruna leaves, boiled slowly over a low fire. It was poured into small palm-nut cups and given to the hunters, who sat encircling the fire. Accompanied softly by the others, the chief would begin singing his peculiar chants. At his discretion he'd employ the songs to alter the atmosphere or modify the pace of the tribal hunters.[21][22]

The group then entered into what may be described as a shared experience of vision. After an initial chaotic flux of organic images and designs, arabesques in blues and greens, a collective fantasy developed in which a 'parade' of birds and animals began to pass into the group's awareness. Following the chief's cue the hunters would shift the chant, enabling them to use the particular song (icaro) associated with each of the jungle creatures as it passed before them. Evidently the group had evolved this method to coordinate their visions, so that they could then collectively imagine a similar scene of forest life. Accordingly, following their group witness of the wild creatures one after another, each of the tribal members were better able to appreciate the instinctual nature of such an animal or a bird, and the stealth and techniques of their fellow hunters, all of which could be scrutinized and delicately appraised in each mind's eye. Several of such hunting scenes, later conveyed in elaborated stories, might then be carefully assimilated. The experience naturally worked to coach each hunter to improve his skills, e.g., shooting arrows that hit their mark, or restarting his tracking intuition.[23][24][25][26][27]

This ayahuasca experience, which was from time to time repeated for the tribe's hunters, fascinated and enchanted the young initiate, Manuel Córdoba. By this process, the Huni Kui men worked together to sharpen and refresh the tribe's hunting skills. Afterwards, hunters divided into small groups and put to the test their newly enhanced ability to find and bag the forest's wild game, and so to increase each family's ability to survive. In one of these hunts, Nixi and Txaxo first told Manuel about how to pursue feral pigs; later they tracked a large band where their arrows found the moving targets; afterwards Nixi and Txaxo described the roving habits of pigs in the forest.[28][29]

The hunters also maintained a tradition of reciting to each other tribal legends as well as personal stories of the hunt. Córdova heard such hunting stories told in gatherings, e.g., inside a thatched house by the fire during a cold, rainy night, or in the village clearing on balmy nights during the dry season. Each seemed to have several favorites. He listened as various hunters spun their tales: Awawa Xuko ("[largest] Toucan") spoke about a brief fight between jaguar and anteater; Natakoa ("Forest Man") told how a harpy eagle had caught a howler monkey; and chief Xumu Nawa related a story about when a youth, in company with the former chief Awawa Toto, they tracked a special band of howler monkeys.[30][31]

Huni Kui traditions[edit]

In addition to the hunting stories, Córdova heard about legendary scenes and mythic figures; he also heard talk about social ceremonies and witnessed such events. He learned the tribal origin of the Huni Kui during a time when humans could talk with animals, and about how people did not die as they do now, but instead "Old men changed into boys, old women into girls". This was before the tribal loss of immortality. One narrative described the first war, started by wife-stealing; chief Xumu associated this with the tribe's recent misfortunes stemming from the invasion of commercial "rubber cutters" (Sp: "caucheros"). Another story told of the negative behavior suffered by a man named Macari, who had made improper use of ayahuasca.[32][33]

The teenager Nawatoto (HK: "Hawk"), the son of Natakoa and his wife Yawanini, had become a good hunter and was deemed ready to marry by his parents, which was later affirmed by the elder chief Shumu (Xumu Nawa) and a group of older men and women. From a different segment of the Huni Kui a girl named Irikina was selected and the two families agreed. A brief marriage ceremony was later held, followed by a large tribal celebration involving a great feast, dancing, and drinking. After birth of the first child, the husband obtained his own hunting territory and the wife her own plot in the village garden.[34][35]

Ayahuasca lore and icaros[edit]

Harpy eagle, in sessions of ayahuasca, called forth in vision by the hawk icaro.[36]

By private instruction, the elder chief Xumu trained Manuel Córdova using "a series of incredible sessions with the extract of the vision vine, nixi honi xuma" (i.e., ayahuasca). The phrase in italics is Huni Kui, a dialect of Amahuaca which is part of the Panoan languages.[37] The word ayahuasca is Quechua for: aya meaning "spirit", "ancestor", or "dead person"; and huasca signifying "vine".[38] Xumu transmitted to Córdova the vital skills and customs of the tribe, regarding the use of ayahuasca, in addition to the chief's extraordinary knowledge of the plants of the jungle. During this introductory period, a private teaching session was held every eight days for a month, followed by a month off. Again Manuel was required to follow a strict dietary regime during the sessions. As the training lasted many months, Manuel became "nervous, high strung, and afraid of going insane" but the chief and his small group of elder women assuaged his fears. These sessions were held in a secluded place in the forest, especially selected and provisioned.[39][40]

The chief closely supervised the preparation of the brew of ayahuasca vines and the important admixture of chacruna leaves. A particular type of chacruna used by chief Xumu, Psychotria viridis, was later favored by Córdova. Primarily ayahuasca, but either of these two plants, or their comibination, are also called yagé, among other names.[41][42][43][44] Córdova learned the great care that must be taken in order to respectfully collect the ayahuasca vine (about the diameter of a wrist) and chacruna plants, then mash, mix, and cook these ingredients properly. Early on Xumu had assigned the tribe's expert, Nixi Xuma Waki ("Maker of the Vine Extract"), to instruct him how.[45][46][47] Medical studies of these drugs have since demonstrated that the visionary effects of the ayahuasca and chacruna brew are produced mainly by the latter, with the former here enabling and enhancing the imaginative clarity. Hence the extraordinary experience produced was "the result of a synergetic mechanism of the chemicals present in two different plants, an example of the sophisticated pharmacological knowledge of the Amerindian shamans."[48][49]

While secluded in a jungle clearing, united "through some telepathic code of ancient man" Córdova felt Xumu transmitting tribal knowledge. He received "accumulated wisdom of many generations of ancestral forest dwellers, tapping biological wisdom from some source unknown".[50] The older chief coached the young Manuel in the use of his imagination, steering it so as to refine his perception, and guiding him so he'd intuit its utility. Plants were shown and identified, then visualized. Their particular health benefits and especially their healing properties were discussed; various plants were related to specific diseases and their symptoms, imparting the ability to make an herbal diagnosis. To the plants the chief sang his chants (called icaros), and taught many to Córdova, along with their meaning and healing effects. Later Córdova in his work as a curandero primarily relied on the icaros taught him by Xumu. Córdova also learned how to listen to the plants, especially to ayahuasca.[51][52][53][54][55][56][57]

"In the case of mestizo Peruvian shamans, the ayahuasca plant, like other visionary plants, is itself the teacher of the aspiring shaman who, among other things, learns supernatural melodies or icaros from the plant."[58] The special functional uses of different icaros are "as varied as the needs of the shaman".[59] The key ayahuasca chants and songs "sway the sequence and content of the internal vision", remarked Córdova, who stated also, "This power once exerted, though perhaps subtle in its effect, does not easily disappear."[60] "The icaros constitute the quintessence of shamanic power."[61]

Hostilities, and firearms[edit]

Blue and red macaw:
omen of a tribal enemy.[62]

Signs of a hostile "encroachment on tribal hunting territory" were noticed. A search party discovered a "small camp of two houses" about "three days away from our village". Chief Xumu spoke to the heads of families about their past struggles against enemies. Preparations were made for a raid by a party of 25 men. The women painted the warriors' faces and bodies with a blue-black stain in finely drawn designs. At a meeting the tribe swore to make war, finger-tasting a liquid tobacco mixture. The raiding party, including Manuel, used bird calls as they approached near the hostile camp, and their scouts killed an enemy lookout. Yet as they entered the camp it was deserted. When the Huni Kui warriors returned home to the village, a victory celebration followed.[63][64]

Eventually Manuel Córdova learned of the Huni Kui's past skirmishes and battles, including the names of several enemy tribes. Some forest neighbors had gotten hold of firearms which had given them a deadly advantage in warfare against the Huni Kui. Most significant, however, was the defeat of the Huni Kui by Brazilian caucheros armed with rifles, resulting in the loss of life, loss of captives, and loss of tribal territory which caused the tribe's migration. Much later Manuel heard the chief describe as a primary reason for his abduction from the caucho camp: to somehow obtain firearms for the Huni Kui.[65][66][67][68]

Tribal trade in rubber[edit]

Subtly prompted by the old tribal chief Xumu, the 17-year-old Manuel suddenly came to the realization that the Huni Kui could search for rubber trees in the forest, cut them down to collect the 'sap' and so obtain the valuable trade good: latex (Spanish: caucho). With his help, the tribe could sell the rubber at a river trading post, and with the proceeds purchase firearms and implements. Because of his proposal, Manuel felt he had won some sense of control over his own future within the tribe, which gave "new meaning to life" and made him "inwardlly greatly excited". First Manuel worked with Huni Kui hunters to sharpen the dull metal and stone tools they had, in order to use them on the rubber trees. Manuel taught his tribe how. After many weeks a large stockpile of latex was collected which had been turned into 20 solid chunks each estimated to weigh over 20 kilos.[70][71][72]

Xumu selected a tribal party to carry the rubber to trade, one chunk per man. They then traveled on foot to the frontier of their tribal lands and beyond through (what Manuel thought was) "trackless forest" moving northeast. Eventually they came to a stop close to a 'outpost' for the rubber trade, on the Río Purús in Brazil, just across the Peruvian border. There Córdova for the first time in years put on western clothes (ill-fitting, given him by the chief), and paddled alone aboard an improvised three-log raft loaded with chunks of latex to the river 'business office'. Indians were forbidden by law from purchasing firearms. Córdoba avoided the manager's inquisitive questions, and sold Rodrigues the harvested rubber at the going price, which was more than enough. He purchased a box of six rifles, two shotguns, ammunition, as well as other goods (axes, machetes, mirrors, and beads), and put on account his remaining credit balance. Córdoba saw a calendar: June 15, 1910; it had been two and a half years since his capture. When the party returned to the village, the whole tribe celebrated in its most grand style.[73][74]

Soon after his return from the tribe's first caucho trading venture, Manuel Córdova married. Chief Shumu (Xumu) had selected Huaini (HK: "Fragrant Flower") and introduced the situation to Manuel. Of course, he already knew Huaini. They had first met shortly after his arrival in the village of Xanadá when he was exhausted and disoriented following his abduction; she was the girl who had then given Manuel a sweet banana drink. Their continuing "strong feeling of affection" for each other pleased the chief.[75][76]

Chief Xumu and ayahuasca[edit]

Shaman of Urarina tribe, 1988. Comparable perhaps to Xumu of the Huni Kui, who seemed both shaman and chief. Nearly a century later, this shaman wears western clothing with his tribal gear. The Urarina of the Peruvian Amazon appear not closely related to Huni Kui.[77][78]

In the group ayahuasca sessions, the nature and timing of the visions seen by each member was significantly influenced by the purposeful chanting of the guide. The group would join in these songs, called icaros. In his guiding role, chief Xumu Nawa apparently employed different chants or icaros in order to steer and coordinate the subjective imaginations of individual tribal members, so that the ayahuasca sessions would become a shared experience among those participating. "Soon subtle but evocative chants led by the chief took control of the progression of our visions. Embellishments to both the chants and the visions came from the participants."[79][80] An anthropologist of the upper Amazon wrote:

"Córdoba-Rios' account evokes for the reader the immense importance that plant hallucinogens can have among groups where they are centrally incorporated into all aspects of social life. [He] illustrates how non-literate groups... use the visionary effects of the plant to intensify perception of forest animals, their habits and peculiarities, and to increase their awareness of individual interactions within the group, thereby facilitating political control in the absence of formal leadership structures. ... The preparation and use of the plant is ritualized and accompanied by musical chants... [managed] by the guiding shaman to control the progression of visions and, in effect, to program them toward culturally-valued stereotypic patterns which aid in specific problems... ."[81]

Lamb commented that chief Xumu led the Huni Kui "with great finess and subtlety, seeking consensus on every important action after long discussion with his people."[82] His practice in guiding ayahuasca sessions with carefully timed icaros undoubtedly assisted his ability to persuade. When the hunters would gather to tell their tales of tracking and encountering game, Xumu might also recite a story of his own. Often he then would speak of the former chief, Awawa Toto.[83] Chief Xumu employed these ayahuasca sessions to augment his authority.

"I sense, my friend", Córdova said to me, "that you find it difficult to grasp the significance of the influence that a maestro ayahuasquero has over the minds of a group of people who participate with him in a vision session of the kind I have described. This power once exerted, though perhaps subtle in its effect, does not easily disappear. As you know, in my youth I was held in its spell for several years."[84]

Following chief Xumu's death, Córdoba followed his instructions and assumed the duties of tribal chief. Eventually he discovered, while conducting a group ayahuasca session, by using icaros, "that the visions obeyed the songs and chants, or perhaps it would be better to say that by means of the chants it was possible to influence the course of the visions". At the next ayahuasca session in which he guided tribal members, Córdoba tested his new understanding about the steering of the visions beheld by the group. He states, "I chanted what I wanted to see and found that each time... no matter how involved or strange the visions, they obeyed my wishes as I expressed them in song."[85] Accordingly, his authority increased. "Once the men realized that I had achieved domination over their dreams, they considered me a true magician, a position superior to theirs."[86]

Migrations of Huni Kui[edit]

In the recent past, well before Córdova's arrival, the tribe had been living in settlements across the border, by the banks of a river in Brazil, the Tarauacá [HK: Hoonwa-ia]. Commercial rubber agents, however, began appearing in the vicinity. As these groups of caucheros increased in number, their frictions with the people of the forest might escalate. Some of these intruders began launching armed and murderous assaults against various native tribes, in particular, against the Huni Kui. Incapable of mounting an adequate defense, tribal subgroups under chief Xumu decided to move upriver to escape these aggressors, who killed and who also took captive women and children. Soon this new refuge was also attacked by rubber interests. In addition, neighboring tribes had gotten hold of modern firearms and thus gained an intolerable advantage in the recurring violence of intertribal warfare. While again migrating upriver to the west, a large boa was found and the refugees, taking it as good luck, named their subgroups the Donowan after the boa.[87][88][89][90]

These Donowan continued upriver, to a more inaccessible location, one near the upland headwaters of several rivers; "they withdrew to this most isolated area away from navigable streams to avoid contact with the invading rubber cutters". In the process, they were joined by two local tribes (the Xabo and Ixabo: "Palm Tree" people) who also spoke the same Huni Kui language. Together they founded a new settlement which they named Xanadá ("Place to Begin Again"), led by Xumu their chief. Nonetheless, stored in the wounded tribal memory of the Huni Kui remained grievous, emotional scenes concerning family catastrophes, hence instinctual motivation to avenge the tribe's losses: the "murdered relatives and stolen children", and their former lands where they had hunted, tilled, and gathered.[91][92][93]

Passing of chief Xumu[edit]

Huni Kui village [recent photo].

The elderly tribal chief Xumu became ill and began to weaken further. He sat for days in his hut, attended by an inner group of elderly village women. At his passing, the tribe went into mourning. His body was prepared for burial by being washed and wrapped, then lifted up to the ceiling of the hut, where smoke from the fire is thick, which cured it for many months. All activity ceased. His life and guidance was fondly recalled; nostalgia gripped the Huni Kui. The tribe raised chants amid collective cries of lamentation. In remembrance people spoke of Xumu's leadership during the troubles and sorrows of the recent migrations. Later his stiffened body was oiled, so that his joints could be moved to put him in a sitting position; then he is placed into a large ceramic jar. His belonging are also put in, and food, and then a lid was sealed using melted tree resin. A ceremony was held in which the chief was buried at the edge of the village. Days passed; eventually the village's store of food became exhausted, and the communal activity of tribal life resumed.[94][95]

Córdova's time as chief[edit]

Chief Xumu's funeral ceremony was prepared quietly and then held by the tribe, with spontaneous mourning manifested. After a time, Córdova (Ino Moxo) was asked by the hunters to lead an ayahuasca session of 'group dreaming', in order to reinvigorate and sharpen their tracking and shooting skills. Over a year had passed since the tribe engaged in the rubber trade. Need arose for more machetes and other implements. Córdova managed the village work and the forest collection of latex, then its transport to the river trading post. Once there he went alone, as before, to sell the caucho and to buy the goods. Córdova learned the price of rubber had fallen by almost half.[96][97]

Tribal festivities were held to celebrate the new purchases from their caucho trade. The days of drinking resulted and the usual feuds erupting among intoxicants. Córdova found it difficult to satisfactory settle the angry quarrels. Later he led another ayahuasca session, where his skills noticeably improved, as he used the chanting of icaros to orchestrate the group's flow of shared images. Tribal members came to consider the Ino Moxo a master at it. Eventually, new insights about the social life of the tribe allowed Códova to improve his ability to mediate the repetitive disputes. Córdova also was called upon to practice the art of healing he learned from chief Xumu. He began to place some reliance on an elderly woman, Owa Iuxabo (Old Mother).[98][99][100] Yet other difficulties developed.

One group of Huni Kui, who appeared more violent by nature, had separated from the others, and was absent for many days. When they returned, a village woman hinted to Córdova that they had raided a camp of Peruvian rubber tappers in the vicinity, ignoring his prior instructions. Córdova (Ino Moxo) called a tobacco meeting with them in which he recalled his careful training by the former chief, and his own ability to get arms and trade goods. Without drama, he implied his knowledge of their raid, and that if they continued raiding "evil spirits and disastrous times would destroy the tribe". These members joined the discussion, saying many caucheros were now withdrawing from the neighboring forests; more importantly, they dwelled on the unavenged deaths and other losses suffered by the Huni Kui in the past. In the prior attacks by rubber cutters, women and children had been taken, others killed or went missing. The tribe had felt compelled to abandon its village and lands (see above "Migrations"). In reply Córdova, in order to re-establish social solidarity, selected a tribal party of 25 which travelled to where their former settlements had been, i.e., to where they had been driven out. When the party reached their old lands they found abandoned caucho camps. Córdova moved to quell talk of violent vengeance-seeking, warning it would likely provoke a devastating response by the more numerous, better-armed caucheros against their current home Xanadá. The party then returned home, where Córdova was told that enemy tribes had been probing the Huni Kui defenses.[101][102]

Meanwhile, anonymous attempts continued to be made on Córdova's life; arrows were shot at him, but by whom remained a mystery: probably a rival tribe. The late chief Xumu had seen his only son fall victim to such deadly sniper attacks.[103][104] During the tribe's next rubber-trade venture, Córdova found that latex prices continued to plummet, and that many commercial caucheros were leaving. Later, when an arrow almost hit Córdova while in the forest, the tribe became anxious and demanded that he remain in the village for protection. As if imprisoned there by his tribe, he began to feel a sense of foreboding. Córdova (Ino Moxo) then prepared himself alone for an ayahuasca session: therein he saw the deceased chief Xumu and the black jaguar; he also a vision his mother ill and dying.[105][106]

Return to Iquitos[edit]

Seal of Manaus

Another cache of latex was collected and then a tribal party carried it overland to their destination: the trading post on the banks of the Río Purús. Halting nearby, they built a raft to float the latex the rest of the way; as usual, Córdova put on clothes and took the rubber in alone. Its price had continued its decline, and the latex had little of its expected value. Docked by the outpost was the Filó, a Brazilian launch. Rodrigues told him it would soon be leaving downriver. With some purchased utility goods, Córdova returned to the waiting tribal party. He then misdirected their attention by telling them that he must go again to buy new guns. Yet back at the jungle trading post the next morning, he instead booked passage on the Filó. It took him to Manaus on the middle course of the Amazon River; this city was the commercial capital of the Amazon rubber boom.[107] At Manaus Córdova went to the offices of Luzero-Rodrigues da Costa & Companhia, where he collected the balance due on account. Here he avoided informing an elder Rodrigues of his seven years in captivity, keeping the world of the Huni Kui hidden and apart. From Manaus Córdova proceeded westward, up the Amazon River to Iquitos in Peru. There he found his father living in the same home, who greeted him with an abraço, but learned to his sadness that his mother and a sister had died recently in an influenza epidemic.[108][109]

Although Córdoba later dreamt about his time with the forest tribe, he remained ambivalent about the incident of his capture and life with the tribe. Once back home in Iquitos he did not try to return to the Huni Kui. He did keep an ear open for news about the tribe. Eventually he would refer to the Huni Kui as his "Indian captors" but also as "my group of Indians" and "our village". Yet he offered reasons to justify his escape. "My early family ties had been strong, and for this reason I probably never completely gave up on the idea of escape and return." On the other hand, he said that "if conditions had been different I might have stayed on in the forest for a long time". The most important condition, among several major ones, was that "our enemies there in the forest [were trying] to assassinate me and thus eliminate the source of firearms for my group of Indians". Later, when discussing his remarkable ability to effect cures, Córdoba would give the credit to chief Xumu of the Huni Kui, who was "the single most important influence on the rest of his life".[110][111][112]

Issue of authenticity[edit]

Córdova's story of his capture by, and years among, an indigenous tribe of the Peruvian Amazon was initially welcomed in the anthropological literature. Indeed, it was praised and recommended.[113][114] Richard Evans Schultes, the celebrated authority on plants and drug extracts, particularly of the Amazon, about the Córdoba's 1971 book, states: "The numerous references to plants used by Amazonian Indians and more especially the interesting data on the hallucinogen ayahuasca provide significant ethnobotanical information."[115]

About a decade after Lamb's first book, however, the well-regarded anthropologist Robert L. Carneiro published a piece highly critical of Córdova.[116][117] It appeared in a popular book of essays mostly about another's somewhat similar claims of being initiated into Native American shamanism yet of a different locale and method; the book's editor Richard de Mille was a noted sceptic.[118][119] Carneiro presented a list of major social customs he had observed or been told about the Amahuaca [tribes associated with the Huni Kui],[120][121] which differed markedly from those related by Córdova. Among these traits: no tribal chief, no tribal 'villages', different 'clothes', different weapons, different tribal ceremonies, no 'tobacco-licking' oath, different care of the dead, cannibalism, and different myths.[122]

Carneiro also quoted a letter he received from a university psychiatrist of Lima,[123][124] who had "interviewed" the elderly Córdova when he was "seriously ill". The letter characterized him as a vain rustic, and a trickster.[125][126] Not willing to commit to an absolute denial of authenticity, Carneiro nonetheless states that Córdova's story "consists of fragmentary ethnographic tidbits gleamed indiscriminately from many tribes and encased in a matrix of personal fantasy."[127] Carneiro had earlier published about a half-dozen articles on the 'Amahuaca tribes' based on his on-site study of them conducted about 50 years after Córdova's reported experiences.[128][129] Later Lamb claimed that Carneiro spent "a very short time (about eight weeks)" with the Amahuaca,[130] but Huxley writes that Carneiro and his wife Gertrude Dole were there at least "two months" during a return visit.[131]

Panoan languages (dark green) and Takanan languages (light green). Circles indicate documented locations. Fields indicate approximate early probable locations. Panoan includes Huni Kui and Amahuaca tribes. It is a branch of the Pano-Tacanan language family.[132][133]

Subsequently, the issue has been addressed by several different writers, with opinions divided.[134] Jonathan Ott, an expert on entheogenic drugs including ayahuasca, recapitulates Carneiro's essay and seconds his conclusions.[135] Nonetheless Ott later mentions Córdova positively as one of the mestizo ayahuasqueros who had left his "jungle home" yet "continued to practice shamanic healing in urban areas of Peru".[136]

Lamb remained convinced of the truth of Córdova's account.[137][138] During the 50 years between Córdova's capture and Carneiro's study, the Amahuaca tribes underwent radical social transformations, due to traumatic encounters with the modern world.[139] Events during these 50 years were dramatic, as the Amazon rubber boom and other commercial penetration (e.g., subsequent oil production) caused sharp social disruption in the Peruvian Amazon: a catastrophic decline in Amahuaca tribal population, loss of most tribal lands, and cultural-economic assimilation.[140][141]

Lamb also contends that from Córdova's book the Huni Kui tribe can be precisely determined from among neighboring tribes, but that Carneiro has instead incorrectly employed the ethnically ambiguous name of Amahuaca and so misidentified the Huni Kui, connecting them with other assorted tribes.[142][143] Lamb criticized focus on the Amahuaca:

"Amahuaca, as it is used indiscriminately by many observers for various Panoan clans dwelling between the Río Juruá and Río Madre de Díos in Brazil and Peru, is a vague term with little meaning for designating any particular tribe or clan of Indians."[144] "Whether or not [here the] Huni Kui can legitimately be called Amahuaca is difficult to determine... ."[145]

Later Lamb pointed to a 1926 article, whose French author wrote professionally on Amazon tribes, where the Huni Kui were also called the Caxinaua and the Amahuaca.[146] A current chapter "Huni Kuin (Kaxinawá)", in Povos Indígenas no Brasil, also identifies the Huni Kuin (with an added "n") as the Caxinauá or Kaxinawá.[147][148] Yet the names of tribal peoples here (where some groups even now choose to remain hidden from moderns) retains an ambiguity due to ubiquitous conventions of self-naming.

"The first reports from travellers in the region contain a confusing mix of indigenous group names that persists even today. This stems from the fact that the names do not reflect a consensus between namer and named. The Pano namer calls (almost) all the others nawa, and himself and his kin huni kuin." "Huni Kuin [signifies] 'true humans'."[149]

Lamb discusses,[150] with multiple citations to anthropological literature, each of Carneiro's points about Huni Kui tribal customs: chiefs, village size, clothing, weapons, ceremonies, tobacco, funerals, cannibalism, and myths. He refers to Huxley's book about the Amahuaca, citing a description of a Rondowo village with fifty houses whose people were led by a curaca or tribal chief,[151][152] who ruled on any conflicts with outsiders.[153][154][155][156][157] Lamb thus relied on prior work of other scholars who clearly differed with Carneiro, and on tribal changes during the significant 50 year lapse.[158]

Matthew Huxley's 1964 book Farewell to Eden sheds light on Amahuaca history, especially regarding kingship and settlements. Carneiro challenged Córdova's account regarding the existence of kings or villages among the Amahuaca; Carneiro claimed neither existed, "strictly speaking".[159] Nonetheless, Huxley refers to oral histories taken in interviews with Amahuaca which indicate that in tribal lore "once there existed three, perhaps even four 'big' villages". One was called Xandia, said to be founded by "Iriya, the Rondowo's curaca (chief)" who was still alive in the early 1960s. He had persuaded two other Amahuaca subgroups to join Xandia which had "some 50 huts". All of these villages were eventually abandoned, probably due to "internal dissension" and to raids by caucheros during the rubber boom.[160] In this broad view Huxley generally substantiates Córdova's story, e.g., Huxley's Xandia suggests Córdova's Xanadá. Yet not all the details given by Huxley find a match in Córdova.[161] About Carneiro's denial, "strictly speaking", of chiefs or villages among the Amahuaca: at one point Huxley infers an outline tribal history that toward mid-century, when Carneiro arrived (50 years after Córdova), had resulted in the fragmentation of the Amahuaca into very small groups.[162]

In a 1991 book co-written by Luis Eduardo Luna, an anthropologist familiar with his Peruvian Amazon, and Pablo Amaringo, a local practitioner of native healing arts, Córdova is discussed. His singular familiarity with the plants of the tropical forest is highly praised, as well as his insights about ayahuasca and his chanting guidance of group sessions. The authors note that Amazon herbalists would depend on the jungle tribes for their initial familiarity with the plants, and are usually ready with an account about their shaman sources. While agnostic about his tribal capture story, the authors write that Córdoba's extensive knowledge was certainly acquired from the native tribes of the region. They refer to him as "Don Manuel Córdova-Ríos, a vegetalista of great reputation for his knowledge of medicinal plants and for his success as a healer."[163]

Ino Moxo: black jaguar[edit]

Manuel Córdova-Ríos acquired the name Ino Moxo, a word of the Amazon region which means: jaguar ino, and black moxo. A memorable event occurred a year before he began searching for rubber trees near Iberia. During a trip north to the Río Putumayo, the young Manuel when alone had come upon a black jaguar in the forest. During several fleeting moments of a vital and gripping intensity they had exchanged looks. Jaguars thereafter held a fascination for him, e.g., in his visions. Later he was captured and taken to the Huni Kui village, whose tribal stories and rituals would feature the jaguar.[164][165]

A melanistic Panthera onca is a color morph, occurring at about 6% frequency in jaguar populations of South America.
Black Jaguar of Panthera onca

At a time when the Huni Kui chief Xumu was declining in physical strength, there was an ayahuasca session in a forest clearing. A group of hunters took the drink, which then took its effect. Thereafter, in a parade of animals accompanied by the chanting of the hunters, the first animals to appear were large jungle cats. There came a "tawny puma... spotted ocelot, then a giant rosetta-spotted jaguar". Though of tremendous strength this animal shuffled along before the onlooking men. But the large cat's peaceful attitude ended abruptly. "An instant change of demeanor to vicious alertness caused a tremor through the circle of phantom-viewers." It was a terrifying sight. This vision sparked in the memory of Córdova his prior solitary encounter "face to face on a forest path with the rare black jaguar". He remembered clearly the ino moxo. "This mighty animal now intruded on our visions and a shudder passed through us all." Later, a "calabash of thick fruit gruel" made the rounds of the group.[166][167]

"Everyone seemed aware of the source of the black jaguar sequence of visions. It left a strong impression on them and resulted in my being given the name Ino Moxo, Black Panther."[168]

A slightly different version was later told. When the shared vision of the rosette-spotted jaguar worked to spark Córdova's own memory, he began a chant, "in the Huni Kui language, "Ino, Ino Mosho" (Black Jaguar) and the mighty black beast then intruded into the joint dreams of our group".[169]

The novelist César Calvo Soriano narrates a different story altogether. He attaches the name change to an event orchestrated by chief Ximu [Xumu, Shumu], probably shortly after the arrival of the young Manuel Córdova in the Huni Kui village.[170][171]

"The childhood of the kidnapped boy passed in a long celebration, a noisy ceremony of potions and fierce nostalgias, in the climax of which he was rebaptized. He stretched his arms, and from the high bush his new life rained down. 'Ino Moxo,' said the branches above, struck by a heavy downpour. 'Ino Moxo,' as a talisman made of roots and darkness. Ino Moxo: Black Panther."[172]

After his return to Iquitos, Córdova led ayahuasca sessions for a Lamisto tribe upriver in Chazúta. Then the fierce black jaguar of his youthful encounter appeared again, in the shared fantasy of the Lamisto group; the vision became a local legend. Córdova settled down, making his home in the forest. Then, by using a native technique of putting 'stingers' in the footprints of jaguars, he caused the jungle near his home to become free of roaming jaguars, who had been stealing his chickens and pigs. In a different setting, he correctly predicted a fatal jaguar attack. As a cumulative result, he acquired a reputation for possessing control over the wild jaguars of the Amazon, Córdova informs us.[173]

Life in the Peruvian Amazon[edit]

NE Iquitos in 1987. Urban settlement shows features of the rural Amazon.

Following his return to his native city of Iquitos from the remote Huni Kui village of Xanadá, Córdova immediately discovered that his family had been struck by the plague, in which his mother died. Córdova then found work in the neighboring forests and rivers of the Peruvian Amazon, e.g., a return to being a rubber tapper, as a guide for timber surveyors, as a rural farmer, and locating plants for a pharmaceutical company. He married and started a family. In addition to his regular work, Córdova had begun to find cures for the sick when the situation arose, especially among the rugged and isolated people of the Amazon forest. He appreciated the great value of his learning in the healing arts received from Xumu, chief of the Huni Kui. His early practice of providing herbal remedies was occasional, but following many successful treatments, popular demand for his services increased. By then he and his family had returned to the urban life of Iquitos.[174]

Forest guide and farmer[edit]

Although now moving about in western clothes, Córdova was nonetheless often able to establish rapport with tribal people of the forest. He understood several languages native to the upper Amazon.[175][176] In addition to talking and listening, he also could share an intuitive familiarity, a fascination and an appreciation of the incredible forest. As an herbalist he knew directly the touch and smell of its flora and by hunting the tracks made by the fauna. He described one episode where a native man led Córdova away from a well-traveled river up a creek in order to reach his remote village and his shy, isolated people. Córdova's ability to paddle well in their tiny canoe and his comments "on the plants, birds, animals, on the sounds, smells, signs" of the forest led his companion to regard Córdova "as an equal. He would not have to apologize to his tribesmen for bringing me into their territory." Córdova told also about the time he journeyed to discuss with a "superstitious and clannish people" their on-site employment for the commercial collection of medical plants. For two days he was taken by mule trails to his guide's remote mountain village near the Andes, the two talking in a "brand of Quechua". His guide, having grown familiar with Córdova, felt no discomfort in presenting him to the reserved villagers.[177]

Because of a temporary rise in rubber prices due to the World War (1914–18), Córdova was able to find work locating wild rubber trees for tapping. During these years, Córdova continued his interest in medicinal plants; he increased his knowledge by sharing with local practitioners and tribes. Eventually he entered into contract with an agent of pharmaceutical companies to act as an herbalist, to find plants of the Amazon region noted for their curative properties. In the meantime, he and his wife acquired 'squatter rights' on a river 'island' and Córdova started farming the land, growing corn and raising livestock. He hunted to supplement their diet. It was a few decades afterwards, when he and his maturing family lived in the Amazon city of Iquitos, that he served as guide for a timber company, e.g., in a region near the Andes called the eyebrows of the mountain [Sp: las cejas de la montaña]. An arboreal survey was being created, with information about river access. There began his work with an American forester, Bruce Lamb, who would become his lifelong friend and colleague. Lamb wrote the books and articles.[178][179][180]

Tribes in transition[edit]

A Tapiche village

Later when elderly, Córdova reflected on his Amazon home in a wider context: the social disruption (superficially shown in mixed attire), difficult economic adjustments, territorial dispersal of 'refugees', and suffering among the tribes, all of which resulted in the wake of the modern advance in the Amazon of world commerce and culture.[181] The rubber boom at the turn of the 19th century was a case in point. His own capture by the Huni Kui had happened as a result of one of the many cross-cultural dislocations. Of the collateral dystopias created by such advance, Córdova described one particular negative aspect, the seemingly contagious violence:[182]

"The tribal lives of the forest-dwelling Indians of the Amazon were subject to devastating pressures by the invading rubber exploiters seeking riches... . Hostile tribes were forced into conflict by the invasion as [one tribe] sought to escape and establish new hunting territories in country already occupied by [an]other tribe."[183]

While the youthful Córdova lived with the Huni Kui by the headwaters of the Río Purús, a thousand kilometers to the north on the Putumayo the international rubber trade disgracefully created hell.[184][185][186][187] Generally in the Amazon region, episodes of social injustice and culture clash persisted.[188][189][190] Especially since 1900, the Peruvian Amazon has been in a state of continual transformation, for better or for worse. Among intrusions during the last five centuries: the military, missions, and traders; the government, settlers, and botanists; rubber, lumber, and oil; ranching, air travel, and urban retail; transistor radios, tourism, and mobile phones.[191]

These modernizing changes in the Amazon were accompanied by an increase in intermarriage and interracial marriage, which had commenced four centuries earlier.[192] These novel unions occurred with members of different tribes, with Europeans, and with Africans. The multitribal or mestizo children and descendants often belonged exclusively to neither the father's nor the mother's culture. A person who lived in the river and forest communities without tribal affiliation became described as a "ribereño", which might include Córdova.[193]

Marriage and family[edit]

Córdova had noticed a young student, Nieves Ochoa, at the Catholic Mission and Convent School for Girls located by the river settlement of Requena on the lower Ucayali at the mouth of the Río Tapiche. He arranged with her to meet secretly several times. Then, as the narration explains, "I stole her from the Padres and took her with me to the upper Tapiche." After the birth of two daughters (for each occasion he had "prepared herbal baths and extracts for Nieves to drink"), the couple was married by Padre Augustín Lopez of the convent school, who also baptized their children.[194][195]

From the Río Tapiche Nieves and Manuel then moved to Áquano Isla on the Río Ucayali. They constructed a rustic home and began to work as an independent farming family, obtaining the "squatter's rights" of another. Although rewarded by their efforts, the river's changing currents made the Isla unstable. Later, on the long-term advice of the Padre, they moved to the large city of Iquitos. There Córdova eventually became a full-time vegetalista or, what has been called an urban shaman, a curandero. Nieves Ochoa assisted in his work, and came to share in his visions. They enjoyed a large family: five sons and five daughters, and with time 50 grandchildren.[196][197]

Coliseo de Gallos[edit]

Suffering from increasing river flooding on the Áquano Isla farm, the Córdova family relocated to the city of Iquitos. He contacted a boyhood friend from school, who needed someone to manage an ongoing business in Iquitos, and they formed a partnership. The business involved holding public events which featured fighting cocks. Córdova worked on assembling the best string of such fowl. The concession stand he left to his wife and children. His fighting cocks became famous and were often victorious. Betting was a major means of revenue, both the house percentage and his own wagers, along with spectator tickets, competitor entry fees, and the concessions. He later bought out his partner. When for extraneous reasons Córdova later fled to Manaus where he remained for several years, his two older sons were able to successfully run the business. The arena was named the Córdova Coliseo de Gallos. On his return from Manaus, the family decided to sell the company.[198]

Herbalist and healer[edit]

As mentioned, Córdova continued to utilize the training in healing arts taught him by chief Xumu of the Huni Kui. Episodes involving his individual patients are narrated intermittently throughout the Río Tigre book, especially in the chapter "Man of Medicine". He began with his own family. Córdova relates that he "prepared herbal baths and extracts for Nieves to drink before and after the birth of our children". Also he made an herbal drink to cure his second daughter of a youthful, diabetic-like condition. Much later he prepared plant extracts to serve as a contraceptive for one of his five daughters.[199]

Cinchona tree's bark: a remedy.[200]

His early patients usually were poor mestizos and people of the forest tribes. While living on remote Áquino Isla, he attended a friend with a severe skin rash erupting all over his body that was thought to be leprosy but which Córdova diagnosed as pellagra (due to a poor diet), and a woman with a continuing flow of blood after childbirth. Both cures were effected by herbal extracts. "When it became known by word of mouth that I could cure people they came from far and near for help." Mentioned are other Amazon treatments for: alcoholism (a cure learned from chief Huanichi of the Capanahua), diabetes, and epilepsy. Later in Iquitos he cured a young girl with a lung infection doctors thought tubercular, but Córdova tracked it to a festering wound in her foot that had superficially healed over, but whose infection had migrated to her lungs. His reputation grew. A judge called Córdova about his seriously ill daughter for whom doctors "could do nothing more"; after an interview and exam, and by using ayahuasca, he found that her liver was the problem's source and prepared several plant extracts: first to "detoxify" her from prior "improper medication", and then to treat her liver.[201]

While resident in the Brazilian city of Manaus he continued to practice the healing arts. After returning to Peru, at a jungle curare camp he had established, Córdova treated an associate's wife who for many years suffered from epileptic seizures; he made her a preparation containing fine powder from pedernal (flint) rock, which may contain lithium, a remedy chief Huanichi had taught him. Later by use of the pedernal powder and a tree bark, Córdova helped several suicide-prone patients with manic depression. At Chazúta the local tribe, who considered illness the work of evil spirits, requested him to attend to a dying man, who Córdova found to be suffering instead from malaria and intestinal parasites; his herbal remedies improved his condition. By Río Napo Córdova cured himself of uta a local skin disease disfiguring to nose and ears which he had contracted from a red fly's bite. An herbal remedy he prepared for "sore throat and head cold" might function as an aphrodisiac if taken in increased amounts, which inadvertently happened.[202]

A case involving an Iquitos policeman had puzzled doctors who hinted at a surgical solution; after receiving a mixture of tree leaves and tree bark, the man passed an "intestinal tapeworm" and was restored to health. A case that stumped doctors in Lima was later diagnosed by Córdova as erysipelas, cured with a drink made from tree barks and baths. The chapter "Man of Medicine" contains descriptions of other cases, including those involving: diabetes, lameness, ulcers, lumbago, kidney stones, asthma, and leukemia (a case whose cure the previous doctors considered "miraculous, unbelievable"). In many cases Córdova found a way to heal where earlier medical doctors had not been as fortunate. A remedy he derived from Amazon vegetalismo, some said, was a cure for cancer. Córdova mentions three cases he treated which had been doctor-diagnosed as cancer: two satisfactory; in the third the patient obtained relief from suffering yet died in his sleep.[203]

According to a Lima newspaper, he was seeing about 500 people a month. Lamb described Córdova as a person who "stood out in a group. Sitting in repose, smoking his ever-present pipe and conversing quietly, he gave the impression of a benign presence." His patients came from stations high and low. He treated many of the poor of Iquitos, whom he charged very little for his services. "I make people well more for personal satisfaction than for personal gain." As his chronicler Lamb wrote, "Córdova himself expressed a certain sense of awe at his ability to heal."[204]

Exile to Brazil: Manaus[edit]

Shoreline and boats in Manaus (2006)

As a result of successful outcomes due to his herbal treatment of those suffering from ill health, Córdoba had established himself as a vegetalista in Iquitos – a good reputation he continued to earn in the region, and so became a popular healer. Yet a latent rivalry between the university-trained medical profession and the local curanderos in the Peruvian Amazon unfortunately, among a few, came to focus on him. Unexpectedly, he was accused of practicing medicine without a license and formally charged. It was the provincial court's vocál, whom Córdoba considered to be a corrupt official, who told him he would be prosecuted. This official then went on to call Córdoba a "fraud" who was "exploiting the people". To this face-to-face insult, Córdoba "reacted spontaneously and violently" giving the vocál "the full impact of a clenched fist on the side of his jaw", which felled him.[205][206]

As a result, Córdoba was advised to leave the jurisdiction for the time being. He fled across the border to Brazil, where he then resided for several years. In the Amazon River city of Manaus (Manáos), recently accustomed to wealth made from the rubber trade,[207] he became acquainted with men in business and the professions who were masons. Years earlier Córdoba had joined the masons in Cruzeiro do Sul on the Río Juruá. In Manaus he found that his idle membership now helped him make contacts that would increase his commercial opportunities, e.g., here he met Douglas Allen, the president for the Astoria Company of New York then visiting Brazil. He also enjoyed the friendship of medical doctors, Limirio da Costa and Mitrides de Lima Correa, with whom he traded his information on jungle plants and who in return enriched his understanding, e.g., of anatomy and physiology. Córdova's access to professional and book learning enabled him to establish for himself a more formal medical knowledge, and consequently greater scope and depth regarding his vegetalista point of view.[208]

Specimens for Nueva York[edit]

After World War II, while Córdova was living in Manaus, his knowledge of the medicinal properties of Amazon plants attracted the attention of the Astoria Company of New York City, which dealt primarily in lumber. This enterprise considered that it could produce and distribute "commercial medical products" made of plant extracts, or perhaps facilitate transfer of proprietary information, to the pharmaceutical industry in the USA. Also university medical schools might be interested. It had set up Compania Astoria Peruana and had started a lumber office in Iquitos under José O'Neil, who later befriended Córdova. Thus he became employed by Astoria to collect the Amazon plants he knew and to provide them with proper annotation, for shipment to Nueva York.[209][210][211]

Córdova spent several years gathering such herbal samples, whole or cuttings; the company provided him with a metal boat with an outboard motor. Later he composed an index with medicinal commentary. When eventually completed, his annotated collection of plants was shipped to Astoria Company in New York City. Unfortunately, Córdova's follow-up inquiries to the company about the fate of his work received no response. Years later an investigation by author Bruce Lamb in New York City found that Córdova's work had been received, but neglegence by the Astoria employee in charge had led to its dissipation. A majority of the annotated plant specimens had been removed, probably by unidentified commercial interests, but no records were kept. Nonetheless, Córdova told Lamb that, considering his entire relationship with the company, "my feeling is more of gratitude than rancor".[212]

Curare extract for export[edit]

Córdoba continued his interest in Amazon flora. One plant known as ampihuasca would especially occupy his attention.[213] Its extract was quite deleterious, indeed it could prove fatal, yet medical science had found beneficial applications for it. The extract, named curare, when injected into the body can cause a temporary paralysis of skeletal muscles; it functions as an adjunct "in anesthesia for the production of muscle relaxation in various surgical procedures". Thus, in surgery muscles treated with a curare "syrup" in order to subdue their movement might allow a physician, e.g., to make delicate incisions on a stationary target.[214][215]

Strychnos toxifera (curare source) by Koehler 1887.[216]

Curare is known by many tribes across the Amazon forest, where it has served as a poison. Over a low fire the purified extract in time became a thickened liquid; it was then brushed onto arrow heads and dart points for use in hunting.[217] Curare acts quickly as a paralysing poison when it directly enters the bloodstream. It is apparently safe to be taken orally, so that "one can drink the poison without being harmed". Hence wild birds and animals caught by using curare are safe to eat.[218] Years earlier Córdova had learned how to make it.

Córdova was taught the art of the curare extract by Izidoro, who called it "winged death". Izidoro was chief of the Jaguar clan of the Tikuna tribe. He and Córdova agreed to share their herbal knowledge, he about curare, Córdoba about ayahuasca. Regarding curare, it took several days to collect the source ampihuasca, "a large woody vine that hangs down from the tree tops". Izidoro would climb up to a hundred feet to cut this four-inch thick vine, each plant being carefully scrutinized and its name voiced. Other ingredients for the brew were also taken, e.g., hot peppers, tobacco leaves, and scorpions. The vine was mashed and put with water in a pot, kept at a low simmer for several days, during which the liquid was filtered and skimmed. Incantations were required to guide the process. Its fumes were to be avoided. The brew became complete when an iridescent film formed on its surface.[219][220]

During the 20th century, medical use of the plant extract curare had continued to increase, causing a noticeable rise in its commercial market.[221] The Astoria Company's next assignment for Córdova was curare. He was particularly qualified to find the source plants and produce an extract of fine quality. He chose the foothills of the Andes, a region known as cejas de la montaña (eyebrows of the mountain). By this time he sometimes flew by airplane to remote sites. An associate introduced him to a local Lamisto tribe. Here his ability to speak Quechua was key in recruiting workers. A curare camp was soon functioning, with well-ventilated fireplaces carved out from a stream bank of clay. Careful instructions were given as to the vine: its color, age, and freshness. Because scorpions were regularly found hiding in holes of the vine, the men called it madre de alacrán (mother of scorpions). An ASAP order for 200 kilograms was shipped in about three weeks. In reply the quality of this curare was rated excellent and a new order for 500 kilos made. Production continued on and off, fitting the seasonal availability of the Lamisto workers; Chazutinos were also involved. Eventually a synthetic substitute was developed which, when made commercially available, began to close the market for the plant product. "The last batch of curare extract that I made was finished in November 1965".[222]

Later recognition[edit]

His abilities as a healer had been demonstrated in the large number of people who had received successful cures, and in the subsequent steady demand for his medical services. Public recognition accumulated gradually. Eventually his patients included members of the elite, i.e., generals, admirals, a judge, a surgeon, an ambassador, and a former President of Peru. He was offered the position of Director of Medical Services by PetrolPeru, the state oil company, which he declined. Similarly declined: Professor of Medical Botany at the University of San Marcos in Lima.[223] During what were Córdova's last years, a visitor to his home in Iquitos found him surprisingly fit in appearance, writing later that "he looked sixty, except for cataract-clouded eyes".[224] On his 91st birthday he passed on.

Practice as a vegetalista[edit]

Córdova in the Rio Tigre book mentions many times his sense of obligation, however difficult, to train an apprentice, to pass on to another the knowledge of medicinal plants he had received from chief Xumu of the Huni Kui. In a sense, the book's information about herbs and stories about his experience as a vegetalista, as well as his views about health care and his practice insights into the healing arts, function as a testament to his training by chief Xumu.[225][226] Many descriptions his treatments and cures are referenced in the above section: "Herbalist and healer". During the period when the elder Córdova practiced his "Amazon medicine", several photographs of him were taken and later published (though of poor-resolution): one in the Rio Tigre book, taken in a forest hut with a village shaman;[227] and two in César Calvo's 'novel': a serious portrait, and a smiling Córdova with pipe.[228]

Botanico's healing arts[edit]

"I could never turn suffering people away when I had it in my power to help." This was Córdova's stated understanding both of his desire to heal and of his obligation to aid others with his medicinal skill.[229] Although opinionated about healthy living, Córdova's medical practice usually went beyond the psycho-somatic aspect of an illness. His patients were provided with herbal regimens and other cures that addressed their physical complaints. Yet he also mentioned an ability in what appears to be psychological transference, which worked ancillary to his somatic remedies effected by use of plant extracts. Hence Córdova could be very persuasive, possessing the gravitas to inspire another's confidence in him as a healer.[230]

Many folk healers of the Amazon concentrate more on the psycho-somatic approach and, accordingly, might radiate "an aura of omnipotence" about their healing prowess. Although fortunate in his charisma as a folk healer, Córdova also had learned from his Amazon teachers a profound knowledge about which medicinal plant worked to cure a particular physical ailment.[231][232] The Huni Kui were especially knowledgeable about herbal remedies. A French Catholic missionary priest Contant Tastevin, who had become familiar with the Huni Kui, wrote in a 1926 article: "They know all the remedies of the forest. Every leaf, stem and vine they know and use as remedies." He then listed as examples ten plants, each the Huni Kui used to cure a specific ailment.[233][234] Among Amazon tribes the elder Córdova worked with and knew, he realized that his "former captors" the Huni Kui were perhaps the best herbalists. They "possess the complete knowledge of the forest plants", including the use of ayahuasca.[235]

Sangre de Grado,[236] medicinal plant

Córdova's basic approach was to listen carefully to the patient. They were asked to describe the ailment, including its likely first cause: what they were doing differently about the time the it started. He would then examine the patient's general health and physical condition, and location of the illness. Thereafter, often in the evening, when quiet and composed, Córdova would visualize the patient's body as a whole, and identify the malfunctioning organ. In his youth he took ayahuasca to stimulate his perceptions and visualizations. Later in life, however, his prescriptive sense had developed with experience, and he no longer made and drank an ayahuasca brew. Once having grasped the patient's condition, an herbal cure would suggest itself to him. Then he carefully prepared the medicine from plants at hand, or from those specially gathered, and either applied it himself or instructed the patient in its use. Afterwards he would monitor the course of the herbal treatment along with the patient's diet.[237][238]

As a 'modern' vegetalista Córdova understood that the healing properties possessed by medicinal plants might be explained by a scientific process similar to molecular biology. Yet he favored remedies made organically from plants, voicing opposition to use of "synthetic medicines", especially in "massive doses". Some such synthetic drugs could be poisonous to the natural body. In event of such a case, Córdova's first step might be to detoxify the patient.[239]

Because some of his successful treatments followed failure by doctors trained in medical school, some patients referred to their cure as "miraculous". Córdova, however, would credit his method of approach, the plant remedy, and his follow through. His methodology consisted of: careful patient interviews, particularly about the origin of the symptoms, and physical examinations; his reflective study of the case to arrive at a proper diagnosis; purity and dedication in preparation of plant extracts; and attentive monitoring of the patient's response to administration of the herbal remedy. Key to his beneficial results was, he said, his early training received from the Huni Kui shaman-chief Xumu Nawa.[240]

View of tribal spiritualities[edit]

Córdova strongly disapproved of tribal sorcery and witchcraft, i.e., working to place a curse on another person and thereby cause harm. More than once he forcefully declared how such malfeasant designs often backfire, evoking a murderous response from those who felt injured or victimized by such cursing, or merely threatened.[241] Yet as a herbal healer Córdova was a pragmatist, who wanted to cure the people who came to him. He knew that some people and some tribes understood illness as the work of demons.[242][243] To be effective in such cases, Córdova knew that a curandero (healer) must demonstrate that the putative demon has been removed. Hence, as part of the treatment, the sick person might be shown a thorn sucked from the afflicted body organ, which supposedly completed the 'magic' cure.[244][245][246] Such an accommodating attitude also allowed Córdoba the ability to converse with different curacas of the tropical forest and later with folk healers in town.[247][248]

Yet his disapproval of popular sorcery did not mean that Córdova also rejected the healing practices of the forest and corollary tribal beliefs. Especially so regarding ayahuasca: its use could assist in finding herbal cures for people, and for other beneficial purposes. Córdova's long experience in jungle medicine had demonstrated to his satisfaction that some ayahuasquero procedures regularly worked to heal the sick. For that reason he esteemed and respected such ayahuasca practice when properly conducted.[249][250] Accordingly, after his return to Peruvian life from the Huni Kui village, Córdova, when in the forest on other business, had noticed the presence of the ayahuasca vines. He eventually began to collect the several ingredients to brew ayahuasca, which he then carefully prepared. Thereafter, he conducted group ayahuasca sessions with the Chazúta, which energized and enlightened the tribal members. At this and later sessions elsewhere, Córdova led the group by using his chants and songs, learned from chief Xumu.[251]

Córdoba seemed more or less able to acknowledge and thus straddle two worlds: tribal tradition and urban modernity.[252] Among the benefits an ayahuasquero could provide, according to Córdova, were: (1) guiding the taker of the drink, and (2) as a healer of the sick using other herbs of the forest. Ayahuasca itself, Córdova understood, was not a medicinal plant for use in healing. Its use was for listening and seeing visions. "Ayahuasca, it tells you how, but by itself it cures nothing directly."[253]

Although Córdova became locally famous as a practicing master in the use of ayahuasca's powers to find the remedy for a cure, apparently he did not claim a complete explanatory understanding of the extraordinary experience, i.e., exactly how in theory ayahuasca worked. He might offer mystical suggestions about its uncanny ability to lead him to a diagnosis and herbal prescription for patients. He also suggested purely biological functions initiated by ayahuasca, obscure functions which are little understood by science. Other times, supernatural origins might be mentioned, e.g., that the animals taught the secrets of the forest to ancient tribal shamans.[254][255][256][257] Contemporary urban vegetalistas are said to be a counterpart to tribal religious leaders of the Amazon.[258][259][260] Following the teachings of chief Xumu of the Huni Kui, Córdova continued to sing traditional icaros to the plants while he prepared his extracts. He remained convinced that chanting the forest songs medically enhanced, in a mystic way, the herbal remedies he was preparing.[261][262][263][264][265][266]

Ayahuasca: diagnosis, remedy[edit]

As part of his practice as a curandero in the Peruvian Amazon, following the initial interview of a patient with a difficult illness, Córdova would retire in the late evening to brew and drink ayahuasca, often witnessed by his wife Nieves.[267] These nocturnal reflections allowed him to arrive at a correct medical diagnosis of the particular illness and then to identify the right herbal remedy for its treatment. Chief Xumu of the Huni Kui had taught him the subtleties of this technique of using ayahuasca. After years of practicing as an herbalist, Córdova realized that he had acquired sufficient experience in this technique as to be able to make a diagnosis and find the remedy without taking ayahuasca again.[268][269][270]

The intensive medical training provided by Xumu included his regular guidance of Córdova's awareness while he was under the influence of ayahuasca. Córdova estimates he received from Xumu such lessons using ayahuasca approximately five hundred times.[271][272][273] During these vision sessions, Xumu and others instructed him in the specific healing properties of each individual Amazon plant while Córdova was observing the plant, its appearance and identifying characteristics—either as Córdova saw the physical plant in the forest, or as Córdova saw the plant in ayahuasca vision.[274][275]

Xumu further instructed Córdova how to approach symptoms: the purpose being to carefully understand the patient's body as a unitary field with energy flows, which the illness or disease upsets by obstructing the flow or otherwise disrupting the balance of the whole. Hence Córdova always paid primary attention to the symptoms of an ailment, whether observed by him directly or as described to him by the patient. Córdova relates that this procedure is advanced by ayahuasca in that by its use the curandero is able to peer directly inside the body of the patient and appraise overall health, the condition of specific organs, and the unitary balance of the energy flows, in order to reach a diagnosis.[276][277]

According to Córdova, once he had arrived at an understanding of the nature of the patient's illness, e.g., its source in a particular organ of the body, and so made his medical diagnosis, there then occurred within his mental vision a remarkable phenomenon: the spontaneous appearance of the medicinal plant associated with its remedy and cure.[278][279][280][281] This experience is not further explained by Córdova.[282] Based on his rigorous and intensive training under chief Xumu, lasting many years, it is possible that Córdova absorbed Xumu's knowledge through something like rote learning. The anthropologist Luis Eduardo Luna mentions that there is a special, mystical process for transmission of knowledge from Amazon shaman to apprentice. Luna also states that the physical shape of a medicinal plant may provide a clue in ascertaining its properties as a remedy relative to a specific ailment.[283] Nonetheless, a vegetalista's frank explanation remains simply that the vine ayahuasca does directly inform the healer of what medicinal plant is the best remedy. If so, here would remain a mystery inherent in Córdova's practice of the healing arts, as it constitutes a key element in a necessary procedure (identifying the plant remedy), which continues to elude an explicit, adequate, and thorough explanation using principles of modern medical science.

Context of medical science[edit]

Quinine was synthesized using organic chemistry.[284] Yet Córdova opposed taking "synthetic medicines".[285]

The herbs and plant extracts customary to the traditional healing arts of the tribes who inhabit the Amazon forests have earned worldwide renown for their medical properties. Pharmaceutical companies have become familiar with the potential of "enormous value" both to science and to modern medical practice of these new "discoveries".[286]

"South American jungle tribes were the first to use curare which is so important to modern surgical techniques. Many types of rauwolfia were employed by jungle shamans centuries before our medical men thought of tranquilizers. Quinine and all the other antimalarial drugs have their origin in the forests of the Amazon."[287]

During Córdova's lifetime and continuing until today, there remain many medical plants whose beneficial properties are little known, or whose molecular biology in effecting a cure is little understood. The traffic across the frontier between western scientific medicine and the practice of traditional medical cures (of the Amazon, but also of China, and of India) has greatly increased in recent times. In this context Córdova was one of the many pioneers.[288]

"There seems to be a lot in common between my method of healing and that developed in the Orient using natural plants for treatment of illness. I understand that Japanese practices lean heavily on traditional Chinese healing techniques. I have had contact with American botanists and pharmaceutical investigators also, but... nothing ever comes back in exchange."[289][290]

Córdova's approach to medical practice involved the view that the body works as a whole, in which sickness disrupts the harmonious flow of energy which gives us health. Accordingly, in western medical science his methods would probably be termed "alternative". Although the vegetalista uses plants for their healing power, the plant is understood to contain both a physical and a spiritual dimension. Only the former is acknowledged as scientific by western medicine, the latter might even be considered quackery. A plant's spirit, according to the ayahuasquero, responds to sounds especially the singing of icaros. Hence, the medicinal plant, which firstly acts through its properties as understood by molecular biology, when viewed alternatively secondly acts also as a carrier which conveys the curandero's icaro of healing energy to the patient. Regarding the plants, Córdova asks, "What good do you think my remedies would be if I didn't sing to them?"[291][292][293][294]

Subject of novel, and poem[edit]

In addition to the novel, and the long poem (both discussed below), Córdova in Wizard of the Upper Amazon may have been an indirect cause of the 1985 film The Emerald Forest.[295]

Las tres mitades de Ino Moxo[edit]

Amazon shaman, as one of Córdova's three-halves in Calvo's book

Manuel Córdova-Ríos inspired a 1981 novel by the Peruvian writer César Calvo Soriano, who was himself a native of the Peruvian Amazon. It was published in Iquitos. The Three-Halves of Ino Moxo is the novel's title in English translation.

The story told describes a pilgrimage to the shaman Ino Moxo, undertaken by author César Calvo and his fictional cousin César Soriano, along with appearances by Félix Insapillo and Iván. First are presented encounters with several other shaman-curanderos in the region: Don Juan Testa, Don Hildebrando, Don Javier, and Juan González. The party continues their fictional journey to the remote refuge of an elderly Córdova (known here as Ino Moxo).[296]

The novel appears based on very real people, yet they become transformed into characters who inhabit a poetic epic. Hence the work partakes somewhat of the new journalism or creative nonfiction. Although the book often reads like poetry, demonstrating at times an imaginative voyage through a shifting intersubjectivity, nonetheless mixed in are events from Peruvian history. The narrative is framed as factual. Over a dozen identified photographs are included, of local scenes and portraits of people, e.g., Córdova.[297][298]

In interviews with the book's author Calvo, Ino Moxo discusses matter-of-factly the sense of mystical surreality in the Amazon forest. He describes the inward progression of his reality as his life unfolded: from urban youth in Iquitos to capture in the Amazon, then his adoption of tribal lifestyles. This last involved an interior-cosmic recalibration. Amazonian arts of visionary perception are interspersed with reportage from the region's troubled past: episodes of the violent conquest and ruin of native tribal communities during the rubber boom. Calvo thus portrays an historical context of fundamental intercultural incomprehension. Yet Ino Moxo, by following his teacher the revered shaman Xumu, manages to transcend the contradictions. He both shares and contests the urban landscape of modernity set in the Amazonian ecology, while cultivating an organic knowledge of forest mysteries. The medium of this transcendence is an imaginary realm of inward connection and intrasubjective realization, which remains inscrutable and continuous, pathways in a labyrinth.[299][300]

"The real world of Manuel Córdova"[edit]

A long poem by W. S. Merwin (the recent United States Poet Laureate) offers a running account of the inner life of Córdova, starting with his capture, then his years living in the tribal village, ending with his return.[301] His tribal captors brought him "into their own dream" after which "not one of his syllables touched any surface".[302] The sessions of dreaming together immediately helped his town feet maneuver in the forest according to "a mastered music never heard not even remembered except as a shared dream".[303]

The chief led the dreaming, "his teacher's whispers and gestures had rendered his eyes and ears attuned to powers haunting plants and waters... ".[304][305] Córdova's identity then became tribal, he "had gone with them into the dream flowing through the forest... ", and "he became all the chief taught him... he went into the dream further and it came out with him into the day and from then on it was all around him... ".[306] Then a lone dream showed him "his family and his mother was dying... . " So, he escaped the forest tribe, returned, yet found "his mother was dead whatever he might need was somewhere that could not be said as though it had never existed".[307]


  • Manuel Córdova-Rios and F. Bruce Lamb, Wizard of the Upper Amazon (New York: Atheneum 1971).[308]
  • F. Bruce Lamb, Wizard of the Upper Amazon. The story of Manuel Córdova-Rios (New York: Atheneum 1971;[309] 2d ed., Houghton-Mifflin, Boston 1974; 3d ed., North Atlantic, Berkeley 1974, with forward by Andrew Weil.
    • Also published as: The Stolen Chief (London: Robert Hale 1972).
    • Der weise Indio vom Amazonas (München: Scherz Verlag 1982).
    • Der Magier vom Amazonas (Reinbeck bei Hamburg: Rawohlt Taschenbuch Verlag 1985).
    • Un brujo del Alto Amazonas. La historia de Manuel Córdova-Ríos (Barcelona: Col. Terra Incognita 1998).
    • La sciamano del Rio della Amazzoni. La storia di Manuel Córdova-Rios (Torino: Edizzioni L'Età dell'Acquerio 2007).
  • F. Bruce Lamb, Rio Tigre and Beyond. The Amazon Jungle Medicine of Manuel Córdova (Berkeley: North Atlantic 1985).
    • Au-Dela du Rio Tigre. L'histoire extraordinaire de Manuel Córdova-Ríos (Paris: Editions du Rocher 1997).
    • Río Tigre y más allá. La medicina de la selva del Amazonas de Manuel Córdova (Madrid: José de Olañeta 2002).
  • F. Bruce Lamb and Manuel Córdova-Rios, Kidnapped in the Amazon Jungle (Berkeley: North Atlantic 1994).
  • Robert L. Carneiro, "Chimera of the Upper Amazon" at 94–98, notes at 452–453, in Richard de Mille, editor, The Don Juan Papers (Santa Barbara: Ross-Erikson 1980, 1981).
  • Marlene Dobkin de Ríos, [Review of Wizard of the Upper Amazon] in American Anthropologist 74/6: 1423–1424 (1972).
  • Willard Johnson, "The most curious beasts in the forest", comprises the Preface at i–xvi to Lamb (1985).
  • F. Bruce Lamb, "Wizard of the Upper Amazon as ethnography" in Current Anthropology 22/5: 577–580 (1981)a.
  • F. Bruce Lamb, "Comment on Bock's review of The Don Juan Papers" in American Anthropologist 83/3: 641 (1981)b.
  • Richard Evans Schultes, [Review of Wizard of the Upper Amazon] in Economic Botany 26: 197–198 (April 1972).
  • Andrew Weil, "Introduction" at v–xii to Wizard of the Upper Amazon (3d ed., 1974).
  • Time magazine: [Review of Wizard of the Upper Amazon] at 97/10: 82 (March 8, 1971).
  • Stephan V. Beyer, Singing to the Plants. A guide to mestizo shamanism in the Upper Amazon (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press 2009).
  • Robert L. Carneiro, "The Amahuaca and the spirit world" in Ethnology 3: 6–11 (1964).
  • Robert L. Carneiro, "Hunting and hunting magic among the Amahuaca of the Peruvian Montaña" in Ethnology 9: 331–341 (1970).
  • Robert L. Carneiro, "What happened at the flashpoint? Conjectures on chiefdom formation at the very moment of conception" at 18–42, in E. Redmond, editor, Chiefdoms and Chieftaincy in the Americas (Gainesville: University Press of Florida 1998).
  • Wade Davis, One River. Explorations and discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest (New York: Touchstone 1997).
  • Richard de Mille, "Ethnomethodallegory: Garfinkeling in the Wilderness" at 68–90, in his edited The Don Juan Papers (Santa Barbara: Ross-Erikson 1980, 1981).
  • Marlene Dobkin de Ríos, Visionary Vine. Psychedelic healing in the Peruvian Amazon (San Francisco: Chandler 1972; reprint 1984, Waveland Press, Prospect Heights IL, as Visionary Vine. Hallucinogenic healing in the Peruvian Amazon.
  • Gertrude E. Dole, "Amahuaca" at 7: 33–36, in Encyclopedia of World Culture, volume 7: South America, volume editor: Johannes Wilbert (New York: G. K. Hall 1994).
  • Matthew Huxley and Cornell Capa, Farewell to Eden (New York: Harper and Row 1964). Huxley: text; Capa: photography.
  • Luis Eduardo Luna and Pablo César Amaringo, Ayahuasca Visions. The religious iconography of a Peruvian shaman (Berkeley: North Atlantic 1991, 1999).
  • Nicole Maxwell, Witch Doctor's Apprentice. Hunting for medicinal plants in the Amazon (Boston: Houghton Mifflin 1961; reprint: MJF, New York 1990).
  • Terence McKenna, The Archaic Revival (New York: HarperOne 1991).
  • Jonathan Ott, Pharmaotheon. Entheogenic drugs, their plant sources and history (Kennewick WA: Natural Products 1993; 2d ed. 1995).
  • Richard Evans Schultes and Robert F. Raffauf, Vine of the Soul. Medicine men, their plants and rituals in the Colombian Amazonia (Oracle AZ: Synergetic Press 1992).
  • Andrew Weil, The Natural Mind (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin 1972).
  • César Calvo Soriano, Las tres mitades de Ino Moxo y otros brujos de la Amazonía (Iquitos: Proceso Editores 1981).
    • Le tre metà di Ino Moxo e altri maghi verdi (Milano: Feltrinelli 1982).
    • The Three Halves of Ino Moxo. The teachings of the Wizard of the Upper Amazon (Rochester VT: Inner Traditions 1995).
  • W. S. Merwin, "The real world of Manuel Córdova" in his collection of poems Travels (New York: Knopf 1994), pp. 96–114.

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lamb (1985) at 88 (Moyobamba); at 38 (Iberian ancestry).
  2. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) at 152 (Uru), 155 (Arequipa), 163 (Uru, Arequipa). Calvo's poetic work here is a specie of creative nonfiction.
  3. ^ Besides Calvo above, Córdova is described as a mestizo by Ott (1993) at 242, and by Beyer (2009) at 159, 175, 198, 302, 329.
  4. ^ Cf., Huxley and Capa (1964) at 225 (history of the city of Iquitos).
  5. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 3, 4, 6–7; map at xxi.
  6. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 1–8, 154–155; map at vi.
  7. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at xxi (map: route taken by Huni Kui party from caucho camp southward to village Xanadá by source of Río Purús).
  8. ^ Cf., Huxley and Capa (1964) at [11]–[12]: map of upper Amazon, with greater detail showing headwaters of the Río Purús.
  9. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 3–23: 8–9 (capture); 14–15 (meets chief); 19–22 (ceremonies); 23, 40, 65 (language ability). Based on Córdova's reckoning (made later in June 1910), the date of his capture probably falls in the last months of 1907. Cf., Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 109.
  10. ^ Lamb (1985) at 7–12; "Great chief, Xuma Nawa, Dominator of all the Spirits, leader of the Huni Kui" at 39.
  11. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 9–23: capture at 12; fellow caucheros at 13–14, 16, 17; children at 20; language at 22.
  12. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) re capture and tribal ceremonies: at 162–64, 172–73; cf., 154–55.
  13. ^ a b Caveat: A challenge has been made regarding the veracity of parts of the story told by Córdoba. See section below.
  14. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) p. 23, n (HK name).
  15. ^ "Huni Kuin (Kaxinawá)", identification, in Fany Pantaleoni Ricardo, Povos Indígenas no Brasil, per June 29, 2015. The name retains an ambiguity.
  16. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 9, 14, 23, 103 (naked); at 9, 78, 153–54, 178, 184 (conflicted).
  17. ^ Lamb (1985) at 16 (name); at 11, [20] (naked); at 8, 12, 15–16 (conflicted).
  18. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 25 (name, language, diet, naked); 17, 88 (naked); at 13–14, 70, 123–24, 146 (conflicted).
  19. ^ Schultes and Raffauf (1992) at 277: curaca as "the name for a payé or medicine man".
  20. ^ Cf., Huxley and Capa (1964) at 123–124, 129–130 (curaca used in Panoan, i.e., by Amahuaca living by source of the Río Purús, but as meaning "chief").
  21. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 24–27.
  22. ^ Ott (1993) at 199–273. Ott provides an extensive review of the literature and history, and of the pharmacology, concerning ayahuasca. This jungle vine is identified as being the plant Banisteriopsis caapi. Ott at 199–200.
  23. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 23–40 (nixi honi or ayahuasca); at xvii (ayahuasca vines and yaje [yagé] leaves).
  24. ^ Lamb (1985) at 12–13, 15.
  25. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 28, 32, 34–36 (nixi honi); 28 (shared visions).
  26. ^ Cf., Carneiro (1964) at 6–10, on the yoshi or "spirits" of the Amahuaca. After drinking ayahuasca the yoshi may be experienced; "the stronger the potion the more yoshi one will see" (at 8). These yoshi are believed to be the spirits of several different types of animals and plants, e.g., the jaguar, puma, porpoise, electric eel, anaconda, boa, carrion eagle, vulture, all considered "unfit to eat" (at 6–7). Hence, similar or analogous to the "parade of animals" summoned by chief Xumu as narrated by Córdova. A few large and imposing trees also represent yoshi (at 7).
  27. ^ Carneiro (1970) at 341, n17 (per text at 340) states, "The Amahuaca also drink ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) to induce spirit visions, but do not do so to assist them in hunting." In discussing "Hunting Magic" at text 339–340, however, Carneiro reports that Amahuaca do take various drugs in order to increase their success in hunting.
  28. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 33–36 (ayahuasca to improve hunting skills); 42–64 ('hunting camp'); 51, 52–54, 55–56 (wild pigs), 29 (Nixi Xuma Waki "Maker of the Vine Extract"), 49–51 (Txaxo Anika "Deer [hunter]"); 87–97 (later series of ayahuasca sessions where Córdova alone taught by chief Xumu).
  29. ^ Lamb (1985) at 12–16.
  30. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 65–76 (hunting stories); 52 (Natakoa), 66 (Awawa Xuko), 71 (Awawa Toto "Great Leader"), 71–76 (howler monkeys).
  31. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 39–57 (hunting); 59–67 (hunting stories).
  32. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 65–76 (hunting stories); at 120–131 (legends), 121, 123 (death), 124–127 (war), 127–131 (Macari and nixi honi).
  33. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 59–67, 99–111.
  34. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 132–138 (Nawatoto's marriage), 140 (first child). In the Wizard book, Natakoa's wife Yawanini is called Huaini.
  35. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 105–108 (Nawatoto's marriage).
  36. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 38: In a group ayahuasca session "the hawk chant" (the icaro for hawks) suggested to the gathered tribesmen the vision of the harpy eagle of the Amazon. Hawks were "thought to be the source of knowledge about the forest".
  37. ^ See below section: "Issue of authenticity".
  38. ^ Lune and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 12, b.
  39. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 87 (quote, diet, teaching), 96 (fears, 8-day schedule).
  40. ^ Lamb (1985), p. 115. Córdova thought the Huni Kui tribe excelled in the use of medicinal plants largely because of their mastery "of the reactions in the mind brought about by taking ayahuasca".
  41. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 10, b and 16, b (yagé); 50, n84 (chacruna).
  42. ^ Ott (1993) at 175–176, 218–223: re chacruna. About chacruna and yajé in plant terminology, Ott mentions that the vine ayahuasca has also been called by a different name: yage [yagé, yajé]. Ott (1993), e.g., at 199, 232, 233. Yet the term yajé may also refer to other, chacruna plants (e.g., Prestonia amazonia) whose leaves are often mixed into the brew of the ayahuasca vine. Ott (1993) at 220–21; cf., 218 re "oco-yajé or yajé-uco". "The leaf additives to ayahuasca [are] sometimes called chacruna... ." Among the principal chacruna are the leaves of the plant Psychotria viridis. Ott (1993) at 175–76. "The most common ayahuasca admixture plant in Amazonian Peru... is Psychotria viridis... [k]nown as chacruna in Peru." Ott (1993) at 219. "[T]here has been more than 90 differest plant species from 38 plant families reported as ayahuasca admixtures." Ott (1993) at 221.
  43. ^ Córdova preferred a type he lists simply as "Chacruna or yagé" in his reference no. 5, among the 81 herbal plants listed in the Materia Medica prepared by Manuel Córdova-Ríos, circa 1951, for the Astoria Company of New York City. No. 5 is described as "a small tree two or three meters tall" and is tentatively identified as Psychotria viridis. Lamb (1985) at 46 (yagé), 178 (ref. no. 5), 120–22 (Astoria Co.); at 173–211 (Materia Medica). "Ayahuasca" is listed as ref. no. 4 (banisteriopsis caapi).
  44. ^ Schultes and Raffauf (1992) define yajé as "vine of the soul, Banisteriopsis Caapi" which is also their definition for ayahuasca (at 276, 279); they define chacruna as "a local name for Psychotria viridis (Rubiaceae), an additive to caapi used widely in the western Amazon" (at 276).
  45. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 29–33.
  46. ^ Improper personal preparation for the drink and improper brewing of ayahuasca are both dangerous. Lamb (1985) at 26, 29–30, 177–78.
  47. ^ McKenna (1991), pp. 119–120: Córdova said key was knowing "how to prepare it".
  48. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 16, b; cf., 9, c. The active ingredient of chacruna favored by Córdova, Psychotria viridis, is identified as dimethyltryptamine (at 16, b).
  49. ^ Davis (1996) at 217:

    "Thus when yagé is combined with... admixture plants, the result is a powerful synergistic effect, a biochemical version of the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. [¶] What astonished Schultes was... How had the Indians learned how to identify and combine in this sophisticated manner these morphologically dissimilar plants that possessed such unique and complementary chemical properties? ... [E]thnobotanists have very little idea how Indians originally made their discoveries."

  50. ^ Lamb (1985), pp. 14 ("telepathic"), 15 ("wisdom" quote).
  51. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 87–97; 93–95 (vision powers), 97 (knowledge quote, plants and chanting).
  52. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 77–84.
  53. ^ Lamb (1985) at pp. 15 (plants); 29 [85, 135] ("consult with the spirits of ayahuasca"); 133, 135 (chief Xumu as source of chants, which when used are "half-learned, half-spontaneous"); 135 (ayahuasca "indicates" the cure); 175 .
  54. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) at 175. Córdova about chief Xumu: "More than anything else he taught me to listen."
  55. ^ Cf., Ott (1993) at 209.
  56. ^ Cf., Dobkin de Rios (1972) at 131–33, 136–37.
  57. ^ Beyer (2009), p. 60. To learn a plant you "take it into your body, let it teach you from within", so that you "wait for its spirit to appear... to teach and give counsel."
  58. ^ Ott (1993) at 209, citing Luís E. Luna in Journal of Ethnopharmacology 11/2: 123–156 (1984).
  59. ^ Cf., Beyer (2009), 65–66 (quote), at 65–69 (icaros), at 66 (their many uses, listed here are 29, each with citation to the literature, e.g., cure snakebite, make a good hunter, enhance ayahuasca visions, bless healing ceremonies, protect, ease childbirth, call to plant spirits, visit distant planets, diagnose illness).
  60. ^ Lamb (1985) at 135 (quote), cf., 136; at 25 (quote).
  61. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 13, a. One vegetalista claims, "If you know the icaro of a plant you don't need to use the plant." Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 18, a.
  62. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at .79.
  63. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 80–85, quotes at 80.
  64. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 71–75.
  65. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 151, 155, 158 (enemy tribes); at 154 (caucheros or "rubber cutters"); at 151 (reason captured). Córdoba described to Lamb other warlike encounters: a fruitless raid by HK against tribal assassins (149–153); a deadly attack by HK on distant caucheros (153–154); an attack repelled by HK with three tribal enemies killed (155).
  66. ^ Lamb (1985) at 39–40 (abduction).
  67. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 121–124, 141.
  68. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) at xi, 173 (abduction).
  69. ^ The process used by the caucheros who taught Córdoba, however, required cutting down mature, wild rubber trees. Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 101–102.
  70. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) re "Indian Caucho" [chapter eight] 98–119: at 99, 101 (his caucho idea, quote re his excitement); 100 (sharpening tools); at 101–103 (rubber collection process, which involved "felling the tree").
  71. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) re "11. Indian Caucho" 85–98, at 86–87.
  72. ^ On Córdova's age, see below at end of this section "Tribal trade in rubber".
  73. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 103–105 (transport to outpost); 107–110 (sell and buy); 109 (calendar); 111–115 (tribal celebration).
  74. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) re "11. Indian Caucho" 85–98, at 88–95.
  75. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 108–110 (marriage of Huaini and Manuel), 110 (quote). Later, Córdova mentions being "off several hours from the village with Huaini and two of the young girl companions the chief had given me" (at 120).
  76. ^ Here Cordova's age is given at "about 17". Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 110. Yet by another reckoning he was already 19 or 20 when captured. Cf., Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 109 and [201].
  77. ^ Merritt Ruhlen, A Guide to the World's Languages (Stanford University 1987): "Urarina" at 371, "Amahuaca" (associated with Huni Kui) at 376. Of the six large language groups included in the vast "Amerind" language family (at 366–77), Urarina is listed in the "Andean" group (at 371–72) and Amahuaca is listed in the "Ge-Pano-Carib" group (at 374–77).
  78. ^ Cf., Barbara F. Grimes, editor, Ethnologue. Languages of the World (Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 12th ed. 1992) at 119: "Urarina (Shimacu, Itucali)". Urarina listed as "unclassified"; cited: Ruhlen's listing as Andean.
  79. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 157 (quote).
  80. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 126.
  81. ^ Dobkin de Ríos (1972) at 1423.
  82. ^ Lamb (1981)a, at 577–78.
  83. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 71–76. Awawa Toto means "Great Leader" (at 71).
  84. ^ Lamb (1985) at 25.
  85. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 167–68. Earlier Córdoba speculated about himself being "under the thought control" of chief Xumu "through the trances". Lamb (1971, 1974) at 105.
  86. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 134.
  87. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 172 (Honoma-ia); 174, 175–76 (raids of rubber cutters); 173–74 (three HK refuge camps between Río Tarauacá and Xanadá); 174–75 (boa and Donowan). The 'villages' of the Huni Kui were "a series of small forest clearings" next to their "primitive agriculture". The sites were "shifted to new locations as the soil became exhausted after two to three years of cultivation". Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 148.
  88. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 138, 139–40.
  89. ^ Cf., Dole (1994) at 33, 34 (re the Amahuaca).
  90. ^ Cf., Napoleon A. Chagnon, Yąnomamö. The fierce people (New York: Holt Rinehart & Winston 1968) at 41–43. Forced migration due to inter-tribal warfare is not unknown in the Amazon Basin, more in some areas than in others. Along the Brazil–Venezuelan border, Kąobawą's group of Yąnomamö "made some sixteen major moves during the past seventy-five years" (c. 1890–1965). While some were due to internal splits, at least five were forced by enemy attacks. They crossed the upper Río Orinoco three times. Kąobawą was the headman of the Upper Bisaasi-teri and a key source of Chagnon's information. Chagnon (1968) at 13–16. This book drew criticism.
  91. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at xxi (map), at 170 (upland headwaters [rivers named], "isolated" quote), 175 ("Palm Tree" people), at 172 ("murdered" quote). When Córdova arrived, the Huni Kui resided at Xanadá (at xxi).
  92. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at vi (map), at 137–41.
  93. ^ Regarding the Amazon region, defeated tribes sometimes "survived by virtue of their isolation" in uplands distant from the more navigable rivers. Henry E. Dobyns and Paul L. Doughty, Peru. A cultural history (Oxford University 1976) at 21.
  94. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 160–64.
  95. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Rios (1994) at 129–32.
  96. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 163–66 (burial, ayahuasca, rubber).
  97. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Rios (1994) at 131–32 (burial), 132–33 (ayahuasca), 133–34 (caucho).
  98. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 166–69, 177; Owa Iuxabo at 168, 182, 185–86.
  99. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Rios (1994) at 134–36.
  100. ^ Cf., Huxley and Capa (1964) at 116–18 regarding the need for mediating disputes. Observing the Amahuaca about 50 years later, Huxley reports (at 116) that "by far the most significant cause of death, apart from illness and accident, is murder: murder for vengeance, preventative murder, murder for jealousy, murder for irritation."
  101. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 170–77.
  102. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Rios (1994) at 137–44.
  103. ^ Lamb (1971, 1974) at 149–50, 178–79 (arrows shot); at 151 (chief's son killed).
  104. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Rios (1994) at 120, 144 (arrows), 121 (chief's son assassinated).
  105. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 177–78 (caucho trade), 180–81 (arrow shot, tribe insists he stay in village), 182–86 (ayahuasca alone).
  106. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Rios (1994) at 142–47.
  107. ^ Cf., José Jobim, Brazil in the making (New York: Macmillan 1943) at 79.
  108. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 182–93 (trading post); at 194–200 (Manaus and Iquitos).
  109. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 145–55.
  110. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 199–200 ('recent' news of Huni Kui); at 80 ("our village"); at 199 (credit to chief Xumu).
  111. ^ Lamb (1985) at 15–16, 39–40, 49, 139 (ambivalent); at 39, 95 (never returns); at 70 (dreams); 38, 49, 67, 115 ("Indian captors" or as their "captive"); 39 ("my group of Indians"); at 65–66 (news of Huni Kui overrunning the caucho outpost); 38–39 (quote re stay but for assassins); at 139 (quote re chief Xumu's influence).
  112. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 154 (quote re family ties).
  113. ^ Cf., Dobkin de Ríos (1972). The reviewer had already published several times on ayahuasca use in the upper Amazon. She writes:

    "Although it was not written as a textbook or scholarly account... this book is nonetheless important to the anthropologist for several reasons. Its approach to hallucinogens and culture is totally original and empirical. It provides us with an account of the daily tropical rain forest life among horticultural groups often missing in the best ethnographic accounts."

  114. ^ Also commenting favorably on Wizard of the Upper Amazon: Weil (1972) at 106–07, 182–84; Peter Warshall in The CoEvolution Quarterly (1972); and Weil (1974).
  115. ^ Schultes (1972) at 197. Schultes adds that the book was beautifully written.
  116. ^ Carneiro (1980, 1981) at 94–98.
  117. ^ The editor de Mille (1980, 1981) at 452, discusses the alternative, ambiguous authorship of Wizard of the Upper Amazon (1971, 1974), in which Lamb (1974) is said to render "Córdoba's random reflections in 'narrative form'."
  118. ^ The somewhat similar 'claimant' was Carlos Castaneda (1925–1998). Castaneda largely avoided the public throughout his life. He became famous as the reclusive author of many popular books about his sorcerer protagonist Don Juan Matus, books of magical insight and beauty. Eventually, however, Castaneda's representation that his narratives were factual was found lacking in field substantiation, e.g., native language terms, and chronology. A proponent of the sorcerer view, Castaneda was not a healer. He apparently formed a small, semi-clandestine cult of female admirers. Cf., William Patrick Patterson, The Life and Teachings of Carlos Castaneda (Fairfax, California: Arete Communications 2008), e.g., at 22–34, 119–21, 167–74 (fabrication question); 39–52, 105–12 (cult).
  119. ^ Au contraire, Córdova (1887–1978) might be called a traditional rationalist, who clearly rejected tribal 'sorcery' while continually respecting spirituality. His own published writings consist of his annotated list of medicinal plants from the Amazon region (included in Lamb (1985) at 173–211) In addition, of course, were his life stories written or redacted by Bruce Lamb. Córdova's increasingly public life culminated as a well-known healer and vegetalista in the city of Iquitos.
  120. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 148, 199. Yet Lamb writes that the collection of tribes referred to as "Amahuaca" has no commonly understood definition. Lamb (1981)b at 641.
  121. ^ Cf., Calvo (1981; 1995) at 152. Here, the spelling "Amawaka" is used for Amahuaca. For Calvo the preferred meta-tribal designation is Yora.
  122. ^ Carneiro (1980, 1981) re chiefs (95–96); villages, clothes, weapons, ceremony, tobacco (96); the dead, cannibalism, myths (97).
  123. ^ Carlos Alberto Suguín had written "Introducción a la psiquiatría folklórica" in his edited volume, Psiquiatría Folklórica. Shamanes y Curanderos (Lima: Ediciones Ermar 1979). Now head of an institute, he was a former professor at San Marcos University in Lima. Cf. also, Dobkin de Rios (1972) at 8, 154.
  124. ^ In 1965 Seguín and others had started publishing about psychiatry and ayahuasca among local healers of the Peruvian Amazon. Their focus apparently was "culture-bound illnesses" but "their work is limited" in subject matter and the "ethnobotanical information is scarce, and unfortunately, sometimes inaccurate." Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 19, c.
  125. ^ Carneiro (1980, 1981) at 98, re Carlos Alberto Seguín, Director of the Peruvian Institute of Social-Psychiatric Studies. Seguín's interview occurred several months before the Córdoba died. Prof. Seguín reports that Córdova joked that he might be lying.
  126. ^ Lamb writes that Córdoba had developed a dislike for those professors who came to Iquitos to pick his brains "in order to return to Lima and proclaim themselves discoverers of the secrets of the Amazon". Lamb (1981)a at 579. Accordingly, a sophisticated professional might perceive an "on guard" Córdoba as being unpleasantly street smart, and jungle wise.
  127. ^ Carneiro (1980, 1981) at 95 ("While I cannot categorically state that Córdoba's adventure never happened... ."), 97 (tidbit quote). See de Mille's notes at 453 for corresponding pages in Córdova. From the character of his writing Caneiro appears to entertain an animus against both Córdova and Lamb, e.g., he offers us his sardonic speculations on Lamb. Carneiro (1981) at 97–98. Apparently ten years before publication, Lamb had given his starter manuscript to Carneiro for comment; Carneiro rejected it as "jungle fiction". Careiro (1981) at 94–95.
  128. ^ Cf., Dole (1994); Huxley and Capa (1964) at 242 (Carneiro articles cited). See also Bibliography below.
  129. ^ de Mille (1980, 1981) at 90 (re Carneiro's career).
  130. ^ Lamb (1981)a at 579.
  131. ^ Huxley and Capa (1964) at 19; 242. The "Dole-Carneiro team" apparently conducted their 1960s Amahuaca studies at Puesto Varadero, a military outpost set up by the Army of Peru in 1947, and since 1953 settled by missionaries associated with SIL of Norman, Oklahoma, and later Dallas, Texas, who soon built an airstrip. The local Amahuaca would "come to visit the post" and eventually a tribal village was begun there. Huxley and Capa (1964) at 21, 22–23, 25; 123.
  132. ^ Merritt Ruhlen, A Guide to the World's Languages (Stanford University 1987) at 376. "Pano-Tacana" languages, including "Amahuaca" in "Panoan" group ("south central").
  133. ^ Barbara E. Grimes, editor, Ethnologue. Languages of the World (Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 12th ed. 1992) at 111. "Amahuaca" listed in "Panoan" group, "south central".
  134. ^ Beyer (2009) at 227, 302.
  135. ^ Ott (1993) at 234–37. Among other subjects Ott has written on the pharmacology and culture of ayahuasca. Yet Ott seems to adopt Carneiro's harsh attitude. It is unclear how much Ott considered it necessary to investigate Wizard of the Upper Amazon (1971) or Rio Tigre and Beyond (1985) [contra: Ott at 242]. Thus Ott goes on to mock and reject wholesale as a useless fiction Córdova's intimate descriptions of ayahuasca sessions. Ott (1993) at 236; cf., note 8 at 266 (to text at 237).
  136. ^ Ott (1993) at 242 (quote). [Córdova spent his last years in Iquitos.]
  137. ^ Lamb relates a different view of his pre-publication dealing with Carneiro: they first met in Pucallpa, where Carneiro requested more details on Córdoba; latter in New York City Lamb tendered him some notes by Córdoba, but Carneiro rejected the account and Córdoba's stories. However, after further study, and considering his long time, first-hand working relationship with Córdoba, Lamb chose to continue the book. Lamb (1981)a at 577.
  138. ^ de Mille (1980, 1981) at 453. Bruce Lamb talked by telephone to de Mille and also sent him his paper [probably (1981)a] meant for an academic journal. Based on Lamb's paper, de Mille's thought a rejoinder from Carneiro would be "inevitable", yet Carneiro passed.
  139. ^ Lamb (1981)a at 579: Carneiro discussed a "peripheral group of (so-called) Amahuaca greatly changed by pressure from the outside since Córdoba lived in the area." Carneiro's tribes "some 50 years later" would not have "exactly the same practices as Cordova's people". Lamb (1981)a at 577.
  140. ^ Dole, "Amahuasca" (1994) at 34 (population reduced from about 9000 at the end of the 19th century to less than 750 at the end of the 20th).
  141. ^ Carneiro (1970) at 331 (population in 1900 at 6000 to 9000, diminished to less than 500; land controlled once at about 20,000 square miles, in 1970 reduced by 75%).
  142. ^ Lamb (1981)a at 577.
  143. ^ See Carneiro (1981) at 95, where he states, "If Córdoba was captured by Indians, it was certainly not by Amahuaca."
  144. ^ Lamb (1981)b at 641 (quote).
  145. ^ Lamb (1981)a at 577 (quote).
  146. ^ Lamb (1985), p. 139. Lamb refers (p. 218, note 1, to his text at p.139) to Constant Tastevin (1926), "Le Haut Tarauaca" in La Géographie: Terre, Air, Mer, vol. 45, pp. 159–175.
  147. ^ "Huni Kuin (Kaxinawá)" introduction, in Fany Pantaleoni Ricardo, editor-in-chiief, Povos Indígenas no Brasil [Indigenous Peoples of Brazil], per June 29, 2015.
  148. ^ "Kashinawa" in Countries and Their Cultures, June 29, 2015. The Kashinawa (another spelling of Caxinaua) are Pano people who claim to be the Huni Kuin.
  149. ^ "Huni Kuin (Kaxinawá)", identification [italics added], in Pantaleoni, editor-in-chief, Povos Indígenas no Brasil, per June 29, 2015.
  150. ^ Lamb (1981)a at 577–79.
  151. ^ The word curaca may derive from the Quechua koraka meaning "an official". It was a title of the Inca's historic Tahuantinsuyu (imperial state) for a leader from a conquered people who chose to serve the Inca and so became the ruler of a territory. Said to have become almost synonymous with the Spanish cacique. El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Commentarios Reales de los Incas (Lisboa 1609; 2d volume 1617); as edited by Alain Gheerbrant, Les commentaries royaux, ou l'histoire des Inca de l'Inca Garcilaso de la Vega 1539–1616 (Paris 1959); translated as The Incas (New York: Orion Press 1961; reprint by Avon Books, New York) at 59 text and note 6 at 83; 162.
  152. ^ Maria Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, Historia del Tahuantinsuyu (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos 1988, 2d ed. 1999), pp. 215–222: "curaca".
  153. ^ Huxley and Capa (1964) at 123, 129, 130, as cited by Lamb (1981)a at 578.
  154. ^ Cf., Lamb (1981)a at 577: the clan Rondowo (snake people) as a variant of the Donowan (boa people) of the Huni Kui, mentioned in Córdova and Lamb (1971) at 175 (i.e., Lamb (3d ed. 1974) at 175).
  155. ^ Cf., Carneiro (1998), e.g., at 21–25, theory re formation of chiefdoms due to conflict with outsiders.
  156. ^ Cf., Schultes (1972) at 197, about Córdova's 1971 book: "Many experiences and happenings in the story may strain the credulity of all who have not themselves lived amongst Indians in primitive Amazon societies." Yet such cannot directly apply to the writings of Carniero whose understanding of primitive societies achieved a high level of sophistication.
  157. ^ Carneiro achieved his reputation in anthropological theory, e.g., he expressly admired the "sweep and power" of Herbert Spencer's work in cultural evolutionism, rather than a narrow focus on "minute details of cultural history". Robert L. Carneiro, Evolutionism in Cultural Anthropology. A critical history (Boulder: Westview Press 2003) at 6–7.
  158. ^ Lamb 1981)b at 641.
  159. ^ Carneiro (1980, 1981) at 95–96.
  160. ^ Huxley and Capa (1964) at 123–24, and cf., 129–132. Here Huxley sources his information in the unpublished reports of the "Dole-Carneiro" team (details referenced at 242).
  161. ^ Huxley's abandoned village of Xandia likely corresponds to Córdova's Xanadá. Huxley's Iriya, the curaca of an Amahuaca tribe, probably would be the same Iriya mentioned by Córdova as possibly the Huni Kui's chief about five decades after Xumu. Of two subgroups who then joined, Huxley's Isawo and Shawo are likely Córdova's Xabo and Ixabo. Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 172–76, 199–200. Yet according to Córdoba it was chief Xumu who founded Xanadá around 1900, while Huxley has Iriya as the founder (approximately 20 to 40 years later). Huxley also does not refer to a tribe called the Huni Kui.
  162. ^ Cf., Huxley and Capa (1964) at 132. After having described (at 129–32) the series of attacks suffered by the Amahuaca, launched both by other tribes and by commercial interests (especially during the rubber boom), Huxley goes on to summarize the resulting, significant changes to the tribe's social structure:

    "The Amahuaca diaspora that occurred within the past three centuries transformed their original social organization (inadequate data hint that it was structured upon subgroups and organized by villages) into deeply suspicious, autarchic, single-family units—units quite independent of one another economically and only intermeshing at a few points in their social relationships."

  163. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1998) at 19.
  164. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 66–70 (jaguar and anteater); 141–47 (birth ritual using jaguar blood); 185 (jaguar in visions).
  165. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 2–4 (meeting jaguar); 60–62 (jaguar story); [117] (Ino); 113–18 (jaguar blood in ritual); 146–47 (his jaguar visions).
  166. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 157–59.
  167. ^ Lamb and Córdova-Rios (1994) at 125–127.
  168. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 158–59 (quote).
  169. ^ In the book published more than 20 years later: Lamb and Córdova-Rios (1994) at 126.
  170. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) at 173.
  171. ^ Cf., Calvo (1981; 1995), in the "Prologue" at xi. There the story is related of how, in order to obtain firearms, chief Ximu planned to kidnap "the son of a rubber collector". After bringing him to the village, Ximu changed Manuel Córdova's name to "Ino Moxo, which means 'Black Panther' in the Amawaka language". This "Prologue" was written by Calvo's fictitious cousin. Cf., K. A. Symington, "Translator's Note" at x.
  172. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) at 173 (quote).
  173. ^ Lamb (1985) at 16–25 (Lamisto tribe), 24–25 (Córdova's black jaguar); 69–70 (stingers in tracks); 105 (reputation), 106 (predicts).
  174. ^ See text above and below for reference citations.
  175. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 65 (HK language).
  176. ^ Lamb (1985) at 49–50 (HK and some related Panoan languages); at 19, 32, 100, 114 (Quechua and related languages).
  177. ^ Lamb (1985) at 40–41 (forest empathy); at 100 (canoe); at 42–43 (mule trails); also, at 18–19 (Chazúta).
  178. ^ Lamb (1985), e.g., at 16, 44, 50–51 (pharmaceuticals and plants); 27, 113 (survey guide); 39–40 (rubber trees); 68–72, 79 (farming).
  179. ^ Lamb and Córdova (1994) at 157.
  180. ^ F. Bruce Lamb, PhD, was 26 years younger than Córdova. Lamb also wrote several books and numerous articles on forestry in the tropics, based on experience acquired in the Americas (Trinidad, Guatemala, Amazona), West Africa, and southeast Asia (Borneo). His works include Mahogany of Tropical America: Its ecology and management (University of Michigan 1966) and, as co-author, Yale University School of Forestry Bulletin No. 77 (1970). Cf., Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at [201]. Lamb (1985) at 129.
  181. ^ José Jobim, Brazil in the Making (New York: Macmillan 1943) at 79. Comparing it the California gold rush a half-century earlier, Jobim remarks that the Amazon rubber boom "attracted adventurers and enterprising men from all over the world." For better or worse.
  182. ^ The turmoil generated by the advance of commerce into the Amazon continued throughout Cordova's lifetime. Feuding between members of different tribes generated violence, and isolated tribes fought even the Peruvian army to maintain their forlorn sovereignty. Lamb (1985) at 55–57.
  183. ^ Lamb (1985) at 39, reporting Córdova's views.
  184. ^ Anthony Smith, Explorers of the Amazon (London: Penguin 1990) at 285–324. The extractive industries sometimes left a trail of cruelty, on occasion of horror. The Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company was started by then villainous Julio Cesar Arana to exploit the Putumayo River valley, disputed land between Peru and Colombia, isolated and unpoliced. Trouble soon began. The company became financed, and then taken over and directed, by a London-based concern which took the name Peruvian Amazon Company, later notorious. Thousands, probably tens of thousands, of Huitoto (Witoto) natives were enslaved to work in rubber collection, and subjected to torture; hundreds perhaps thousands were murdered, many were raped; the tribe's numbers plummeted by perhaps four-fifths. In 1907 a young traveler from the USA, Walter Ernest Hardenburg, discovered and began to expose the company's crimes, and later also Roger Casement, a British official from Ireland. It became a major scandal in the world press. Smith (1990): Arana at 290, 295–296, 305, 312–313, 320–23; London directors at 295, 307, 310–11, 316–19, 323; Hardenburg at 289–90, 296–312, 319–24; Casement at 290–91, 313–23; Press and public opinion: 307–11, 323; Putumayo crimes at 299, 301–02, 316–17, 322–23.
  185. ^ W. B. Hardenberg, The Putumayo. The Devil's Paradise. Travels in the Peruvian Amazon and an account of the atrocities committed upon the Indians therein (London: T. Fisher Unwin 1912).
  186. ^ Also on the Putumayo crimes: Davis (1996) at 236–39.
  187. ^ Alain Gheerbrant, L'Amazone, un géant blessé, coll. "Découvertes Gallimard" (nº 40). Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1988; translated as The Amazon: Past, Present, and Future, "Abrams Discoveries" series (New York: Harry N. Abrams 1992) at pp. 93–95, states that over 40,000 native peoples were killed.
  188. ^ Cf., Huxley and Capa (1964) on the exploitation of the mid-20th century Amahuaca: text at 149–50, 161–64; photos at 151–60. Regarding the earlier plunder of the Amazon during rubber boom, Huxley (at 129) mentions "conscienceless whites from England and America, Chile and Italy, Germany, Argentina, and the Levant, quite as much as by Amazon Basin locals."
  189. ^ José Eustasio Rivera, La Vorágine (Bogotá: Cromas 1924). Novel of Colombia which addresses the evils visited on the native peoples of the Amazon by the rubber trade and otherwise.
  190. ^ Dobkin de Rios (1972) at 51–58. She discusses the misery endured in modern Iquitos by newly arrived forest Indians, often called cholos. Being the poorest, they are distinct from both trigueños (of middle rank), and the elite, these last two groups being mestizos. Although "jungle wise" the cholos have not yet picked up "street smarts". Hence their Indian identity seems to mark them as targets for unscrupulous urban hucksters.
  191. ^ Cf., Davis (1996), e.g., at 252–53.
  192. ^ Luis Martín, The Kingdom of the Sun. A short history of Peru (New York: Charles Scribners' Sons 1974) at 83–88: "The mestizo".
  193. ^ Cf., Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 16, c ("ribereño").
  194. ^ Lamb (1985) at 38, 53 (stolen bride, quote); 67–69 (marriage, baptisms).
  195. ^ One view might consider Córdova's marriage to Nieve Ochoa as his second, i.e., counting first his youthful years with Huaini following a Huni Kui ceremony. Lamb and Córdova-Ríos (1994) at 108–11.
  196. ^ Lamb (1971, 1974) at [201] (large family).
  197. ^ Lamb (1985) at 68–72 (Áquano Isla); 75 (ten children); 79 (move to city); 85–86 (shared visions).
  198. ^ Lamb (1985) at 80–83, 94.
  199. ^ Lamb (1985) at 30 (as healer); at 67, 75 (wife, second daughter); at 126, 125 (contraceptive).
  200. ^ Davis (1996) at 377: Cinchona contains quinine, used in treatments against malaria.
  201. ^ Lamb (1985): skin at 75; childbirth at 76–77; quote at 75; alcoholism at 60, diabetes at 67–68, epilepsy at 59; lung infection at 83; liver ailment at 84–86.
  202. ^ Lamb (1985): Manaus at 92; epilepsy and depression at 103, 127, 59, 215; malaria at 104–05; uta at 116; aphrodisiac at 137–38.
  203. ^ Lamb (1985) chapter "Man of Medicine" at 142–56, miracle quote at 153, doctors criticized for lack of "communication skills" at 142; cf., 162 (re leukemia, cancer)
  204. ^ Lamb (1985): "presence" quote at 132; patients per month at 163; fees (e.g., circa 1985: 20 Peruvian Soles or one U.S. Dollar) and "satisfaction" quote at 161; "awe" quote at 167. When in his late 70s Córdova "could walk to exhaustion anyone in our timber survey party when we were in the forest." Lamb (1985) at 132.
  205. ^ Lamb (1985) at 87–88. Córdoba said that the vocál had been forced to leave Moyobamba, the city of Córdoba's mother.
  206. ^ Dobkin de Rios (1972) at 69, 135 (license law in Peru), at 135 (fraudulent healers {who share similarities with "plastic shamans"}).
  207. ^ Conselho Nacional de Geografia, Atlas do Brasil (Brasília: Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia 1960) at 70 (borracha e latex).
  208. ^ Lamb (1985) at 89–96 (to Manaus [probably about 1950]); at 91–93 (medical doctors); at 65–67 (Cruzeiro de Sul); at 123–24 (lent books, e.g., on anatomy, and on the medicine of Japan).
  209. ^ Lamb (1985) at 94, 122, 124 (commercial plants); at 94, 113, 123 (O'Neil); at 94–97 (collection work); at 120, 121 (date of specimens: about 1961 minus ten years).
  210. ^ Similar work, in a grander style, was being conducted by Richard Evans Schultes the Harvard ethnobotanist in the Colombian Amazon. Starting in 1941 Schultes spent 12 years "collecting some 20 thousand specimens, including three hundred species new to science". Davis (1996) at 22.
  211. ^ Cf., Schultes and Raffauf (1992) at 12–15.
  212. ^ Lamb (1985) at 95–97 (boat for work); 120–24 (research by Lamb ten years later: alcoholic); quote at 123.
  213. ^ Lamb (1985) at 178–179, re Córdova's Materia Medica, item number five. Tentatively identified as Strychnos and Chododendron tormentosum.
  214. ^ Schultes and Raffauf (1992) 243–255, at 243–244 (curare quotes). A preferred source of curare is often the Amazon vine Chondrodendron tomentosum which yields the "medicinally valuable d-tubocurarine". Yet curare may also be sourced in other species.
  215. ^ Davis (1996) at 209–215: review of the medical history regarding curare, and its several known plant sources, e.g., Strychnos toxifera.
  216. ^ Davis (1996) at 213, 214–15.
  217. ^ Lamb (1985) at 17–18, 48, 97.
  218. ^ Davis (1996) at 218.
  219. ^ Lamb (1985) at 18, 42–48 (quotes, process); 18, 48, 97–98, 102 (its fumes dangerous).
  220. ^ Davis (1996) at 217–18, 281.
  221. ^ Cf., Davis (1996) at 213.
  222. ^ Lamb (1985) at 97–107: Astoria at 97, 101, 103–04, 107; Lamisto 99–101, 106–07; curare production at 101–03; Chazutinos 104–06; synthetic and quote at 107. At different times, Córdova was also asked to collect quantities of other plant extracts for commercial use. Lamb (1985) at 92 (tahuari negro [Peru] or pau d'arco [Brazil]), 97 (oje latex, barbasco root, rotenone), 117 (oje latex, rossewood oil), 153–54 (pau d'arco).
  223. ^ Lamb (1985) at 163–64, at 152–53 (surgeon), at 156 (jurist).
  224. ^ McKenna (1991), pp. 119; author's visit was in 1976 (p. 118).
  225. ^ Lamb (1985), e.g., at 30, 77–78, 96–97.
  226. ^ Lamb (1985) at 199 ("frustration in knowing that I have not been able to impart my knowledge to someone who could continue to use it").
  227. ^ Lamb (1985) at unnumbered page after table of contents, caption: "Manuel Córdova with Murato Indian shaman on Río Shimbillo tributary of the Río Tigre, Peru 1961".
  228. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) at 233 and 234.
  229. ^ Lamb (1985) at 76 (quote); cf., 161.
  230. ^ Lamb (1985): transference at 159; confidence, e.g., at 132.
  231. ^ Lamb (1985) at 157–58. "The path of healing can be through the vital properties of unpolluted jungle plants... or any other undiscovered channel. ... The word 'psychosomatic,' as commonly used, hardly scratches the surface when it comes to a healer like Córdova."
  232. ^ Cf., Dobkin de Rios (1972) at 133–40: quote at 134; cf., 137. Here de Rios states that, in general, "shaman" healing practice often is more psychological than physical, and so employs suggestion and authoritative counseling rather than medicine as understood by modern science. Yet she also mentions the array of herbal remedies available which have known medical properties, i.e., "the rich pharmacopoeia" (at 135).
  233. ^ Lamb (1985), p. 140 (quote). Fr. Tastevin traveled in the Brazilian Amazon, on the upper Río Tarauacá in the 1920s ("shortly after Córdova's escape from the area"), and "spent time with the Huni Kui (whom he and others sometimes call the Caxinaua as well as Amahuaca)". Lamb continued, "Father Tastevin comments on the extraordinary knowledge of the medical properties of the forest flora possessed by these Indians", and then quotes him. Among those holding in high esteem the Amazon tribal cultures for their herbal knowledge, Lamb also mentions the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss and the botanist Richard Evans Schultes. Lamb (1985) pp. 139–140.
  234. ^ Constant Tastevin (1926), "Le Haut Tarauaca" in La Géographie: Terre, Air, Mer, vol. 45, pp. 159–175; reference given by Lamb (1985), p. 218, n1 (to text at p.139).
  235. ^ Lamb (1985) at 115.
  236. ^ Lamb (1985) at 147.
  237. ^ Lamb (1985): his method (at 84–86, 136, 160), diet (118–19); Córdova eventually stopped his use of ayahuasca (at 84, 131, 145, 159, and see section "Ayahuasca: diagnosis, remedy").
  238. ^ Johnson (1985), pp. vii–viii: discussing Córdova's method.
  239. ^ Lamb (1985) at 151–52, 163; cf., 127–28.
  240. ^ Lamb (1985) at 136, 160 (rational procedures); at 93, 139, 164 (debt to chief Xumu).
  241. ^ Lamb (1985) at 16, 31–32, 34–35, 78, 114–15 (anti-sorcery cautionary tales). "I counselled [the Lamisto] against the practice of sorcery and witchcraft. Telling them that this wickedness always resulted in bringing attacks of vengeance and reprisal, [particularly on] the practicing brujo or witch... . Much better I told them to live at peace with your neighbors... ." Lamb (1985) at 107. Especially in a multitribal context, sorcery could draw a violent reply.
  242. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 13, b to 14, b and 13, n6. Magical darts (virotes) may be thrown at the vegetalista who attempts to heal a person suffering from a sorcerer's curse. Also described here, in regard to preserving one's health, is a tribal belief in five souls of each human being.
  243. ^ Cf., Dobkin de Rios (1972) at 77, 79–82 (illness caused by demons); 85–86, 87–88, 92–97 (illness due to witchcraft).
  244. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d ed. 1974) at 169 (thorn sucked out).
  245. ^ Lamb (1985) at 58 (thorn by "sleight-of-hand").
  246. ^ Cf., Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 18, b and 18, n12: an ayahuasquero might provide a patient with the arkana (defenses), i.e., protection "so that no evil penetrates him. It may be an animal spirit, a power song, or an invisible garment".
  247. ^ Lamb (1985), e.g., chief Izidoro of the Tikuna (43–48); chief Huanichi of the Capanahua (58–61); curaca Santos of the Secoya (114–15).
  248. ^ Cf., Maxwell (1961, 1990) at 8, where she writes:

    "Medicine is magic; magic is a witchdoctor's business. ... Who wants to muscle in on the territory of the man who controls demons that cause sickness, the man who with an incantation and a gesture of the hand can send lightning to strike wherever he wishes."

  249. ^ Lamb (1985) at 133–136.
  250. ^ Cf., Beyer (2009) at 205–78, discussing ayahuasca; at 148–157 regarding its use in healing.
  251. ^ Lamb (1985) at 18–25, 105.
  252. ^ Cf., Schultes and Raffauf (1992) at 64–91: 22 photographs taken between 1941–1961 of shamans ("payés") of the Colombian Amazon and their apprentices.
  253. ^ Lamb (1985) at 127 (quote); cf., 135.
  254. ^ Lamb (1985) at 132 ("Córdova was a famous curandero-ayahuasquero, a visionary healer, in Peru, especially in his own Amazon territory east of the Andes"); e.g., at 15 (speculations by Córdova on the source and origin of his useful knowledge of ayahuasca); at 167 (obscure biological reasons, "redundant or standby sub-systems"); at 133 ("Their belief was that animals... taught them in visions the secret of the forest").
  255. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 134, n180. According to some folk beliefs, "when a shaman transforms himself into an animal he is living again the initial mythical conditions in which men and animals were on the same level, and transformations from one form to the other was easy". E.g., a shaman might be able to "turn into a jaguar".
  256. ^ Dobkin de Rios (1972) at 118–20 re the supernatural: "The mother spirit of ayahuasca may transform herself into an animate creature such as a princess, a queen, or any one of many different fantasy forms."
  257. ^ Cf., Calvo (1981; 1995) at 139 ("Much of the wisdom of Maestro Ino Moxo has come to him from master to master... in astral voyages of ayawaskha, from the time of the Inkas, and even before: from the Urus").
  258. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 12, b-c. Also, the authors mention a heterodox religious movement, Santo Daime, which arose around the urban ayahuasca experience, and is today found in major cities of Brazil (at 10, n2).
  259. ^ Cf., Ott (1993), who reviews ayahuasca and related literature, including its ritual use in the history of religions. At 200–204 (257–60 notes), and 331–34 (344–48 notes), Ott addresses the Soma of the Hindu Vedas, and the similar Haoma of the Zoroastrian Avesta, among the probable entheogens used by the ancients in religions practice, also referring to Judaism (at 333). Ott's review is wide-ranging, and includes (at 228, 243) mention of a small contemporary Christian church started in Rio Branco, a city of the Brazilian Amazon, which church currently reveres ayahuasca use as Santo Daime, taken especially three times a year.
  260. ^ Cf., Beyer (2009) at 289–90, 292, 368–70, regarding Santo Daime. Founded by an Afro-Brazilian, Irineu Serra, in the 1920s near the Peruvian border, its heterodox Christian beliefs include taking ayahuasca as a sacrament while singing hymns composed by Irineu. This church has a small following across South America and in Europe.
  261. ^ Lamb (1971, 3d 1974) at 97.
  262. ^ Lamb and Córdova (1994) at 84.
  263. ^ Lamb (1985) re icaros: at 158, 165 (per making extracts); at 133, 136 (per visions).
  264. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) at 140 ("[ayahuasqueros] are so careful about curing plants, ... gathering from the air the appropriate icaros, and giving power to those remedies").
  265. ^ Beyer (2009) at 67 (healing power of icaros); 174–75 (singing to plants increases their curative power).
  266. ^ Córdova's singing while making his plant extracts is analogous to what Carl Jung found about the psychology of the medieval "drugist and apothecary". Their "knowledge of the techniques" used in making their medicinal preparations was informed by "Gnostic philosophical speculations" regarding hidden forces in nature. Carl Jung, "Der Geist Mercurius" in Eranos Jahrbuch 1942 (Zürich), translated as "The Spirit Mercurius" in Alchemical Studies [CW, v.13] (Princeton University: Bollingen series 1967, 1983) 191–250, at 204–05.
  267. ^ Lamb (1985) at 85–86, 158.
  268. ^ Lamb (1985) at 29, 85–86, 145 (ayahuasca use in diagnosis); at 84, 152, 158 (ayahuasca no longer needed for diagnosis); at 167 (Córdova's speculation on how ayahuasca works biologically). Lamb met Córdova after he had stopped taking ayahuasca, hence Lamb could not experienced the drinking of the brew under his guidance—so Lamb reluctantly decided not to take ayahuasca, the vision vine. Lamb (1985) at 131 (Lamb not), 158 (Lamb not), 129 (Lamb's vision without it); 26, 135 (guide necessary); 26, 29–30, 133 (careful preparation necessary).
  269. ^ Cf., Maxwell (1961, 1990) at 272–74, 275, 276. The author here describer her not altogether voluntary avoidance of an ayahuasca experience.
  270. ^ Cf., Davis (1996) at 189–94 (au contraire).
  271. ^ Lamb (1985) at 134 ("over 500 times"); cf., 136 ("seven years of apprenticeship and over 50 years of experience").
  272. ^ Schultes and Raffauf (1992) at 20–31. The scientific name of the ayahuasca vine is Banisteriopsis caapi (at 22, 26). B. caapi when brewed for consumption is often mixed with a chacruna or plant additive, such as psychotria viridis (at 31).
  273. ^ Ott (1993) at 210–12, 438. The active ingredient in the Banisteriopsis species, especially B. caapi (i.e., ayahuasca), is harmine, as well as harmaline and others compounds. Cf., Ott (1993) at 223–24, 175–76. With ayahuasca Córdova regularly mixed in additives (known as the chacruna); he preferred to use psychotria viridis whose active ingredient is dimethyltryptamine (DMT).
  274. ^ Lamb (1971; 3d ed 1974) at 97.
  275. ^ Lamb (1985) at 134:

    "The old chief [Xumu] and the others of the tribe emphasized... that I was to be their tribal healer. Each one of them attempted to transfer his individual knowledge of plants to me both during the vision sessions and afterward when we were in the forest together. With the heightened sense perception that came from taking the extract of the vision vine [ayahuasca], I was able to observe and perceive qualities of plants entirely obscure to the unprepared observer. ¶ ... I received from the Huni Kui a true transmission... . Now I am able to produce results... with the many medicinal plants... ."

  276. ^ Lamb (1985) at 127–28, 133–34, 157, 160 (energy fields of the body); at 136 (Córdova's method with patients); at 61, 85 (ayahuasca allows one to see into another's body).
  277. ^ Beyer (2009) at 178: Ayahuasca allows its user to see inside the body of another, "the skeleton, brain, organs, or intestines of the patient".
  278. ^ Lamb (1985) at 85; cf., 29.
  279. ^ Davis (1996) at 216: "The curandero takes yagé to see the proper herb or herbs the sick man needs." Davis comments that "Schultes was not sure what to make of this" but came to realize that "the healer embraced yagé both as visionary medium and as teacher. The plant made the diagnosis. It was a living being... ."
  280. ^ Cf., Beyer (2009) at 178–79. The curandero relies on several sources for his diagnoses, among them being ayahuasca and various spirits, including plant spirits, who can inform directly of healing methods, including "what plants to prepare".
  281. ^ Luna and Amarindo (1991, 1999) at 12, c. Vegetalistas "claim to derive healing skills and powers from certain plant teachers—often psychoactive—believed to have a madre (mother) [citation]. Knowledge—particular medical knowledge—comes from the plants themselves."
  282. ^ Except perhaps as a mystical phenomenon, see section above "View of tribal spiritualities". Otherwise, cf., Lamb (1985) at 154 (exploitation); at 167 (advise of mentor).
  283. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 15, c-16, a and note 9 (transmission, perhaps somewhat similar to Dharma transmission); at 17, b (shape of plant). From the view point of medical science, however, this association of a plant's shape with an ailment's remedy, without more, may seem arbitrary. Also mentioned here by Luna (at 18, b): a plant's icaro (mystical song) may be rendered or perceived alternately as a visual design; this association might be understood as confirmed by the mathematical nature of music and analytic geometry.
  284. ^ Qunine was synthesized by R.B. Woodward (shown in photo) and W. E. Doering in 1944.
  285. ^ Lamb (1985) at 151–52.
  286. ^ Cf., Davis (1996) at 170 (quinine), cf., e.g., 202 (sangre de drago), 212–13 (curare).
  287. ^ Maxwell (1961, 1990) at 3.
  288. ^ Lamb (1985) at 157–58 ("energy medicine").
  289. ^ Lamb (1985) at 123–24, quoting Córdova. Here, Córdova reveals his understanding of his position in the medical world. Here also his frustrating career experiences in exchanging information with western commercial science (e.g., at 120–22) are given expression. Cf., above section "Specimens for Nueva York".
  290. ^ Other American botanists, e.g., Richard Evans Schultes of Harvard University, have been very appreciative of the medical properties found in plants of the Amazon and their study, and of the Amazon practitioners of herbal medicine. Schultes is celebrated as the "father of contemporary ethnobotany". In the decades following 1939, Schultes did fieldwork in the Colombian Amazon region, north of Córdova. The two evidently never met. Cf., Schultes and Raffauf (1992) at 1–3, 4–15, 274–75; at 1 ("father" quote).
  291. ^ Lamb (1985) at 127–28, 133–34, 157, 160 ("energy medicine"); at 165 (quote).
  292. ^ Beyer (2009) at 174–75 (plant spirits and icaros).
  293. ^ Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 33–34 (plant spirits).
  294. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995) at 211, quoting Don Manuel Córdova: "I prepare [the plants] simply, without altering the purity or the confidence of the plant. ... What we give to our medicines is love... . ... We awaken the mothers of the plants."
  295. ^ Cf., Ott (1993) at 234.
  296. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995), e..g., at xi–xii, 74, 82, 217 (the pilgrimage party [NB: a brother of Calvo was also named Ivan]). Cf., "Translator's Note" by K. A. Symington, at ix–x regarding the two cousins named César. Visits to the other shamans occur in the two opening parts: I. THE VISIONS (7–51) and II. THE JOURNEY (53–147). Ino Maxo appears in the Preface (1–6) and in the concluding parts: III. INO MOXO (149–204), and IV. THE AWAKENING (205–20), as well as being occasionally mentioned elsewhere. Among appearances: Juan González in jail (22); Hohuaté (68, [165–68]); Félix Insapillo lost in the jungle (75–79); Iván with "divergent wills" (121).
  297. ^ Calvo (1981; 1995): the italics at 153–154, 156–57, 160–61, 165–68, and 170–71 (scenes of history); the italics at 181–82, 187–89, 192–95, 195, and 198 (fictional present [the true eternal]); at 149–220 [not in italics] (interviews with Ino Moxo); at 221–36 (photographs, of Don Manuel Córdova (Ino Moxo) at 233 and 234.
  298. ^ Calvo includes in his narrative a few poems, e.g., the Quechua "Wywa Suaq Tusuynin" ("Dance of the Cattle Thief") attributed to Isidro Kondori as recited by another poet Luis Nieto. Calvo (1981; 1995) at 41–43. Also the shaman Don Javier, accompanying himself on the cajón, sings a landó with a seaside feeling of saudade. This landó appears similar to the song "María Landó", composed by Calvo and the Afro-Peruvian singer Chabuca Granda. Here, however, the song would better be called "Carmela Landó". Calvo (1981; 1995) at 119–20.
  299. ^ Cf., Calvo (1981; 1995), e..g., at 157–58 (memory and time); at 176 (words that are alive); 191, 202 (past icaros for invisibility, present icaros for reversal of time); at 217 (dream within a dream); at 218–219 ("do not alter the reality of the dream").
  300. ^ Calvo's novel was translated into English by Kenneth A. Symington, published in 1995. See herein, bibliography.
  301. ^ Merwin's poem was published in his 1994 collection. See bibliography.
  302. ^ Merwin (1994) at 96, 97.
  303. ^ Merwin (1940) at 99.
  304. ^ Merwin (1994) at 101.
  305. ^ Cf., Luna and Amaringo (1991, 1999) at 43 text and 43, n69. Discussion of "shared visions" and the claimed ability "to 'see' the visions of others" with reference to ayahuasca, e.g., while listening to the chanting of a guide. The authors note the "unique blend of Amazonian cosmology, European folklore and esotericism, modern metaphysics, and collective archetypes" that may be common to the eclectic culture of mestizo vegetalistas, and so help coordinate the visions.
  306. ^ Merwin (1994) at 102.
  307. ^ Merwin (1994) at 110, 116.
  308. ^ See below: Lamb (1971, 1974).
  309. ^ Originally published with shorter title and two authors, then here with longer title and solo author. Cf., Carneiro [per de Mille] (1981), p. 452.

External links[edit]

Bob Corbett, Wizard of the Upper Amazon. The Story of Manuel Cordova Rios [book review].