Translated to English by Matthew Meyer

Henrique Carneiro

Departamento de História – USP

A field of knowledge is constituted, and may be oriented, by a scientific, literary, or philosophical bibliography which brings together all the investigations already done on a certain object, in addition to the methods and theories that may be used to analyze it.

The object in question here is a traditional Amazonian psychoactive drink made from at least two plants: ayahuasca, about which, with this publication, it may be said that there is now an international field of multidisciplinary studies, and that one of its most important foci is in Brazil. The angles of approach are multiple: anthropological, pharmacological, ethnobotanical, historical, and medical, among others.

This compilation and the introductory study, published with the support of the São Paulo State Foundation for the Support of Research (Fapesp), represent an invaluable contribution: an unprecedented and broad synthesis of books and articles in ten languages about ayahuasca.