Co-authors Beatriz Labate and Clancy Cavnar will present their new edited publication, The World Ayahuasca Diaspora: Reinventions and Controversies (Routledge, 2017). Leopardo Yawa Bane, from the Huni Kuin (Kaxinawa) tribe in the Brazilian Amazon will present reflections on the globalization of ayahuasca from an indigenous perspective. The book tackles questions surrounding the rapid expansion of the use of Ayahuasca – a psychoactive sacrament that has long been associated with Amazonian shamanism. In it, scholars discuss the legal issues, economic inequalities, and other controversies tied to its expansion.

Wednesday, April 26 2017
6:30 – 9:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103
Room: 304
For more information: Heidi Fraser –, Telephone (415) 575-6189

To register, please sign at the Facebook event here.

A message from Leopardo Yawa Bane:

“I am a representative of the Kaxinawa Indian people in the State of Acre, Brazil. The traditional Brazilian communities have used ayahuasca since time immemorial as a medicinal plant. Since the start of creation, my people have been using the ayahuasca (Nixi Pae) that was received from the creator, Yuxibu. Nowadays, the Kaxinawa have a living tradition of sacred practices and ceremonies. Ayahuasca, for my people, creates openness to the understanding, knowledge and spirituality of our tradition and culture. Ayahuasca brings us consciousness, our awareness about the forest, and about the world of cosmology, geometry, Kene, and of Jiboia. The Kaxinawa have a connection with the world of spirit and of spirituality; the road that we follow, and the road that our shamans and ancestors have been teaching us so we may acquire spiritual vision. All of this becomes one single thing. The nature of the Indian people is connected to Mother Earth, to the forest, to the animals, to the creation between heaven and earth, and to all of cosmology. The original people were the first to use and bring ayahuasca for spiritual purposes in order to seek healing and connections to the forest and with nature. The founder of the religious doctrine of Santo Daime drank ayahuasca for the first time with an Indian in Acre. In his vision at the ceremony, he witnessed images of his Christian religion. He then created his own center for his followers, and developed the Santo Daime religion. Today, there are several religious groups, including Santo Daime, the União do Vegetal, and the Barquinha, among others. Ayahuasca is part of the culture of various traditional communities of the indigenous people in Brazil. The indigenous people have always mastered this spiritual knowledge. These Indian communities are expanding their knowledge of ayahuasca use outside of their villages. Interest in the culture, habits, and use of ayahuasca among Indians and non-Indians has grown. Today, ayahuasca is expanding to the Western world. In these last years, a greater number of indigenous people are traveling around the world, especially in Europe, where they present their cultures, offer shamanic rituals, and expand the use of ayahuasca, bringing healing to the West. Many shamanic groups, healers, and shamans have appeared, spreading the use of ayahuasca to metropolitan urban centers in big cities. Non-Indians also have a great interest in learning traditional knowledge from the Indians. Non-Indians have increasing interest in going to Indian settlements, bringing back knowledge to the city, and working with this in the cities, as shamanism or holistic and alternative therapies. The Indian people are following the discussion and they want to participate in drug reform policies. This is the main issue in the discussion of the present drug reform policy regarding ayahuasca.”


About the book:

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive substance that has long been associated with indigenous Amazonian shamanic practices. The recent rise of the drink’s visibility in the media and popular culture, and its rapidly advancing inroads into international awareness, mean that the field of ayahuasca is quickly expanding. This expansion brings with it legal problems, economic inequalities, new forms of ritual and belief, cultural misunderstandings, and other controversies and reinventions.

In The World Ayahuasca Diaspora, leading scholars, including established academics and new voices in anthropology, religious studies, and law fuse case-study ethnographies with evaluations of relevant legal and anthropological knowledge. They explore how the substance has impacted upon indigenous communities, new urban religiosities, ritual healing, international drug policy, religious persecution, and recreational drug milieus. This unique book presents classic and contemporary issues in social science and the humanities, providing rich material on the bourgeoning expansion of ayahuasca use around the globe.



About the speakers:

Leopardo Yawa Bane is the son of a traditional chief of the Huni Kuin (also known as Kaxinawá) peoples, Leopardo Yawa Bane is an advocate for the ecological heritage of his people’s native lands both domestically and internationally.  Born on the Jordan River Kaxinawá Reserve, in the state of Acre, Brazil, Bane and his brother Fabiano were sent from their villages to the cities of Brazil at a young age by their father and chief to learn new knowledge of the world outside the forest and represent their people in tradition, heritage and politics. Since then Bane has completed his University studies, learned to speak portuguese fluently and began to represent his people nationally and internationally as both an ambassador and medicine man. Bane and his people see the mystical and natural duality of plants and how they can access spirit world from plants found in their native areas. As common with indigenous tribes around the world, and particularly those of the Amazon, the Huni Kuin have their own unique culture–from creation to the beyond– derived from plant wisdom and their shared history. Bane grew up using and being trained in plant medicines by his grandfather. Fifteen years ago he began using various plant medicines with non-indigenous people. Bane brings the knowledge of his ancestors, of his people, of the Forest.

Beatriz Caiuby Labate has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of psychoactive substances, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Visiting Professor at the Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS), in Guadalajara, Mexico. She is also co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP), and editor of NEIP’s website ( She is author, co-author, and co-editor of seventeen books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles. For more information, see:





Clancy Cavnar has a doctorate in clinical psychology (PsyD) from John F. Kennedy University. She currently works at a dual-diagnosis residential drug treatment center in San Francisco and is a research associate of Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP). She combines an eclectic array of interests and activities as clinical psychologist, artist, and researcher. She has a master of fine arts in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and a master’s in counseling from San Francisco State University. She is author and co-author of articles in several peer-reviewed journals and co-editor, with Beatriz Caiuby Labate, of six books, among them, Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2014). She is also an editor at chacruna (, a venue for publication of high-quality academic short texts on plant medicines. For more information see:



East West Psychology Department (EWP) & Center for Psychedelic Therapy and Research (CPTR) – CIIS

At CIIS, engage in issues vital to you, to today’s world, and to your personal growth, exploring the deep connections that unite them. Study in innovative graduate programs or complete your bachelor’s degree, all in an academically rigorous setting. Here you find the knowledge and experience you need for the life and career you want. The East West Psychology Department (EWP) at CIIS offers a global approach to the exploration and study of psychology and spirituality. Students are encouraged to become thought leaders in cross-cultural relations and create positive and sustainable paradigms in global and personal change.





Our mission at kahpi is to empower people by providing trustworthy knowledge and vital wisdom about ayahuasca.We have carefully selected 12 of the best minds in ayahuasca research and teaching and co-designed an exciting collection of short video courses. Undertake easy-to-understand lessons and learn essential knowledge and wisdom about:

  • The Therapeutic and Spiritual Potentials of Ayahuasca
  • The Safety and Dangers of Drinking Ayahuasca
  • The Effects of Ayahuasca on The Brain, Body and Mind
  • The Different Cultures and Groups That Use Ayahuasca
  • Lots of Advice to Prepare For and Enhance Ayahuasca Experiences




Chacruna publishes top, easy-to-read short quality articles on psychedelic plant medicine science, culture and spirituality, written by academics, journalists, intellectuals and other wordsmiths. It promises to bring fresh knowledge and wisdom about this subject to the digital airways. We have been becoming increasingly disappointed with the lack of rigour in online discussions and journalistic articles about plant based psychedelics. So we decided to create a space for solid articles about psychedelic plant medicine written for a general audience.


Núcleo de Estudos Interdisciplinares sobre Psicoativos – (NEIP)

NEIP – Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies – was founded in 2001 in Brazil. It is a group that unites scholars from various institutions in Brazil and abroad to promote reflection on the topic of psychoactive substances. Member researchers investigate diverse aspects of psychoactives, such as their religious use (ayahuasca, iboga, San Pedro and coca leaves), and secular or non-religious uses of both legal substances (alcohol, tobacco, coffee, etc.) and illegal substances (marijuana, cocaine, crack, ecstasy, etc.), as well as their therapeutic use. Its members also investigate harm reduction policies, narco-trafficking, and medical and media discourses on psychoactives. NEIP seeks to participate in public debate about drug policy, which is normally dominated by ill-informed and prejudiced perspectives, and insists that the Human Sciences have an important role to play in broadening and deepening this debate. In as far as NEIP understands contemporary international prohibitionist policy to stifle debate and reflection, it adopts an anti-prohibitionist political and ethical stance. It thus promotes simultaneously research activity, intellectual exchange, and political intervention. NEIP has built thought-out the year a huge on-line library, which offers free access to a wide variety of materials on drugs, with emphasis in psychedelics, especially ayahuasca.


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