This short essay explores proposals that have been constructed for the political economy of Amazonian ayahuasca shamanism by the Western-based NGO Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council (ESC). The discourse, aims, and methods of the ESC are shown to include messianic and millenarian visions that are interrelated with an ideological governance model shaped to a Western-oriented tourist market. The ESC is explored in the context and history of northwest Amazonian millenarianism and 19th century indigenous colonial resistance movements that were orchestrated by ayahuasca jaguar-shamans. The essay demonstrates that the ESC’s ayahuasca millenarianism, unlike its indigenous predecessors, is characterized by an advancement — and not rejection — of imperialism.

Gearin, A. K. 2015 Amazonian ayahuasca tourism and millenarian imperialism: The story of the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council. Cultural Admixtures blog


Comments are closed.