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JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association.: North American Indian rock art and hallucin

JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association.: North American Indian rock art and hallucin

  1. Gradient
    It is proposed that the aboriginal rock paintings in two areas of North America may have been produced by shamans while they were under the influence of hallucinogenic agents derived from plants. The first of these areas is the Chumash and Yokuts Indian region of California, where polychrome paintings show designs similar to those visualized during the trance induced by decoctions of jimsonweed (Datura species). The second area is the lower Pecos River region of Texas, where shamanistic figures display traits considered to be conceptual analogues of the mescal bean (Sophora secundiflora) cult as practiced during historic times by Great Plains Indians. Although the evidence is only circumstantial, the proposed connections between these rock drawings and mind-expanding pharmacologic compounds fit well into the documented relationship that encompasses hallucinogenic drugs and certain movable objects of pre-Columbian American art.