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The Datura Cult Among the Chumash

The Datura Cult Among the Chumash

  1. methylman251
    RICHARD B. APPLEGATE
    Publication Date:​
    1975​
    Publication Info:​
    Journal of California Anthropology, The, UC Merced Library, UC Merced

    Abstract:
    In their quest for visions and for supernatural power, the Chumash of the Santa Barbara region​
    were one of many tribes throughout North and South America that resorted to the use of​
    hallucinogenic plants. Datura was one of the most widely known of these hallucinogens; Indians​
    of an area from Chile to the American Southwest made ritual use of several species of Datura.​
    Until recently, references to Datura in the literature on the Chumash have been brief and largely​
    conjectural. Now contemporary workers are synthesizing the unpublished manuscripts of John​
    P. Harrington's ethnographic work among the Chumash between 1912 and 1922. In particular,​
    Thomas Blackburn (1974) has done a cultural analysis of Chumash narrative texts in which Datura
    figures prominently.