Erowid References Database
“Ethnoarchaeological evidence for San Pedro (Trichocereus pachanoi) use in northern Peru”.
ABSTRACT - Since the 1970s pre-Columbian depictions of the psychedelic San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi Britt. & Rose) - mainly in ceramics - have attracted scholarly attention. A review of published specimens indicates that they are predominantly from the north coast. The earliest depictions come from the Cupisnique Culture (1500-500 BC) in the Jequetcpeque Valley. They consistently show a spotted feline and stepped volutes in association with four-ribbed San Pedros. During Moche times (100-800 AD) slices of the cactus are depicted in the hands of a cowl-wearing female who is also portrayed with owl features holding a lime cone. In subsequent pieces from the Lambayeque Culture (800-1350 AD) the hooded female holds San Pedro stalks or the tip of the cactus. Ethnoarchaeological analysis using ethnographic information on contemporary curanderismo indicates that we may be viewing scenes of San Pedro-induced shamanic transformation to promote health, fertility and/or the soul's journey to the realm of the ancestors.
[ Cite HTML