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The Influence of Psychotropic Flora and Fauna on Maya Religion [and Comments and Reply]

Marlene Dobkin de Rios, Norman Alger, N. Ross Crumrine, Peter T. Furst, Robert C. Harman, Nicholas M. Hellmuth, Nicholas A. Hopkins, William Clyde King, Joan D. Koss, Weston La Barre, Herbert J. Landar, Joesph K. Long, Tatiana Proskouriakoff, Arthur J. Rubel, Francisco Samaranch, J. Eric S. Thompson and Roger W. Wescott
Current Anthropology
Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun., 1974), pp. 147-164
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2740991
Page Count: 18
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The Influence of Psychotropic Flora and Fauna on Maya Religion [and Comments and Reply]
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Abstract

An examination of Maya art from southern Mesoamerica shows the following art motifs appearing with some regularity throughout the archaeological record, from Pre-Classic to Post-Conquest times: (a) mushroom stones and mushroom pottery, (b) the frog/toad motif, and (c) the water lily motif. The thesis of this papers is that these flora and fauna represented in art are related to and influenced by the psychotropic properties of the mushroom, toad, and water lily. It is hypothesized that such properties were known to the Maya shaman, priest, and artist as well as being generally diffused at a folk level in Pre-Classic times. The paper examines certain Maya religious beliefs and practices believed to be influenced by and possibly derived from such psychotropic use.

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