Tourism

Tourism – Shamanic performances and shamanic use of visioninducing plant derivatives have attracted both scholars and enthusiasts seeking initiation, education, and entertainment. While shamanism tourism and hallucinogen tourism have seriously disrupted indigenous cultures, communities, and environments, some critics have exaggerated the distinction between shamanic work and entertainment. Humor, carnivalesque drama, and the telling of trickster tales are common elements of shamans’ roles. Shamans’ traditional clients and neighbors frequently evidence entirely pragmatic and even skeptical approaches to shamanic claims and indicate that good performance can be a sign of an adept shaman. Similarly, while some indigenous shamans work only for their clan, village, or kin group, others serve any clients willing to pay. Since scholars have struggled to understand indigenous knowledge and have sometimes imported modernist preconceptions into their interpretations, it is not surprising that hallucinogen tourists and others have misunderstood the purity aspects of purgative (vomit-inducing) plant helpers. Similarly, many neo-shamanic tourists have clearly interpreted their experiences among indigenous shamans in, for example, South America or Nepal, entirely in line with Western modernist ideas about therapeutic and Jungian-style psychology. Shamanic- and entheogenrelated tourism have been promoted by Brant Secunda, Alberto Villoldo, and many leading neo-shamans, while being strongly criticized by Marlene Dobkin de Rios and Jay Fikes.
See also Ayahuasca; Huichol; Mazatec; Psilocybin; Sabina, Maria; Wasson, Gordon.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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