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October 2021

The Duboisia genus, Australian aborigines and suggestibility

Author(s): Stachalek, R.

Journal/Book: J Psychoactive Drug. 1999; 31: 409 Clayton St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA. Haight-Ashbury Publ. 155-161.

Abstract: Plant hallucinogens, such as those of the Duboisia genus called pituri. Have been used by tribal elders in Australian aboriginal populations to create managed states of consciousness, to provide their youth with a fast-paced educational experience, and to inculcate values, beliefs and religious tenets. Use of the suggestible states created by such substances (particularly in pubertal initiatory rituals marking the transition to manhood) are part of this process, which contributes to cultural cohesiveness and survival; their effectiveness is due to the unique ability of the biochemical properties of the plant to evoke suggestibility in those who ingest them. This article draws on research about suggestibility as a psychological characteristic of altered states of consciousness as well as a normal human psychological phenomenon, and examines in great detail the use of the pituri plant, deriving data from a 100-item bibliography generated by the Australian institute of Aboriginal and Toms Strait Islander Studies in Canberra. Botanical/chemical data on use of the Duboisia genus up to the end of the nineteenth century is examined, as well as the way in which this hallucinogen was utilized as a ''psychotechnology.''

Note: Article de Rios MD, 2555 E Chapman Ave, Suite 407, Fullerton,CA 92831 USA

Keyword(s): Australian aborigines; Duboisia genus; hallucinogens; pituri; suggestibility; SCOPOLAMINE


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