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Muka, the sacred Yawanawa potato Options
 
endlessness
#1 Posted : 8/3/2013 7:54:00 PM

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Has anybody heard of this? I seem to remember there was someone in the forum who met the Yawanawa tribe.




The Yawanawa people live in acre state of Brazil and neighbouring Peru and Bolivia. They also drink ayahuasca (Huni), use tobacco based snuffs and Sanango eyedrops. They consider these plants very sacred, but the most sacred for them is another yet unidentified plant, some kind of potato, which they call Rare Muka.

Muka is only given for those in the process of becoming spiritual leaders, pajés, shamans. In the past it was said to also be used in combat against enemies due to it's anaesthetic effects.

To eat Muka, a prolonged isolation and strict diet are necessary. They can only eat certain kinds of fish, they cannot even drink pure water, they have to drink the bitter juices of some types of lemons or forest berries, or also caiçuma (a manioc drink fermented by the saliva of women). No sex either. And this lasts for months, up to a year, and they stay all the time in an isolated house and restricted area around it, where they can only have contact with the shaman who's initiating the person,

The effects appear to be very slow and gradually building, and seem to be very existentially challenging... It seems the person has many dreams , like spiritual flights, which he/she must talk to the leading shaman about. Through the prolonged experience, the initiate's development is greatly potentiated. It is unclear whether the effects are mostly only during normal sleep, or if the visions happen also when awake, or if the whole reality becomes 'dream-like' so they are constantly under the effects. Also there is no mention of dosage, how often they would consume this plant during the period of isolation, etc.

It is the most important initiation or rite of passage for the Yawanawa tribe, and something there doesn't seem to be any research on it.

I would love to be able to find out, help expand ethnopharmacological knowledge. I just hope that this does not lead to a careless attention to this sacred plant.

(source of info in this post is from a book in portuguese about the Yawanawa sacred plants called Psico Trópicos, by Ricardo Moebus)
 

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jamie
#2 Posted : 8/3/2013 8:08:37 PM

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it might contain some kind of tropane relative or something..wouldn't be too far off for a potato really. It is a nightshade.
 
nen888
#3 Posted : 8/3/2013 8:28:24 PM
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..very interesting and thanks endlessness..love the look of the tribe..
i always like a dietary prescription too..Smile


jamie wrote:
Quote:
it might contain some kind of tropane relative or something..wouldn't be too far off for a potato really. It is a nightshade.
..are we sure it's a true potato (solanum) ?
many 'sweet potatoes' are in the Yam family (which are not always sweet) ..
yams are Dioscorea or Ipomoea (the Morning Glory family)..the latter of course containing ergoline alkaloids..
 
endlessness
#4 Posted : 8/3/2013 8:35:10 PM

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Definitely not sure if it's from true potato family. It seemed more like people use the word 'potato' in this case as a general name for different tubers. I don't think it has been yet identified.
 
Du57mi73
#5 Posted : 1/8/2014 3:42:07 PM

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That's really interesting. Especially it lasting such a long time. Could that mean its something that the body can't break down easily? Seems like it would be pretty toxic.

Fermented by female saliva, yum.
"I am cursed by the blossoming knowledge of my feminine ideal and she looks suspiciously like you."

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MultiDimensionalTherapy
#6 Posted : 1/10/2014 4:40:29 AM

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well, ive been with the yawanawa people for 3 months. i think i am one of the very few lucky one that where allowed in their sacred village, the point of origin of the yawanawa people, and where the former pajés now rest in peace. they are very protective about muka. ive seen some young specimens, but where not allowed to get close. if you touch the plant without being in the diet of muka opened by one of the pajés, you have to be isolated for 2 months with a specific diet. to be allowed to the muka diet, you have to conquer their suspicious heart, stay with them a while, learn their language, do a few previous diets, and then you may be allowed to take it. its a long, hard, and very selective process, so i think it might be very hard to gather some concrete data on this.

but in terms of empirical data, its really interesting, its a plant teacher as no other i have ever heard of, im not sure we can discuss this in terms of chemical constitution, because the effects last years! The pajé aprentice that was teaching me there, told me amazing stories of spiritual journeys with a depth that you can only achieve with years of diet with this plant. it gives you spiritual autority, you have control of the forces around you, and the plant gives to each user some personal misterious power. but from all the indigenous people that took muka, only the ones that kept their diet and a strict etic, can maintain this, on the others this power just seems to have degenerated (from my personal observation).

but as endlessness suggests, they use the word potatoe because there isnt really a yawanawa word for tubercle
Healing someone is an act of love, but how can you love someone whitout loving yourself first?
 
iracema
#7 Posted : 3/9/2014 4:23:15 AM

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My suspicions are that the Muka is probably the Prestonia amazonica, a rare plant little known and without even a commom name. I think the secret around it is for being part of the prohibited plants list here in Brazil, so only natural persons, natives, have the right to get involved without problems. I have no idea why it ended up in that list anyway.
 
MultiDimensionalTherapy
#8 Posted : 3/10/2014 5:44:23 PM

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most plants in Acre/amazon with any medical/nutricional value are in this list... i was amazed to find out that i couldnt bring cupuaçu out from acre, for example...
Healing someone is an act of love, but how can you love someone whitout loving yourself first?
 
sØrce
#9 Posted : 3/10/2014 10:33:34 PM

That was that and this is this.


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Cool, potato powers.

I like how the guy on the right is not holding a spear or wearin a headdress. He is not looking far off at some invisible encroaching enemy on the horizon with a look of intensity.

He's just chilling, smiling right at the camera, has a huge mortar and pestle around his neck.

Based on the description, the results of the ritual seem based on strict diet and purity of intention, and harnessing a controlled mind induced through dreaming practices...

Seems more on par with the results of living a spiritual life, which stabilizing blood sugar and restricting calories have been known to play a strong role in.

I wouldn't be surprised if their warn't any psychoactive chemicals at all in that there spud, but if it was a strong liver detoxifying agent. That bit about the anaesthetic effects makes me wonder though.

I would venture to guess that it might be something like the accumulation or sustained levels of Kynurenic Acid:

Quote:
Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is a metabolite of tryptophan which is formed along the kynurenine pathway. KYNA may possess neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiproliferative properties. This study measured the concentration of KYNA in various varieties of potatoes and products made from potatoes. KYNA content was determined by means of the high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. KYNA was found in all 16 studied varieties of potato tubers in amounts varying from 0.239 to 3.240 μg/g dry weight. The content of KYNA in potato tubers declined during long-term storage. The content of KYNA in French fries varied from 0.100 to 0.646 μg/g dry weight. KYNA content in potato crisps was 0.478 and 0.576 μg/g dry weight. Hence, all in all, we concluded that the amount of KYNA potentially delivered to the human body in potatoes and various foods produced from potatoes is high and might be compared to the amount of KYNA present in a maximum daily dose of popular herbs and herbal medicines.


Potato- An Important Source of Nutritional Kynurenic Acid

The anaesthetic properties made me wonder about Kynurenic Acid at the NMDA sites, and there is a considerable amount of studies on this topic: The tryptophan metabolite kynurenic acid (KYNA) has long been recognized as an NMDA receptor antagonist.

The sacred nature and mysterious background make persistent potato supplementation with physiological benefits sound more farfetched than this somehow hopefully containing a psychoactive drug with years of effects, to our modernized culture but essentially could be the same effect. However a long term psychoactive effect are more likely to result from changes in receptor regulation it seems to me, because potatoes being related to nightshade, nicotine, influencing NMDA receptor activity...

I guess who knows yet but if I was an anthropologist i would probably make this my doctoral thesis if I was on to anything.

I'd just dress like one of em and walk right up with a camera crew Stop

Those acids in potatoes can charge an ipod potatoes are crazy as hell they have eyes too
"The world is his, who can see through it's pretension...see it to be a lie, and you have already dealt it its final blow..." -Ralph W. Emerson


 
Bancopuma
#10 Posted : 3/13/2014 1:43:15 PM

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Really interesting stuff thanks for sharing...so many ethnobotanical mysteries out there. Will be fascinating to learn more about this in time.
 
iracema
#11 Posted : 4/11/2014 8:14:42 AM

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Here it is, highly probable:
http://www.sapaninka.com...ruvianum-chacon-english
I like what you said sØrce. Once I had a conversation about ayahuasca or mimohuasca being the Panacea. Then I mentioned, what about Hygieia? I mean, a clean body/place, some time of fasting, harm reduction, all are part of a satisfactory experience. So, maybe in this journey to become a shaman, it's not only about ingesting sacred plants, but also gradually rid of harmful habits and stuff.
 
MultiDimensionalTherapy
#12 Posted : 5/2/2014 5:04:33 AM

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EDIT: pics removed
Healing someone is an act of love, but how can you love someone whitout loving yourself first?
 
MultiDimensionalTherapy
#13 Posted : 5/2/2014 5:27:58 AM

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other thing i can add from personal experience:
it makes your skin extremely sensitive! i cant stand heat, also ive been doing indigenous snuff for months now, and since im in the diet im gaining big and painfull callus in the hands...

other thing, the term potatoe defenitly comes from lack of a more apropriate term, its texture its more like ginger.... and i just wont say its the most bitter thing i ever tasted, because i allready drunk cale zacatechichi tea.
Healing someone is an act of love, but how can you love someone whitout loving yourself first?
 
iracema
#14 Posted : 5/12/2014 3:59:38 AM

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Looks like some kind of aipim, wild cassava. Aipim is sacred for majority of south american tribes. That may contain cyanogenic glycosides and that effects could be signs of a controlled intoxication. Cool but dangerous, no wonder it's secret and closely guided. Thanks for the contribution and enjoy this amazing experience, please keep us updated about it. Smile
 
obliguhl
#15 Posted : 5/12/2014 12:30:36 PM

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MultiDimensionalTherapy, i do find this pretty interesting and i also believe that it is a big contribution, that deserves more attention. I'm a bit worried though, about what your hosts are thinking about making this plant more known. Are they ok with you posting pictures ?
 
iracema
#16 Posted : 5/14/2014 1:25:27 AM

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In case you are consuming it fresh, it's definitely Maca (Lepidium peruvianum).
iracema attached the following image(s):
Maca.jpg (38kb) downloaded 280 time(s).
 
Curb
#17 Posted : 5/14/2014 11:31:46 AM

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this is very interesting, how you talk about the aprenitces/shamans developing a awareness or expanded sphere of concious awareness and having a certain aire about them. to me it sound like some kind of tropane, unusual. i dont want to speculate, this is a very interesting subject. i will make a big thread on a similar concept/path as i have had a bit of interest in esoteric texts/occultism over the last few 3 years and have a bit to share about what i experienced during/before my tropane psychosis.
"you know, there are many people in the country today... who, through no fault of their own: are sane. some of them were born sane, some of them became sane later in their lives. it is up to people like you and me (who are out of our tiny little minds) to try and help these people overcome their sanity" -Monty Python

"I have reasoned and i have logicked and mentally discovered with my mindthoughts that this world (the one we live in) is created by people. people are making this happen." - Unpopular Youtuber
 
ManicMongrel
#18 Posted : 5/15/2014 3:48:11 PM
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Thanks for sharing, sure takes impressive dedication to go through a shamanistic conditioning ritual of this kind.

Like pointed out already nightshades are an incredibly large family so thats not unlikely possibility. Considering even the wild ancestors of our nightshade vegetables are intoxicating or near lethal eaten raw. Its not very likely that they were just eaten for their nutritional value before domestication.

 
MultiDimensionalTherapy
#19 Posted : 5/16/2014 12:39:11 AM

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EDIT:

ive been meditating with the plant of muka.
the spirit of muka itself told me that for now i should be more reserved about it.
the fact is that even before i started the diet, i had interest in identifying the plant, to have one of my own. but has this plant master stated to me, it will be easier and more logical to make things the right way, gain the indigenous trust, and deserving to recieve my own plant.
so until then i will have the picx excluded, sorry for that.
and even talking about the diet will be more restricted, at least until i finish it.
Healing someone is an act of love, but how can you love someone whitout loving yourself first?
 
HippingTrippY
#20 Posted : 7/20/2014 9:24:17 PM

It's better to have things, and not be running out than it is to be running out and not be having things.


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Those spears are most impressively ornate. The Gentleman on the right staring into the camera to me is the poster child of "Beneficence". It's as if he has "flipped the script" and is studying the researchers, and is having fun doing it. If those spears are metal they are in my opinion a clue to how those folks put their own spin on new technology, not just esthetically but utillity-wise as well. I would not like to be blocking one, and any animal that was speared with one could do nothing but tear itself up moving forward or backwards. If they are wooden I am impressed with the craftsmanship. Very interesting.
 
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