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6848: Re: 6835: Lawless comments on Wade Davis,A comment aded
From: H P <email@example.com>
I met wade Davis in the Fall of 1998 at a presentation of the Serpent and
the Rainbow at the University of Florida. He is indeed an ethnobotanist and
you are absolutely correct in defining the terms of the field. His main goal
was to retreive certain potions, mainly zombie powder, and analyze their
chemical structures and effects.
He also researched the roles of these compounds in their ethnic origin.
Meaning he tried to determine the origin of their use and the properties
attributed to these chemicals in vodou religion and Haitian culture.
It was very interesting to learn during the lecture that Haiti is not the
only place where the extract of blowfish is used. In Japan for example it is
used in as a delicacy in sushi for its psychadelic effects. The sushi chefs
that prepare blowfish are specially licensed.
There are instances of death every year among patrons who eat a piece of
fish who was not sufficiently drained of its poison. There are also cases of
what we would call zombification, as far as scientists have been able to
understand the phenomenon. The patients look dead, present no visible signs
of life (no pulse or respiration), yet, they "wake up" a few days later. Of
course there is serious damage to the cerebral cortex and the enire nervous
system due to a lack of oxygenation from slowed pulse and respiration.
I must say meeting Wade Davis was one of the more interesting experiences I
had at the University of Florida. It was interesting to see the perspective
of a foreigner on Haitian Vodou culture.
I believe there are many things we could learn from the medicinal plants
used in religions like vodou. There are certainly many cures to diseases
that could be found if we were able to discover the secrets of the native
Emmanuelle A. Zennie
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