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Reading3-1 (dragged) 10

Reading3-1 (dragged) 10 - Reading 3-1 11 America and about...

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11 Reading 3-1 America and about the betel palm and the betel leaf in Southeast Asia and South Paci fi c. Among the Fang of Gabon in Africa, Tabernanthe iboga is an important hallucinogen used in certain rituals and initiation ceremonies. The alkaloid, ibogaine, is extracted from the bark of the roots and is suf- fi ciently potent that an occasional initiate is lost by overdose. It is said that a creator god killed a pygmy and cut off his fi ngers and toes which he planted and from the digits came this powerful plant (Dorson, 1972). But all these folktales about psychedelic plants belong to a larger family of stories concerning origins of food plants and of agriculture itself. Here is one from the Japanese Kojiki compiled in 712 AD (Mabuchi, 1964, p. 3). A heavenly god asked an earthly goddess for a meal. Having seen her cooking various kinds of food taken out of her mouth, nose and anus, the heavenly god killed her in anger. Shortly after- ward there appeared seeds of various crops from her corpse; from her eyes rice, from her ears the
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