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Ayahuasca, Cultural Heritage of the Nation

Ayahuasca, Cultural Heritage of the Nation

The traditional knowledge and uses of Ayahuasca practiced by native Amazonian communities are declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation


Lima, June 24, 2008


Having seen Report No. 056-2008-DRECPC/INC dated May 29, 2008, issued by the Directorate for the Registration and Study of Culture in Contemporary Peru;




That Article 21 of the Political Constitution of Peru states that the protection of the Nation's cultural heritage is the function of the State;


That, paragraph 1 of article 2 of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, establishes that "Intangible Cultural Heritage is understood as the uses, representations, expressions, knowledge and techniques -together with the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces that are inherent to them – that communities, groups and in some cases individuals recognize as an integral part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, which is passed down from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups based on their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, instilling in them a sense of identity and


continuity and thus contributing to promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity”;


That, Article VII of the Preliminary Title of Law No. 28296 - General Law of Cultural Heritage of the Nation, provides that the National Institute of Culture is in charge of registering, declaring and protecting the Cultural Heritage of the Nation within the scope of its competence;


That, numeral 2) of article 1 of Title I of the aforementioned Law establishes that the creations of a cultural community founded on traditions, expressed by individuals unilaterally or in groups, and that recognizedly respond


to the expectations of the community, as an expression of cultural and social identity, in addition to the values transmitted orally, such as native languages, languages and dialects, knowledge and traditional knowledge, whether artistic, gastronomic, medicinal, technological, folkloric or religious, the collective knowledge of peoples and other cultural expressions or manifestations that together make up our cultural diversity;


That, through National Directorial Resolution No. 1207/INC, of November 10, 2004, Directive No. 002-2004-INC, “Recognition and declarations of current cultural manifestations as cultural heritage” was approved;


That, it corresponds to the National Institute of Culture in compliance with the function assigned to it by Law, and with the active participation of the community, to carry out a permanent identification of said traditional manifestations of the country that must be declared Cultural Patrimony of the Nation;


That, through the document of approval, the Directorate for the Study and Registration of Culture in Contemporary Peru requests the declaration as Cultural Heritage of the Nation of the traditional knowledge and uses associated with Ayahuasca and practiced by the native communities


Amazonian, according to the File prepared by Mrs. Rosa A. Giove Nakazawa of the Takiwasi - Tarapoto Center and presented by the Regional Management of Economic Development of the Regional Government of San Martín before the Regional Directorate of Culture of San Martín;


That, the Ayahuasca plant -banisteriopsis caapi- is a plant species that has an extraordinary cultural history, by virtue of its psychotropic qualities since it is used in a concoction associated with the plant known as Chacruna -Psichotria viridis;


That said plant is known by the Amazonian indigenous world as a wise or teacher plant that teaches initiates the very foundations of the world and its components. The effects of its consumption constitute the entrance to the spiritual world and its secrets, so that traditional Amazonian medicine has been structured around the Ayahuasca ritual. Its use and its results are necessary for all members of Amazonian societies at some point in their lives, and essential for those who assume the role of privileged carriers of these cultures, whether they are in charge of communication with the spiritual world. or those who express it plastically;


That the effects produced by Ayahuasca, widely studied due to their complexity, are different from those usually produced by hallucinogens. Part of this difference consists in the ritual that accompanies its consumption, which leads to various effects, but always within a culturally delimited margin and for religious, therapeutic and cultural affirmation purposes;


That, based on the supporting information, it can be deduced that the practice of Ayahuasca ritual sessions constitutes one of the fundamental pillars of the identity of the Amazonian peoples and that its ancestral use in traditional rituals, guaranteeing cultural continuity, is linked to therapeutic virtues of the plant;


That, the protection of the traditional use and the sacred character of the Ayahuasca ritual is sought, differentiating it from decontextualized, consumerist and commercial purposes Western uses;


Being approved by the Director of Management, the Director of Registration and Study of Culture in Contemporary Peru and the Director of the Office of Legal Affairs;


In accordance with the provisions of Law No. 28296, "General Law of Cultural Heritage of the Nation" and Supreme Decree No. 017-2003-ED, which approves the Organization and Functions Regulations of the National Institute of Culture;





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