Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Investigating a Century-Long Hole in History: The Untold Story of Ayahuasca From 1755-1865 Public Deposited

  • This thesis illuminates the lost history of ayahuasca and argues that a larger institution, the ethnocentric and economically focused European milieu, prevented eighteenth and nineteenth-century Europeans from further investigating this mysterious plant-based hallucinogenic infusion. A myriad of factors contributed to these triumphal trade winds of prevailing European thought—ethnocentricity, consequent internalization, economic avarice, and European geo-political domination. In addition, there were other fateful historical circumstances beyond the influence of European paradigms that may have prevented ayahuasca from entering mainstream history. This thesis begins an understanding toward the reasons that led to a century of historical cover-up—the skeleton of what occurred is laid out, with hopes of the flesh to be filled in later. Significantly, this story brings light to the limits of western intellectual paradigms, for although the impetus to further understand this vine of souls was in the fingertips of talented intellectuals, the prevailing European milieu impeded further intellectual investigation.
Date Awarded
  • 2015-01-01
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2019-12-02
Resource Type
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