Two brewing sessions, one in Ecuador, another in Peru.
These pictures show how ayahuasca is brewed by a shaman and his wife (who has the “good hands” for it, which her mother gave her – all such skills have a genealogy and bring people together in an eternal skill share and intermingling of techniques and ever-changing traditions) in Ecuador:
Click on the picture to see the show – where, if you click on the (I), the pix have some explanatory text.
This brew is made of ayahuasca and chalipanga – the name of which means something like “the companion leaf”, suggesting that the ayahuasca brew is foundational to the taxonomy of the Kichwa cosmovision. The Andi family do not use a lid at all. One Kichwa shaman consider it “the most important secret” (perhaps this can be translated to “widespread” or “commonly known”) that “using a lid when brewing puts a lid on your visions”. It boiled for three hours only – one and a half with the plants and one and a half without the plants, just reducing. The brew is very potent, but, as usual, concentration, place energies and intentions are crucial for the intensity. It resulted in approx. a litre and a half – or 20 doses.
Here’s how it is brewed in San Francisco (Peru, near Pucallpa):
–Click on the picture to see the show – where, if you click on the (I), the pix have some explanatory text.
This brew is made of ayahuasca and chakruna, which is a lovely companion leaf – for me a kind and soft by comparison to the sometimes wild and weird chalipanga (not to pass, in any possible way, any value judgements, they are both great). The Inuma family do *not* remove the bark, yet the brew is not very bitter. They used a lid in the beginning to get it on the boil. It boiled for many hours – the whole process began at 6-7am and it was dark – perhaps after 7-8-9 pm – before the soup was ready. The result was about 2 litres and a bit – or about 30-40 doses. It is a very nice brew, which people, who are not used to ayahuasca, seem to call “delicious” or “not bad at all” when coming out of a fridge. For the experienced drinker the body memory of vile moments and the general impact and anticipations make it difficult to think of it as “delicious” – it is a bit more serious and magic, powerful, beneficial, medicinal are rather the terms that come to mind Smile
Neither brewing techniques involved a change of water – i.e. pouring the brew from the plants and pouring fresh water on them. But the Inuma family did add considerably more water to the pans during the brewing. Hence the much longer brewing time.
As you can see in the photos, the ayahuasca vine used in Ecuador is much thicker, but interestingly not that much older; just faster growing. Different kind. Both a few years old only, give and take.