Drugged Subjectivity, Intoxicating Alterity

Drugged Subjectivity, Intoxicating Alterity 
Donald Pollock

Abstract

This article explores the use of intoxicants by a community of Kulina Indians in western Brazil. I suggest that Kulina intoxication through alcohol, tobacco, and ayahuasca is best understood as a form of semiotic appropriation of the identity of cosmological “others,” including animal spirits, creator beings, other Indian groups, and Brazilians. I consider how embodying practices, such as song and physical movement, enhance the experience of being an “alter,” facilitated by the alterations in consciousness produced by intoxicants.

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