A short post for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sit back and enjoy some Peruvian artwork.
Before departing to the Cerelias reservation, where we undertook our first true jungle adventure, we stopped in the small northern Peruvian town of Tarapoto.
We passed one particular night here in this town at a local art exhibition with an unusual theme related to all of the pieces on show.
It was an exhibition of local Peruvian artists, where one of the main attractions was that most of the art had been inspired by the consumption of Ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca is a plant, native to Peru, that induces hallucinations. It is very sacred, particularly to the Quechua people, who consider it a way to communicate directly with nature and with the jungle. There are shamans who dedicate their entire lives to deciphering their visions and guiding others through visions of their own.
It is said that you can see both your past and your future while under the influence of this plant; that you can find your true purpose and have deeply spiritual experiences.
The shamans say that it is best used to heal the soul, that trauma and fright throughout our lives damage us spiritually and that the plant helps us overcome past pains. Often, people will vomit after consuming this plant, this is supposed to be the past pains made physical and leaving the body.
While I can’t comment on the truth of this, and I am stoutly a man of science, I can most definitely say that it makes for fantastic artistic inspiration, that each of these paintings possessed a certain attraction. They are not the simple affair that is often seen at art galleries and in homes; bowls of fruit or cottages. It something entirely different, something with flair and imagination.
Tarapoto was a relatively quiet experience for us, but these paintings are something I will not likely forget soon.