Psychedelic Culture Tripped Circa 500 A.D.: Page 2

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The snuffing tablets suggest a more romantic scenario as well.

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Capriles explained that “the smaller snuffing tray seems to depict a male-female couple in a tender position, as the male seems to have one hand over the female's belly and the female has an arm holding the male's back.”

“The female-male dyad is a traditionally important in Andean societies as a form of mutual complementarity.”

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The researchers further believe that elite members of the Tiwanaku society held tight control over the access and circulation of mind-altering substances, although the general populace might have been given limited access to them during private healing ceremonies or public events.

Capriles said the drug culture declined after the disintegration of the Tiwanaku state at around 1100 A.D., but the new leadership did not give up their enjoyment of fermented brew.

As Capriles said, “Consumption of chicha persisted, including its use in public feasts.”

Chicha is now considered to be Bolivia’s national drink, and is widely available all across the country.