Peru: Hell and Back

Peru: Hell and BackFor centuries, Amazonian shamans have used ayahuasca as a window into the soul. The sacrament, they claim, can cure any illness. The author joins in this ancient ritual and finds the worlds within more terrifying—and enlightening—than ever imagined.

I will never forget what it was like. The overwhelming misery. The certainty of never-ending suffering. No one to help you, no way to escape. Everywhere I looked: darkness so thick that the idea of light seemed inconceivable.

Scientists meet to save Lascaux cave from fungus

Scientists meet to save Lascaux cave from fungusPARIS – Geologists, biologists and other scientists convened Thursday in Paris to discuss how to stop the spread of fungus stains — aggravated by global warming — that threaten France's prehistoric Lascaux cave drawings.

Black stains have spread across the cave's prehistoric murals of bulls, felines and other images, and scientists have been hard-pressed to halt the fungal creep.

Geronimo's Great Grandson Asks Yale Secret Society to Return Ancestor's Skull

GeronimoIt's the stuff of legends: an elite secret society that includes what would become some of the most powerful men of the 20th century allegedly invading the grave of an Apache chief to steal his skull for fraternal rituals. It's also the stuff of a new lawsuit filed Tuesday by descendants of that Apache chief.
On the 100th anniversary of the death of Geronimo, 20 of his blood relatives have asked the courts to force Yale University and the school's secret organization, Skull and Bones, to release his remains for return to his native land and a proper burial.

Childhood experiences spark lifelong research interest for anthropologist

Childhood experiences spark lifelong research interest for anthropologistAnthropologist Ana Mariella Bacigalupo traces her main research interest—the Mapuche shaman of southern Chile—all the way back to a childhood spent growing up in countries across South America.

An associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, Bacigalupo says her grandfather owned a farm in Argentina that was run by a foreman whose brother later became head of a Mapuche Indian community. It was this contact that led to her lifelong interest in the indigenous people of Chile.

Mapuches 101 at Americas Society

Mapuches 101 at Americas SocietyUnlike the Mayans or the Incas, the Mapuches never inspired a Mel Gibson or Indiana Jones movie.

But this indigenous group little known outside South America boasts an amazing breadth of history and culture being explored in an exhibition at the Americas Society until April 18.

"For more than 300 years the Mapuche successfully resisted colonization," says guest curator Thomas Dillehay, referring to a period from the mid 1500s to the mid 1890s.

"That is longer than any indigenous society in American history."