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The Serpent and The Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist’s Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haiti Voodoo, Zombis and Magic Paperback - New



 
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Author - Wade Davis

An ethnobotanist, dedicated to the study of plant poisons, Wade Davis started his 1982 trek to Haiti in search of a “zombie drug,” a plant so potent it can render a living person into semi-dead state for years.  He found that the whole of Haitian cultural, legal and governing systems are based upon mechanisms of anesthetic drugs taken from local plants.  Those guilty of serious crimes  may well be zombified by certain plants and then condemned to slave servitude for punishment.  While the system may work best within hidden hierarchical rules among clandestine groups in rural areas of Haiti, Davis insists that these practices are imbued in all Haitian life.  The book’s title seems analogous to the ritual in Mexico of alternate years-long ruling power between an evil serpent and an angelic-like being, but it actually refers to Haitian symbolism about sex and conception.  According to Davis, the only Christian influence on these practices comes from Catholicism which is stealthy woven into these pagan rituals.

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