Ethnobotany and Zombies: The Skeptic and the Rainbow

Ethnobotany and Zombies: The Skeptic and the Rainbow

We open with the Haitian Clairvius Narcisse’s claims that he was drugged to appear dead, buried alive, and dug up by a Houngan priest who subsequently extracted labor from him while Clairvius was kept in a perpetual stupor or ‘zombie’ state. Clairvius claims he was beaten with a sisal whip and transplanted to a Haitian sugar plantation where he worked with other zombified victims.

~[snip]~

While many had attempted before to extract the secrets of the Haitian VouDon, previous researchers searching for Zombie magick had failed. Davis claims it was his infiltration of VouDon’s clandestine groups and secret societies that facilitated the discoveries he made. Wade Davis’ highly sensationalized account of the Zombie research was made famous in his book The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist’s Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic, which finds him portrayed as a mystical Indiana Jones buttressed between worlds of science and carnal low-magic.

What do you think better explains the Zombis phenomena: Eastern or Western medicine?

Read more: Ethnobotany and Zombies: The Skeptic and the Rainbow

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