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White Water and Black Magic Richard C. Cill

White Water and Black Magic

Richard C. Cill

Published March 1st 2007
ISBN : 9781406776003
Paperback
380 pages
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 About the Book 

WLite and Black JMagic For Rutli Contents PAGE Preface ix CHAPTER 1. Just Yesterday i 2. The Hacienda 9 3. Great White Father .25 4. Peace Upon My Land 37 5. Herbs and Simples, Jungle Style ., , 43 6. Jungle Drugstore No Curb Service ., . 57 7. WhereMoreWLite and Black JMagic For Rutli Contents PAGE Preface ix CHAPTER 1. Just Yesterday i 2. The Hacienda 9 3. Great White Father .25 4. Peace Upon My Land 37 5. Herbs and Simples, Jungle Style ., , 43 6. Jungle Drugstore No Curb Service ., . 57 7. Where No White Man Before . . . . . . 71 8. Manners, Morals, and Magics, ... . 83 9. Jivaros Dont Have Pockets . . . ., .111 10. Jatun Jatun Curacal . ., . . . . 124 11. Introduction to the Flying Death . . . . 142 12. Chugo . . . . . . . ...... 165 13. New York Office ..., . . ., 181 14. Interlude-Prelude, . . . ....... 191 15. Functional Exploring . . . . . .,206 16. How to Trade Goods and Influence Indians . . 223 17. The Ranch and the Trail . . . . . . 242 vii CHAPTER 18. The White Water 269 19. Inside 288 20. The Black Magic 3 11 21. Men in White 347 Epilogue 355 Index 3 Sl The illustrations for this book, selected from the many hundreds taken by the author and his friends, have been placed on the following pages so that they appear in exact connection with the text passages to which they refer. No formal listing or set of captions, therefore, appears necessary. vin Preface story which I have tried to tell in this book presents a number of problems for its author. Lik p every important human advance, the medical civilizing of curare is the work of a great many people, and I should be sorry if the following pages did not make that fact abundantly clear. Primary credit for the discovery of this drug, which is at once a deadly poison and a beneficent therapeutic agent of an importance hardly second to insulin, goes to the Indians of the Amazon basin. It has been a part of their cultural heri tage for an unguessable number of centuries. And so, the story of curare necessarily includes an account of those jungle-dwelling brown men who have known curare and used its black magic as an integral part of their lives since time out of mind. Most of this book is concerned with the way curare has bridged the gap between the smoke-blackened clay pots of the Amazon tribesmen and the alembics of the modern scien tific and medical laboratory. That is the part of the story with which I was concerned at first hand, and the telling of it has involved a partial explanation of the rather unusual experiment in living which the Nina my wife and I under took in our Ecuadorian hacienda on the Pastaza. Without that opportunity to live on the fringes of the jungle and gradually explore both its fastnesses and the secrets of its ix people, it would not have been possible to bring a botanically standardized drug back to the scientists. The part played by doctors and research men in the de velopment of curare therapy is, of course, incalculably im portant. That story will probably be told more than once in the years to come, as curare comes to occupy the vital place in the medicine of the future which I am sure it is going to take. This narrative does no more than sketch in the out lines, because I am not a doctor and because it had best be told with more authority than mine. I hope that the reader will find in these pages enough evi dence to convince him of one of my own convictions, which is that what I have called functional exploring is a valu able thing. The particular corner of the wilderness world of the tropics which I happen to know fairly well still has a number of major contributions to make to civilized society. The jungle pharmaceuticswhich I have been lucky enough to study off and on for a good many years is not, as a lot of people assume, purely a matter of superstition and primitive quackery. Savages are apt to know a good many things we do not, and their magic which I have tried to explain as a part of their life-patternis usually founded upon substantial verity. The function of exploration, it seems to me, is to dis cover those verities and whenever possible contribute their values to civilization...