Don Emilio & His Little Doctors

This film is one of the very first films documenting ayahuasca among mestizo population of the Peruvian Amazon. It was filmed by Luis Eduardo Luna, in the Iquitos area during July and August 1981, concentrated on the practices of Don Emilio Andrade Gomez, a "vegetalista" living 12 km from the city. Don Emilio was born in Iquitos in 1918. When he was 14 years old, and while working in the Amazon river, near the mouth of the Napo river, he took ayahuasca for the first time. He did it in order to curarse, a term that implies the cleansing and strengthening of the body. When he took ayahuasca for the fifth time, while keeping to the prescribed diet imposed by his teacher, an old man with a flute and a drum appeared in his visions to teach him icaros, magic melodies.


Luis Eduardo Luna runs Wasiwaska,

an interdisciplinary research center in Brazil.

Read his recent article 'Sacred plants and Amerindian epistemology'