perceptions of plant life in indigenous amazonian cultures

2020.
harvard gsd / cambridge, ma.
advisor: danielle choi.


From 1941 to 1952, Richard Evans Schultes conducted ethnobotanical research and fieldwork in the Amazon, collecting and indexing thousands of plant species. Through photographs, maps, field notes, manuscripts and other materials, he documented the landscape practices in the Amazonian forest, recording the native plant species and their use by the indigenous populations. The archives illustrate a lifestyle based on plants, from the stimulating drinks that allow them to hunt and travel all day, to therapeutic remedies for sickness, to poisonous darts and to spiritual ceremonies. Schultes documented much of the extensive indigenous knowledge for plants, preserving a patrimony of ecologies and human practices that currently face processes of erasure and quite literally eradication.



Composition of archival findings and writings by Richard Evans Schultes on the
Colombian Amazon. Drawing by author.






Composition of archival findings and writings by Richard Evans Schultes
on the Sibundoy Valley in the Colombian Amazon. Drawing by author.







Composition of archival findings and writings by Richard Evans Schultes
on Kofan people in the Colombian Amazon. Drawing by author.



Composition of archival findings and writings by Richard Evans Schultes
on the Witotos in the Colombian Amazon. Drawing by author.





Composition of archival findings and writings by Richard Evans Schultes
at the upper Rio Apaporis in the Colombian Amazon. Drawing by author.




Composition of archival findings and writings by Richard Evans Schultes
at the lower Rio Apaporis in the Colombian Amazon. Drawing by author.