Cocaine and Incas

Drug use dates back to prehistoric times. The Incas, who lived on the territory of modern Peru and Bolivia, apparently adopted the custom of chewing coca leaves from Aymara Indians, who used coca from at least the 3rd century BC. Coca was the sacred drug of the Incas. “Mama Kok” was for them a godlike entity. One of the myths says that coca was a beautiful woman who was punished for adultery. From carrying the divine coca plant occurred, chewing its leaves could only know, and this was done in memory of a beautiful woman. Indeed, before the invasion of the Spaniards, the coca was consumed only by the highest strata of society. She was an important part of weddings, funerals, initiations, and other major rites. Spanish missionaries looked askance at Coke, because it seemed to them an idol, which prevented the conversion of the natives to the Christian faith. But coca played such an important role in Native American society that, over time, the Spaniards took its collection and distribution under their control, making the drug a means of controlling the indigenous population.
“Cocaine causes … excitement and prolonged euphoria”
Freud about cocaine.

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