The Cover Painting


Francisco Montes Shuña, El Origén de la Ayahuasca y de la Chacruna (1998)

Don Francisco Montes Shuña is a traditional healer and visionary artist in the Upper Amazon, painting his ayahuasca visions with natural pigments on sheets of pounded bark. He is a founder of Sachamama Ethnobotanical Garden, a refuge for more than 1200 species of medicinal plants. The cover painting, El Origén de la Ayahuasca y de la Chacruna, depicts Pachamama, the earth mother, above, and Sachamama, the great boa, below, watching the ayahuasca vine and the chacruna plant being born from the corpse of the great shaman Aya, whose name means both death and soul.