The dynamics of herbal medicine are complex within the Western Cape and are typically sectored into different groupings based upon cultural background. In contemporary Western Cape culture, particularly in urban Cape Town, a hybridization of cultures and healers has led to the development of neo–traditional healers, Rastafari bush doctors.
This group draws from the practices and herbal treatments used by other cultures including: herbalists called inyanga (Zulu) and amaxwhele (Xhosa); spiritual diviners, who communicate largely with ancestral spirits, called izangoma (Zulu) and amagqirha (Xhosa); faith healers called umthandazi (Xhosa), Christians who heal through prayer; and traditional birth attendants. In the Western Cape, bossiedokters (in English, bush doctors), healers with knowledge of bush herbs, are recognized as the oldest healers in this area.
Rastafarian herbalists acknowledge their KhoiSan history as the basis for their botanical medical knowledge.
There is evidence that medicinal plant knowledge was shared between KhoiSan and Xhosa cultures from the 16th century onwards; where KhoiSan peoples used highly advanced nomenclature, distinguishing between species and sub–species levels, while Xhosa folk taxonomy discriminates typically to the family or genus level and include flora from a wider geographical range.
Investigations reveal that the growing subculture of Rastafarians promotes and trades medicinal species in most towns, city centers, and rural areas in the Western Cape.
Rastafari, a socio–political religion, has been a growing phenomenon in South Africa since its introduction in the 1970s. Its tenets promote racial equality, ecological sustainability and, for those in the Western Cape, availability of traditional medicines. The most visible leaders of this group are their healers who have adopted the Afrikaans name: bossiedokters.
Contemporary Rasta bush doctors state that their mission is to reintroduce KhoiSan healing traditions to the disadvantaged people living in townships, housing settlements for people of color that were provided by the Apartheid government. Bush doctors are an important element to revitalizing a culture of healing and preserving indigenous knowledge specifically for urbanized Coloured communities, a mixed race group descendant from KhoiSan people and other cultures.
There is still some confusion about cannabis plant being used as hemp or marijuana. This text will clear the confusion and show how propaganda made one plant into two varieties: drugless hemp and deadly marijuana. At this time we should all acknowledge that cannabis saved entire world in World War. It’s time to grow hemp for the peace.
The U.S. government was able to make hemp illegal for the United States citizens because it was constructed as a threat to society. This threat was overlooked as the advent of World War II created a problem for the U.S. industrial fiber supplies. The U.S. knew it would quickly use up the hemp stores it had along with the abaca and jute, other industrial strength fibers imported from the Philippines and Asia.
This shortage was critical because imports from the South Pacific, necessary for maintaining the armed forces, were no longer available. In this context the federal government was forced to contradict the laws against the threat of hemp, and thus began a campaign to make hemp patriotic. They’ realized the only way to get strong fibers for defense, cloth, rope, and gear was to grow it domestically. Thus began the federal government’s Hemp for Victory campaign to help farmers to grow hemp once more.
By creating a guaranteed market for the hemp and using educational campaigns farmers were encouraged to grow hemp.
The peak of the Hemp for Victory campaign was in 1945 and 1944. Estimates of the tonnage of hemp grown in those two years are about 75,000 tons in 1945 and 150,000 tons in 1944. In 1945 there was a wealth of articles written about growing hemp. Some showed a concern about growing marijuana. One expressed this fear by stating,
“What can be done to keep these enormous (75,000 tons) new supplies, from which there almost inevitably will be ‘leaks’, out of their (depraved addicted creatures) twitching hands?”, the government conveniently reconstructed hemp in order to calm these masses, which were afraid because of the 1920s construction of hemp.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that it created a strain of “drugless hemp” through breeding techniques.
At this point the government began a thorough contradiction of its hemp policies.
As part of the new campaign, the USDA issued the movie Hemp for Victory in 1942 to tell of the advantages of growing hemp for the war effort. Although this movie, along with other forms of government documentation of the campaign, has been removed from public view, a few pieces can be found.
In fact, the transcript of the movie is available on the internet (USDA 1942).
In the movie the USDA states that the decline of hemp was due to an increase in imports:
“then came cheaper imported fibers for cordage, like jute sisal and Manila hemp, and the culture of hemp in America declined.”.
In this movie there is no mention of marijuana.
They conveniently separate them and create hemp into a harmless plant once more. In fact, hemp becomes a symbol of patriotism. The movie concludes with this imagery:
When the Manila hemp reserve is gone, American hemp will go on
duty again: hemp for mooring ships; hemp for low lines; hemp for tackle
and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore. Just as
in the days when Old Ironsides sailed the seas victorious with her hempen
shrouds and hempen sails. Hemp for Victory.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of the reversal of the Hemp for Victory campaign is the education given to children of farmers. There were 4-H programs in place encouraging students to grow hemp. “Growing hemp gives 4-H members a real opportunity to serve their country in wartime…. Labor requirements do not interfere with school work.”
The plant was safe enough for America’s children to grow as a 4-H project when in a bind. There was no mention of careful handling, and no warning that they would be growing a dangerous plant. There was an outline of a typical growing season and a “hemp seed record” to keep track of the plants and quantities harvested.
The government heavily encouraged farmers to grow hemp. They were paid $30 to $50 a ton for the hemp fibers. The only rule was that a row of some other crop should surround the hemp field so that no one could access the hemp easily. Through all of the favorable publicity for hemp there were some warnings of things to come.
There was a mentality created that only poor countries grow hemp, which is why U.S. farmers would no longer need to grow hemp after the war.
“Although hemp is a very favorable crop now- in all probability after the war, we will find that it will again lose some of its importance. We cannot compete with the cheap labor of the East, and the hand separated hemp is superior [to mechanically separated hemp].”
After World War II ended, the anti-hemp constructions resurfaced. Hemp cultivation was no longer allowed without permits, special taxes, and DEA initiated intervention once more. Hemp was no longer patriotic, but a threat. People returned to either viewing hemp as the dangerous marijuana or as a crop only developing countries, such as the Philippines, should grow.
Wisconsin was the only exception to the rule. Until 1958 they continued to grow hemp, despite strong federal opposition. So even the federal government had to contradict its own law to use hemp.
There was no other substitute for the crop in a time of war. Hemp is a good plant when it saves the country, but a bad plant in peacetime.
Industrial Hemp (Cannabis savita L): The Geography of a Controversial Plant by April M. Luginbuhl, 2001. California Geographer
Chemical means, i. e., drugs, are employed almost exclusively by uncivilized peoples in order to produce intoxication during religious ceremonies. Brinton tells us that “in every savage tribe we find a knowledge of narcotic plants which were employed to induce strange and vivid hallucinations or dreams …. The negroes of the Niger had their ‘fetish water‘, the Creek Indians of Florida their ‘black drink‘ for this purpose. In many parts of the United States the natives smoked stramonium, the Mexican tribes swallowed the peyotl and the snake-plant, the tribes of California and the Samoyeds of Siberia had found a poisonous toadstool; all to bring about communication with the Divine and to induce extatic visions.”‘
The Indians of New Mexico who are “unacquainted with intoxicating liquors . . . find drunkenness, in ‘the fumes of a certain -herb smoked through a stone tube and used chiefly during their religious festivals.” Among the old Mexicans, a seed called Oliliuhgue entered into a vision-producing ” divine medicine,” which could be obtained only from the priests.
” In the Indic and Iranian cult there was,” we are told, ” a direct worship of deified liquor analogous to Dionysiac rites.”
It has even been maintained that the whole Rig Veda is but a collection of hymns for soma worship. The drinking ceremony was accompanied by magical incantations and by religious invocations. During the frequent libations that marked the sacrifice of soma, the officiating priest asked repeatedly for inspiration. He offered the liquor with these words: “O,Indra, accept our offering . . . drink of the soma, thou the friend of prayer and of the liquor; well disposed God, drink in order to intoxicate thyself.” ” I pour it out into the double cavity of thy belly; may it spread through thy members; may it be sweet to thy taste; may it steal upon thee, O deliverer, veiled as women seeking a rendez-vous. Hero with the strong neck, full bellied, strong of arms, O Indra, praised by many, accept the pressed out soma, father of divine energy.”
Modern India has not renounced the use of drugs in religious ceremonies. The India Hemp Commission appointed by the English Government to investigate the use of hemp drugs in its Hindoo possessions, reported that several hemp preparations are ” extensively used in the exercise of religious practices.” They found evidence of the “almost universal use of hemp drugs by fakirs, jogis, sanyasis, and ascetics of all classes, and more particularly by those devoted to the worship of Siva.” The hemp plant is believed by priests and people to be a special attribute of that god.
Extatic Intoxication in Religion James H. Leuba The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Oct., 1917) Published by: University of Illinois Press
The Use of Indian Hemp in Zaire: A Formulation of Hypotheses on the Basis of an Inquiry Using a Written Questionnaire Ronald Verbeke and Ellen Corin Br. J. Addict., 1976, Vol. 71, Longman. Printed in Great Britain.
Sea squirts are marine organisms that shared a common ancestor with vertebrates (animals, reptiles, birds, fish, etc.) 55 million years ago. These primitive animals have a precursor to the human heart. And they have an endocannabinoid system, producing naturally occurring cannabinoids like other animals. According to NORML, “By comparing the genetics of cannabinoid receptors in different species, scientists estimate that the endocannabinoid system evolved in primitive animals over 600 million years ago.”
Mind-altering plant and fungal medicines grow in every habitable place on earth. Chimps eat over a dozen species of plants for medicinal purposes. Large groups of them have been known to walk long distances to get to these medicinal plants, which scientists later discovered do things like kill parasites, fungi, and viruses. In fact, whole classes of compounds for human use have been formulated as a direct result of watching our wild cousins. Evidence from all over the world shows animals in the wild using psychoactive plants and mushrooms.
Early humans would naturally observe and learn from the animals around them, and, being animals themselves, would also be drawn to various forms of plant medicine. Modern anthropologists studying hunter-gatherer tribes found that they have an encyclopedic knowledge of local flora and fauna. The fungi, plants, and animals that they formed a special connection with were integrated into primitive spiritual rituals, rituals that would later evolve into yoga, for example.
Cannabis is known to be one of humanity’s earliest agricultural crops, having evolved between 6 and 34 million years ago. The exact time and place of first contact is still debated: some scientists point toward central Asia and others identify Europe during the last Ice Age. The herb entered the archaeological record of Asia and eastern Europe at about the same time, between about 12,500 and 10,000 years ago. A recent review of cannabis archaeological data links an intensification of cannabis use in East Asia with the rise of transcontinental trade at the dawn of the Bronze Age, about 5,000 years ago.
Humans used both nonpsychoactive hemp and the more medicinal cannabis version of the plant for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was first used for food, as it was for other animals, then as medicine, and later as an intoxicant to enter an altered state as part of spiritual rituals. At some point we began making rope and textiles from its fiber, and those ropes may have been instrumental in the domestication of the horse.
Charred seeds have been found inside the burial mounds dating back to 3,000 BCE, and the oldest cannabis archaeological relic in existence is a piece of hemp cloth from 10,000 years ago.
Found in: Chapter 4. THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS AND YOGA, from:
Ganja Yoga: A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery , by Dee Dussault, 2017.
“A Jamaican scientist is recreating a ‘supreme’ marijuana that was smoked by Bob Marley in the 1970s before it was wiped out the following decade during the American war on drugs.
Amid mangos, lychees and other jackfruit, Dr Machel Emanuel has planted a field of cannabis plants measuring dozens of square meters in his lab in the botanical garden of the Biology Department at the University of the West Indies in Kingston.
His specialty: landrace cannabis, which grew naturally in Jamaica before it disappeared as a result of human intervention.”
Two of the pipes from Lalibela cave were subsequently tested for cannabis residue on the inside of the bowls. These tests showed conclusively that the two pipes in question were definitely used for the smoking of cannabis. This, together with the fact that no evidence of elbow-bend pipes was found, has been taken as evidence that cannabis was smoked in water pipes in thirteenth-or fourteenth-century Ethiopia. However, caution must be exercised in drawing this conclusion. There was no direct correlation between the pipes and any dates. Rather there was a general correlation between the pipes and the dates, since both were from the same levels. The sites were rather disturbed, and there was evidence that levels may have been contaminated by the extensive digging of pits. In addition, the culture of level II in both sites was similar to that of the people of the area today. Dombrowski postulated only that the excavation showed that Semitic-speaking Ethiopians had reached the Lake Tana area by c. I I00.
There is thus no compelling reason to assume that the pipes in question were deposited before the arrival of tobacco, although that is the most likely hypothesis, and it is known that these pipes were used for smoking something other than tobacco. Our best guess would be that these pipes were used before the introduction of tobacco from the New World, but this is far from proven. Perhaps advances in radiocarbon technology will allow us to obtain reliable dates from the residue in the pipes which would settle the issue of their dates. In the meantime Ethiopia, rather than Persia or southern Africa, has become the most likely place of origin of the water pipe, which may have spread during medieval times on routes similar to those used by coffee, another Ethiopian innovation.
From: ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA, found in:
African Smoking and Pipes
Author: John Edward Philips
Source: The Journal of African History, Vol. 24, No. 3 (1983)