Gateway To Dreamtime

Above: Pituri bushes are represented by the gray dots on this painting by Aborr ginal artist Walangari Karntawarra Ja-kamarra (detail from oil painting, 1994).

The psychoactive use of Pituri is probably the longest continuous use of a psychoactive substance in the history of humanity. The Australian Aborigines nave the longest continuous culture of the world. The ancestors of today's Aborigines chewed Pituri 40,000 to 60,000 years ago-

Pituri refers in the broadest sense to all plants or plant materials with additional ingredients that are used for hedonistic or magical purposes by the Australian Aborigines. Generally, the term Pitu.fi refers to a plant from the nightshade family, Duboisia hopwoodii.

Usually, the P:tu leaves are mixed with alkaline plant ashes and chewed like chewing tobacco. Pituri removes hunger and thirst and induces intense dreams, which is probably why the Aborigines use Pituri as a magic substance. In the Aboriginal magic, entering the dream state, the transcendent

Eelow: The trunk of the Pituri bush.

The Chemistry of Pituri

Duboisia hopwoodii contains various strongly stimulating but also toxic alkaloids (piturin, D-nor-nicotine and nicotine)1. D-nor-nicotine seems to be the main active substance, and myosimin, A/-formylnom!cotine, cotinin, N-acetyl-nornicotine, anabasine, anabatin, anatalhne, and bipyridyl are also present.

The hallucinogenic tropanalkaloid hyoscy'amine has been discovered in the roots, as well as traces of scopalamine, ricoiine, nornicotine, metanicotine, myosmine, and /V-formylnornicotine Duboisia myoporoides contains large quantities of scopolamine.

Plants Whose Ashes Are Addea to Pituri

Protaceae

Grevillea striata l. BR. (Ijinyja) Mimosaceae (Leguminosae) Acacia aneura F. Muell. ex Benth. (Mulga) Acacia coriacea DC. (Awintha) Acacia kempeana F. Muell. (Witchltty bush) Acacia iinguiata A. Cunn. ex. Benth. Acacia pruinocarpa Acacia salicina Lindley Caesalpiniaceae (Leguminosae)

Cassia spp. Rhamnaceae

Ventiiago viminalis Hook. (Atnyira) Myrtaceae Eucalyptus microtheca F Muell. (Angkirra) Eucalyptus spp. (Gums) Eucalyptus sp. (Red gum) Melaleuca sp.

primal condition of being is an essential concept. Tb'S dream state is an altered state of consciousness

In this dream state, all magical processes and acts affect the "normal consciousness " It seems as if there are various types of Pituri for various uses and each of these vai.eties >s linked with various songs, totems, and appropriate "dream songs" or "songlines " There are some songlines that are sung as "Pituri-songs." Tlturi has a connection to the place that it grows There is even a Pituri clan. Pituri carries with it the "dream of the place" where it grows and can ins ill it into humans

The Pituri bush (Dubonia hopwoo dii) was described by the German-Australian botanist Ferd" land J. H. von Müller (1825-1896). The plants, as well as the dried or fermented leaves, play a significant role in the domestic economy as a valuable good for barter. Although Duboisia hopwoodii is widespread n Australia, some areas are better for collection and harvesting than others. The leaves are filled with the power of the land in which they grow Before the Aborigines had contact with Europeans, there was a far-reaching trading system in the central desert, wh: ;h gave rise to the so-called Pituri roads and paths.

Various additives are mixed with the dried or fermented leaves and chewed. One will use plant ashes, another uses animal hair to hold the material to gether: plant fibers, yellow ochre, eucalyptus resin, and, most recently, sugar The effects of the various Pituri preparations differ markedly. Some are arousing, while others are weak stimulants; some are euphoric, while others can induce visions

Top; The Pituri bush.

Middle: Tne fermented Pituri leaves.

Bottom: The Goodenia is a Pituri replacement for the leaves of Duboisia hopwoodii. °lants of the genus Goodenia are ethnobotanically significant medicinal and nutritional plants for the Aborigines

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