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 Post subject: Bush tobacco culture revealed by Western Desert Aborigines
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:08 am
Posts: 46
Location: NSW, Australia
I came across an article written in The Australian newspaper about the history and contemporary use of pituri by indigenous Australians. Pituri is a type of chewing tobacco made from the Duboisia hopwoodii shrub and other native nicotiana species like Nicotiana Gossei which the article references. I think a few of the native nicotiana species in Australia were used as pituri but my understanding is that D. Hopwoodii was the prized plant for pituri. Of course with the introduction of the much stronger western tobacco to Australia, way back when, pituri's cultural use is diminishing and will perhaps one day be long forgotten.

I'm not sure how well the link will work with readers in the northern hemisphere but it was an interesting article and one worth sharing.

Bush tobacco culture revealed by Western Desert Aborigines

Cheers,
ANT


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 Post subject: Re: Bush tobacco culture revealed by Western Desert Aborigines
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5538
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Interesting... and this Von Mueller fellow was looking for something similar to datura... that's a problem for livestock, around here ! It's halucinogenic and can kill 'em, afaik...

Anyhow, I wonder how popular this was among the aborigines ?
...and a pinch of ash in the mix... sounds about right, for snuff, or chew...
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Bush tobacco culture revealed by Western Desert Aborigines
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:08 am
Posts: 46
Location: NSW, Australia
I thought Von Mueller was thinking pituri must of been some potent hallucinogen the way the myth surrounding Pituri alluded to it being some powerful psychoactive substance, something like Datura and was disappointed when the French dude (think he was French) ascertained that the main alkaloid was nicotine. Interest in pituri as some new and profound medical discovery soon evaporated upon learning nicotine was the active ingredient in it.

I think Pituri was common place amongst the Aborigines but I guess it was specific to certain regions where the plants grew. Different tribes in different regions probably used different plants to achieve similar results.

Ash is used as a PH adjuster to free the nicotine. It's pretty insane how these things were discovered. It seems to be a common practice all over the world to add ash to make all sorts of chewing pleasures but how they got to thinking that a bit of ash would be a good idea is a trip. Maybe a bit of what they were chewing fell in the ashes of a fire and upon placing it back in their mouth they were greeted with a bigger kick! As good an explanation as any.

Then the white fellas come along and take things to a whole new level with their probing, refining and extracting. Taking the essence out of nature to create things that are ten times more powerful. Sometimes I wonder if we'd be better off if we left things the way they were.

ANT


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