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Mama Coca
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Hassle Free Press
With all the notoriety currently associated with cocaine, it is perhaps surprising to note how little attention has been directed at the coca leaf itself--source of the illicit white powder--and particularly as the real, as opposed to merely sensational, dimensions of the cocaine industry and the so-called 'war on drugs' in South America. Being conceived in terms of a quest for the mythological spirit which resides within the coca bush, 'Mama Coca' is both an indictment of the monopolization of the cocaine traffic by the reactionary security forces, and a passionate defense of the habit of chewing coca leaves in their natural, unrefined state. The book first examines the overall cultural and economic history of coca in the Andes, and then concentrates on the way the plant is cultivated, prepared and consumed by one particular group of coca adepts, the Paez Indians of Cauca, Colombia. The book is a libertarian analysis of the role of coca in the broader context of Paez magical and medicinal practices, and an understanding of its significance in the struggle which these Indians are currently waging in defense of their land and their cultural integrity.