The dried root of this manioc species, which is known as sienejna, is used by the Ayoreo Indians of Paraguay to initiate a shaman (naijna) so that he can communicate with the spirits (SchmedaHirschmann 1993, 108*). But not all of the Ayoreo believe that this plant works. It is said that the shaman feels as though he is drunk when he smokes sienejna. In this state, the spirits of the animals (especially those of iguanas, poisonous snakes, and birds) meet him in the shape of small people so that they may let him know of their whereabouts (Schmeda-Hirschmann 1993, 109*). Smoking experiments, however, have not revealed any type of hallucinogenic or other psychotropic effect (Schmeda-Hirschmann 1993, 111*). Chemical studies and other experiments are still needed.

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