Mertz Library Humanities

Botanies of Desire: Fragrance, Healing, and Sexual Attraction in the Amazon

Friday, April 3, 2020

11:00 a.m. | Online

Is beauty in the nose of the beholder? A comparative study of olfaction and ethnobotany among indigenous peoples across the Amazon basin reveals the central role of plant fragrances in native concepts of sexual attraction, health, and well-being. This paper approaches odor as a complex biocultural phenomenon, examining the special agency of odor in Amazonian medical systems and cosmologies.

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Glenn H. Shepard Jr., Ph.D.
Ethnobotanist / Medical Anthropologist

Visiting Research Associate
Department of Anthropology
American Museum of Natural History

Full Staff Researcher in Ethnology
Division of Human Sciences
Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi

Support for the Humanities Institute provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation