The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley is exploring the world of drugs in an exhibit called Pleasure, Poison, Prescription, Prayer: The Worlds of Mind-Altering Substances. The school’s faculty members and undergraduate students contributed research for the exhibition, which calls into question why substances such as sugar and caffeine are socially acceptable, while others like peyote and opium are illegal and stigmatized.
Pleasure, Poison, Prescription, Prayer features items from the Hearst Museum’s permanent collection of historical objects that have traditionally produced, processed, stored, or were used for consuming a variety of substances, including but not limited to alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, betel nut, kava, and coca. The exhibition showcases objects ranging from a pre-Incan portrait jar from Peru and a Hookah from 1960s India to a 20th century Japanese sake gourd. Other objects include elaborate snuff bottles, water…
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