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Plants, Beer, and Shamans to Avoid and Resolve Conflict (IDN Podcast 84)

Clip length/Date:(16:00min - 02/12/10)

Summary: Host Mike McIlwrath’s guest for International Dispute Negotiation #84 is Glenn H. Shepard Jr., a medical anthropologist, who studies healing customs and traditions around the world. He has lived with the Matsigenka in Peru, a tribe that deals with conflict in an interesting way.

The Matsigenka don’t show emotions in public. That’s bad manners. Disputes are resolved by first by bottling them up, occasionally with the help of medicinal plants that relieve stress and “eliminate the angry feelings.”

Shepard shares an interesting story about the plants and his own central nervous system.

A public beer bash is held. Drunkenness and the court of public opinion provides a route to resolution.

Turns out we can learn a lot from this, as the Matsigenka are modernizing their processes with the use of third party neutral-like leaders.

For an archive of the previous 83 IDN episodes, go here.

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