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In the Americas, dating from around the beginning of the Common Era, the Aguaruna Indians of Peru and many Mayan tribes were also known to use ritual and therapeutic enemas to empty their bowels, as evidenced by the many explicit yet artistically rendered scenes on their art and pottery. Unlike the straight-laced Egyptians, who generally employed a traditional warm-water solution, the Mayans got a little playful with their enemas. The alcoholic and hallucinogenic ingredients mixed into their concoctions must have led to more than a few wild evenings.

Around the same time, Native Indian cultures were using tobacco enemas as part of their religious worship as well as in rite-of-passage rituals. Pubic and anal areas were shaved, prayers were recited, the requisite solutions or smokes were injected, and then the families celebrated. Of course, many tribes employed tobacco enemas for purely recreational purposes, too. We can only pray that today’s ever-scheming tobacco industry will leave that little marketing strategy in the vault.

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