The Rituals of Santo Daime

'Systems of Symbolic Constructions', translated by Robin Wright, revised by Matthew Meyer

Authors

  • Arneide Cemin Department of Sociology and Philosophy at Federal University of Rondônia (UNIR)

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/firn.v2i3.256

Keywords:

Alto Santo, ayahuasca, body techniques, gift exchange, Santo Daime, shamanism, social imaginary, talisman product

Abstract

This article deals with the Santo Daime rituals developed by Mestre Irineu, and adopts an approach based on Marcel Mauss´s concept of body techniques which are seen to produce the symbolic life of the spirit through physical, psychological, and sociological assemblages. Based on the underlying patterns of shamanism, Mestre Irineu built his own system, taking into account the existing sociocultural context, enabling it to exert control over the reality perceived under altered states of consciousness, thus directing the control of emotions and unconsciousness. The article also deals with certain elements of the sacred system such as the table/altar, the uniforms, the rattles and the hymns. The author also studies the details of the rituals for healing, manufacturing ayahuasca, dancing, concentrations and funeral services. Other uses of the brew are also discussed such as in the treatment of burns, wounds and other ailments, and as an adjunct to childbirth. There is also a discussion of the use of ayahuasca as an amulet.

Author Biography

Arneide Cemin, Department of Sociology and Philosophy at Federal University of Rondônia (UNIR)

Arneide Cemin is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at Federal University of Rondônia (UNIR). She is an Associate Researcher at the Center for Studies of the Social Imaginary (CEIUNIR), which develops theories and methods for the study of the social imaginary and sponsors research on Amazonian culture and social conflict, and also an Associate Researcher at the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP).

References

Baldus, Herbert, 1965/66, O xamanismo. Revista do Museu Paulista, NS 16.

Cemin, Arneide, 1998, ‘Ordem, xamanismo e dádiva: o poder do Santo Daime’. Doctoral thesis, Anthropology, University of São Paulo.

Labate, Beatriz C., and Wladimyr Sena Araújo (eds.), 2004, O Uso Ritual da ayahuasca (The Ritual Use of Ayahuasca). 2nd edn; Campinas, Mercado de Letras.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude, 1982, As estruturas elementares do parentesco. Petrópolis: Vozes. Published in English as The Elementary Structures of Kinship. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969.

Malinowski, Bronislaw, 1978, Argonautas do pacífico occidental: um relato do empreendimento e da aventura dos natives nos arquipélagos na Nova Guiné melanésia. São Paulo: Abril Cultural. Published in English as Argonauts of the Western Pacific. London: Routledge, 1922.

—1954, Magic, Science and Religion, and Other Essays. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

Mauss, Marcel, 1974a, As técnicas corporais. Sociologia e antropologia, vol. II. São Paulo: EPU. Published in English as ‘Techniques of the Body’. Economy and Society 2(1) (1973): 70–87.

—1974b, Ensaio sobre a dádiva: forma e razão da troca nas sociedades arcaicas. Sociologia e antropologia, vol. II. São Paulo: EPU. Published in English as The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies. London: Routledge, 1990.

Published

2008-11-27

How to Cite

Cemin, A. (2008). The Rituals of Santo Daime: ’Systems of Symbolic Constructions’, translated by Robin Wright, revised by Matthew Meyer. Fieldwork in Religion, 2(3), 256-285. https://doi.org/10.1558/firn.v2i3.256

Issue

Section

Articles