Daime Religions, Mediumship and Religious Agency: Health and the Fluency of Social Relations

Alberto Groisman

Abstract


This article presents an analysis of unconventional events experienced during fieldwork among participants in the Centro Espírita e Obras de Caridade Príncipe Espadarte, or the Barquinha (little boat) of Madrinha (Grandmother) Chica. Barquinha is located in the city of Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Barquinha participants use the sacramental psychoactive daime, known generically as ayahuasca. The focus of this article is to revisit and analyse - in terms of ethics, methodology and epistemology - an event in which a spiritual entity, Vó (GrandMa) Nadir, a Preta Velha (Old black woman), who is dedicated to help and guide young participants, intervened ritually on their difficulties and problems, creating a favourable context for social interaction and problems resolution/management. It is also based on interviews on the personal experience of the mediums who facilitate these occasions, regarding conceptions of health and spiritual help, relationships between members of the centre, and interaction with spiritual entities. 


Keywords


mediumship and health; daime religions; spiritual entities; ethics, epistemology and ethnography

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References


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