Marc Blainey

Through 14 months of fieldwork, between 2009 and 2011, I gathered ethnographic data concerning European expansions of Santo Daime (pronounced Sahntoh Diemee), a Brazil‑based religion whose devotees drink the mindaltering beverage ayahuasca, which they reverently christen with the label “Daime.”  This bitter, brown fluid—a technological innovation first discovered by, and thus, rightfully, the intellectual property of Indigenous communities in Amazonia—has a powerful capacity for modifying human consciousness because it contains N,N‑Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Amid instrumental music to accompany the singing of scripturelike hymns, ayahuasca is ingested as a holy sacrament in Santo Daime rituals (dubbed “works” or trabalhos in Portuguese), much like the wine distributed at a Catholic mass… continue reading.

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