Santo Daime was founded in the 1930s in the state of Acre, the Northwest of Brazil, by the Afro-Brazilian Raimundo Irineu Serra, known as Mestre Irineu. The group was formally established in 1945, gained government recognition in 1971, and by the end of the twenty-first century, had begun to spread all over the world. Santo Daime’s symbolism draws primarily upon Catholicism, African religiosity, European esotericism, and Amerindian shamanism. This religion became popular mostly due to being characterized by the ritual consumption of ayahuasca, a bitter psychedelic brew prepared from the Banisteriopsis sp. vine and known for its strong psychoactive properties.
Santo Daime is the most well-known of the Brazilian ayahuasca religions – syncretic religious movements that have emerged from the social-economic relations of the declining rubber industry between the 1930 and 1960s in the states of Acre and Rondônia in the Brazilian Amazon. These religions originated...
KeywordsBrazilian ayahuasca religions Expansion and internationalization Drug policies Religious freedom
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