This book is more than an academic work, it is the result of feelings of affection and respect for Mestre Irineu which pulse in the hearts in those involved with its realization. In our journey to carry it out, we met many people whose lives had been touched by its influence. Some got to know Mestre personally, and others knew him only through his teachings. For many people, Mestre occupies a central place in their lives. Aware of this, we seek a respectful attitude in our work, and try to make a reliable account of his life. Certainly in this book we have made some mistakes, for which we are personally responsible, but the successes that we have reached were only possible due to the help of countless friends and their various forms of support – whether by sharing with us their knowledge of Mestre’s life or by giving photos and documents. We are very grateful to all of them. We will name some important contributors, but we extend our gratitude to a large group that cannot be recalled here in totality.

Initially, we would like to thank the Minister of Culture, Juca Ferreira, the National Secretary for Drug Policy, Paulina Duarte, Domingos Bernardo Gialluisi da Silva Sá, Sergio Ferretti, Marcos Vinicius Santana Neves and Dartiu Xavier da Silveira for their honorable contributions to the book. We believe that each one, in their own way, has contributed substantially to the removal of prejudices and a better understanding of the value of the doctrine taught by Mestre Irineu. Likewise, we would like to thank the Ministers of Culture Gilberto Gil and Juca Ferreira for their efforts to promote an understanding of the importance of the ayahuasca cultural heritage and for their interest in the ongoing discussions on the regulation of the religious use of ayahuasca.

This book was edited in collaboration with the Research Support Foundation of Bahia (FAPESB); Publisher of the Federal University of Bahia (EDUFBA); the National Secretariat for Drug Policy (SENAD); the Federal University of Maranhão; the Ministry of Culture; the Brazilian Association for Social Studies on the Use of Psychoactives (ABESUP) and the Interdisciplinary Group for Studies on Psychoactives (GIESP). We are immensely grateful to these institutions and in particular to some of their leaders and employees who believed in and encouraged our project. Here we would like to highlight the names of Flávia Garcia Rosa, director of EDUFBA, Angela Dantas Garcia Rosa and Susane Barros for their competence and sympathy; Paulina Duarte from the National Secretariat for National Policies on Drugs, as well as Armando de Almeida, Fábio Kobol Fornazari, Marcos Rogério Cruz, Paulo Miguez (and his wife Carol) from the Ministry of Culture. We are also grateful for Isabela Oliveira’s reading and suggestions. In Brasília, we also had the hospitality and support of Fernando de la Roque Couto, José Murilo Júnior, Céu do Planalto and Vladimir de Andrade Stempliuk from SENAD. We also thank GIESP and ABESUP for making available the services of their secretary Wagner Coutinho Alves, Joey. He provided invaluable help in the preparation of the final text, acting as a proofreader, typist and, above all, an intelligent reader, interlocutor and good friend in our moments of creative crisis. Other friends who gave us important support were Marcos Luciano Lopes Messeder and Mirian Cristina Rabelo.

We could not fail to thank Abner Portugal and Denize Portugal for their assistance in transcribing interviews, Denize, by the way, a great friend who provided crucial organizational advice during the fieldwork. Dulce Batista das Neves Gonçalves MacRae always supported her son Edward’s endeavors in every way.

Sérgio and Mundicarmo Ferretti provided support and important information about the cultural manifestations of Afro-Maranhão. Daniel Serra and Otília kindly hosted Paulo Moreira in São Luís and provided precious information about Mestre Irineu. These thanks are also extended to Zé Maria (Daniel Serra’s brother) and Mivan, for the trip they provided to Paulo, giving him the opportunity to reach São Vicente Férrer.

We especially want to thank Jair Facundes for allowing us to publish many of the transcripts of his interviews made on video, in addition to facilitating meetings for the realization of other testimonies that would not have happened without him. Of paramount importance were some of his comments on the initial manuscript, which helped us to avoid overly biased positions. We also thank his father, João Rodrigues, for his stories about Mestre Irineu and the original Daime community.

Francisco Farias (the “Xico Bocão”), Tânia, Sharlene and Shirlene (Gugu), the whole family, cannot be forgotten either, for the accommodation and the many field transports they provided to Paulo Moreira in Rio Branco. Antônio Macedo gave us copies of the photos from his collection and also video interviews with several followers of Mestre Irineu who are no longer alive. We thank all the interviewees who provided the content for this book: Loredo, Alzira, Edilza and all the family, José Vieira, França, Emílio and his wife Francisca Mendes, Raimundo, Matilde, João Belém, Luis Mendes, Rizelda, Saturnino, Solón, Adália Granjeiro, Valcírio and his wife Dida, Leonel, Guilherme and everyone in the Granjeiro family, Chagas, Maria, Pedro Fernandes, Ladir, Domingas, Veriana, Pedro Matos, Jesus Costa, Nina Costa, Paulo Serra and his wife Altina, João do Rio Branco, Mauro, Raimundo Nonato, Tânia Texeira, Sebastião Tiagrada, Mario, Francisco Martins, Paulo Ferreira Lima, Antoine and Expedita (widow of Zé Dantas).

Jairo Carioca gave us access to his writings and was another valuable interlocutor, maintaining rich dialogues on the subject with us. We also thank Lourdes Carioca and her children: Zé Carlos, and Jane, for hosting Paulo Moreira in their home and for the valuable information they shared with us. We are grateful to Julinho and João Batista, Guido and their grandchildren: Jorge and Chaiane.

We would like to thank all of the boards of directors of the various daimista centers that allowed our participation in their rituals and coexistence with their brotherhoods: Centro Livre Caminho do Sol, Centro Rainha da Floresta, Centro Iluminação Cristã Luz Universal Juramidan, Centro Eclético Flor do Lótus Iluminado and Centro Iluminação Cristã Luz Universal Alto Santo for having allowed the participation in their rituals.

Likewise, we would like to register our posthumous thanks to José Dantas (Zé Dantas), a former follower of Mestre Irineu since the 1940s, for his welcome to Paulo Moreira in Porto Velho. Zé Dantas was born on August 19, 1936 and died on September 1, 2007, aged 71. We also remember Dilmo (Father of José Souza), who passed away on 1 September 2008, and José Vieira, husband of Domingas (niece of a cousin of Mestre Irineu), who died in March 2007. We are still grateful and sorry the departure of Cecília Gomes (Dona Preta), deceased on June 11, 2009, Raimundo Ferreira (Loredo) who was born on September 10, 1922 and died on January 20, 2009, and Tufi Rachid Amim, born on 10th May 1952 and died on May 3, 2010.

We want to thank all agencies of the Federal, State and Municipal government of Acre who supported us, in particular the Historical Heritage of Acre and the Rubber Museum, for letting us have access to documents, interviews and historical photos of Acre and of the cult of Mestre Irineu. We are also very grateful to the Instituto de Terras do Acre (ITERACRE) and to “Chiquinho” for the land documents and sketches, to the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA), for the maps, to the Garibaldi Brasil Foundation (Secretariat of Culture of the Municipality of Rio Branco) for the enriching dialogue with the Secretary Marcos Vinicius Santana das Neves, the Elias Mansour Foundation (Secretary of Culture of the State of Acre) for access to its archives, the Forum of Rio Branco, which allowed us to consult the certificates of marriage and death of Mestre Irineu, as well as the registration of the CICLU and the death certificate of André Costa, the Forum of Brasileia-AC and the Collection of the Historical Heritage of Acre that allowed us to use material about the rubber soldiers belonging to the Autonomists Museum. Likewise, we are grateful to the Historic Heritage of Maranhão for the photos by Galdêncio Cunha from the 1908 album.

The writings of Clodomir Monteiro da Silva, Arneide Bandeira Cemin and Sandra Goulart provide important contributions for a better understanding of Mestre Irineu’s work and supported several of our propositions. We thank them for the fruits of their academic pioneering. We are especially grateful to Sandra Goulart for her personal suggestions and for hosting Paulo Moreira during his stay in São Paulo. José Maria Nogueira, director of the headquarters of the Esoteric Circle Communion of Thought, was very kind in allowing us to consult the archives of that institution. The Mário de Andrade Library was also an important place for consultations in São Paulo.

The musical scores published here are the result of a comparative study between musical interpretations of official hymnals based on recordings from the Centro Rainha da Floresta (CRF), Centro de Iluminação Cristã Luz Universal Juramidan (CICLUJUR), Centro Livre (CELIVRE) e Alto Santo. In carrying out this study, we relied on the invaluable services of musicians Marcus Castelo Schaaf, Natanael Oliveira and Roberto Marfuz, who provided us with musical advice, writing, review, analysis, transcription, transposition and digitization of musical scores. We would also like to thank the musicians José Carlos Carioca, Júlio Carioca, Valcírio Granjeiro, Leonel Granjeiro, for the presentations of the hymns, for the musical touches, as well as for demonstrating their possible tonalities and forms of execution.

We thank photographer Américo de Melo and Eduardo Bayer for allowing the use of photos from their private collections about Mestre Irineu. Other images were kindly lent to us by Antônio Macedo, Vera Froes, Fátima Almeida, Rodrigo Conti, Alex Polari, Eduardo Gabrisch, Thiago Silva, José Silva Souza and those responsible for the sites that disseminate the photographic memory of the religion. We are especially grateful to all photographers who contributed their work to these collectors’ collections. Márcio Vasconcelos gave us a photo of Elpídio, a famous Creole drummer from Maranhão, cousin of Mestre Irineu.

Many of the photos in this book are taken by unknown or anonymous photographers. We want to make it clear to them that this book is the result of academic research on the religious culture of the Daime and that it aims to document the memory of this non-profit religion. We declare that we spared no effort to find the authors of the published photos, but in many cases this was not possible. Anyway, we still want to meet them in order to be able to name them the authorship of these images in a possible new edition of this work.

Due to the impossibility of knowing who the authors of many photos were, we chose to accredit the holders of image rights. Thus, we are extremely grateful to the image rights holders (for being in possession of the photos) Mauro, Jairo Carioca, Vera Fróes, Edilza, Alex Polari, Chagas Brito, Emílio and Daniel Serra for their willingness to provide us with images. of your files.

We would like to thank CNPq for funding a research project coordinated by Edward MacRae, and CNPq and FAPESB for granting master’s scholarships and research assistance to Paulo Moreira. These grants and grants, in addition to helping to finance the fieldwork in Acre and the analysis of the data collected, allowed Edward MacRae to travel to Acre and Amazonas and Paulo Moreira’s trips to Maranhão, Rondônia and São Paulo, with the aim of to deepen and check the results of initial investigations. We are also grateful to the Graduate Program in Social Sciences at the Faculty of Philosophy and Human Sciences at UFBA, which also contributed to financing Paulo Moreira’s field trips.

Finally, we would like to clarify that, by thanking all the ayahuasca communities commonly gathered under the name of “Alto Santo”, we are thinking, above all, of Mestre Irineu, whose legacy remains alive in the memory of his followers and continuators of his doctrine, the light which inspired this work.

Mestre Irineu - Alto da Santa Cruz
Photo of the followers of Mestre Irineu (male battalion) in front of the first headquarters with
straw cover in Alto da Santa Cruz. Mestre Irineu is the tallest with a hat.

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