Manoel Corrente

from the Revista da Flor das Águas (Flower of the Water’s Magazine) Number 1 – 1996, Rio Branco – Acre Antoine. Yan Monory* wrote, in the year of his passage, in honor to Padrinho Manoel Corrente.

He was born on September the 29th, Saint Michael’s day, and passed away with 80 years old.

He was a person who arrived in the Daime after his son, Chico Corrente, starting thus in the Alto Santo with Mestre Irineu still alive. He would tell that he even had a certain fear of Mestre, and of the Daime, in that time. After Mestre was gone they told him to accompany Padrinho Sebastião, who had recently separated from the headquarters’ church to found his own center in the so called Colônia Cinco Mil.

He was, through his trajectory, a faithful companion of Padrinho Sebastião, in many great and delicate moments, also becoming himself a great general in the spirituality. By the end he was this enlightened person, very special, key person of his reign, being a guardian and a significant guider for many.

The inherent character of an enlightened person, or spiritually fulfilled, is of having many times, mostly in the advanced age, a child’s energy, in the purity, in the looseness, in the innocence. And this way he was, although he also knew very well to discipline when it was needed, being on this matter a very serious person and with much knowledge. He would bring along with him a strong power of cure and cleansing, which would be generally manifested only by his presence; besides, on occasion, taking over unexpected or uncommon forms, with much simplicity.

He was a very lucid and simple person in his time, who taught humility through his own behavior. He had the harelips and we had to pay attention when he spoke, however we understood “almost everything”, and he would say great and small things, many times messages that only years later would be remembered and understood. He was a very fine and dear person, lovely, almost like a little fairy…

He was the patriarch of a great and important family, with some special sons and daughters, like Francisca and Francisco, being Chico a powerful and wise spiritual medium.

We have a history from his childhood to narrate: he was born in the Northeast of Brazil, in Piauí, and he came to Acre by ship, in the time of the rubber. He had lost his father early in life and when he was eleven years old, at home, some marauders of the renowned Lampião* arrived. They asked if he had food, and he answered no, that he did not have… Then they grabbed him and placed a pistol in each of his ears… seen death from up close, as he told… but nothing happened with him, however they put his companion, older, to run behind the horses.

He was a person of discipline who did not like people to play with spirituality, and he was an important spiritual reference in the light current of which he took part.

We have a dear memory of this old man and it was him, in the first times that we made the Daime, who taught us to care for the Queen leaves, with all fondness and attention “as it is supposed to be done”. Washing it several times, fiscalizing somehow the women’s task of picking the leaves, in the force of the fresh waters, under the sunshine or of the moonlight, and the light of the Divine Master… it was him who really took care of the leaves, during many years, resting them in the banana tree leaves, always watering them, on occasion hidden in discreet nooks under the fresh shadow of the green and loving forest. This ought to be reminded!

He used to say a very good thing that it is worthy to remind, being almost a Taoist Haiku (a sentence or a short idea, of enigmatic character, having a spiritual meaning to resolve), that “Who is right is wrong, and who is wrong is right”. We can relate this with the norms of ritual thematic, or with the “right” way of doing things, and this way sometimes a person seems to be “wrong” but he is right because he is following his heart, his intuition, his own destiny…

In the last years of his life, being physically sick, he managed to visit and receive help from the house of the Charitable Sister Francisca Gabriel*, as she is called, this way proving the value given to each other… he liked over there but he said that Mestre [Irineu] was unique!

Francisca Gabriel* was a distinct member of the so called Barquinha.

Lampião* was the great hero of Brazilian folklore. Lampião (“Oil Lamp” in Portuguese) was the nickname of “Captain” Virgulino Ferreira da Silva, the most famous leader of a Cangaço band (marauders and outlaws who terrorized the Brazilian Northeast in the 1920s and 1930s). Thus started the legend of Lampião and Maria Bonita (his companion), who became subjects of innumerable folk stories, with all the elements of drama, passion, and violence typical of “Far West” stories. By many, he was considered a folk hero, a kind of Robin Hood and the head of a peasant revolt against the all-dominant, feudal farmers of the region (the so-called coronels). The fact remains that he was the most notorious of the many rural bandits (in his own admission) that infested the poor hinterland of Northeast Brazil (wikipedia).

This humble “master” of his own lineage was exactly fighting for his health, neither wanting nor thinking that it was the moment to depart yet, even little time before his passing away. Because of this many healing and assistance works were held for him. However, within this fight, he came to a point in which he decided to really go… before the Saint Joseph’s of 1996 he called the people, one by one, saying that it was to stop praying in order for him to stay, that his hour had come… But it didn’t happen on this day yet, of Saint Joseph, and he even improved a little. Some days passed with him under rest, as usual very lucid in all of these moments, communicating his last guidelines and messages of light.

When Saturday arrived he looked at the day light and said, “What a beautiful day; today is the day I want to go!”, and it was really a special blue sky, really beautiful. He kept looking the whole time through the window. Someone came close, started channeling, started to sing, and he also started to sing his hymns. He sang the hymn “Caboclo Guerreiro” and this is how he passed away, singing with force and with faith, in his “master’s” passage (it is said that at the same moment someone fired a fireworks in the village…). This is worthy of being compared to the passage of the oriental masters’, who disincarnate in a conscious way, in “Samadhi”, or mystic ecstasy… being in the case of the Daime, this same “Samadhi” reached through the hymns. This passing away is also characteristic of the “men of power”, like the elders, the old shamans of the North American tribes for example, who knows and can choose the best day to attend the “world of the spirits” call.

This noble man was born on the day of Saint Michael, in 1911, and passed away on a Saturday, also the week day of Saint Michael, March the 23rd, within the Lent’s Period”.

Antoine Yan Monory*, a French Brazilian photographer, was during the 80s an important activist of the “Flor das Águas”, a medicinal herbs production nucleus of the church Céu da Montanha (Mauá), with a work strongly identified with the movement known as “umbandaime”. After 1992 he moved to Acre where he started to attend the center of the Madrinha Francisca Gabriel in the Isaura Parente’s district, in Rio Branco. The Flor das Águas’ magazine, about Ayahuasca and nature, was published and produced by him in a totally independent way, consisting unfortunately of just two editions (sold out). Nowadays Yan resides again in France.

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