Shamanism is a religious ecstasy experience that seeks from within the solution to the mysteries of the universe: life, death and the meaning of existence. It is the searching of a consciousness awakening, in everyone that looks at one's self for expressions of the divine. It is an experience of reconnection with both Earth and Sky.
Emílio Dias - shamanism practitioner.
Shamanism knows no borderlines, whether national or tribal. In Brazil, it became known as pajelança, whose rituals related to the traditional native indian religion, which seeks the healing through herbs and the spirits. These rituals involve sacred chants, spiritual encouters and smoking sessions. They also use sacred drinks that leads to an altered state of consciousness, needed for the contact with the spiritual world, under the supervision of the healer, who receives different names such as shaman, pajé, sorcerer, priest, among others.
The pajé’s role in this religion is rather important, chosen by the spirits to be the medium between the two realms. Through praying, he asks the spirits to reveal and heal the supplicants. The pajé mixes magic and wisdom, knowing the two worlds, either the material as the spiritual.
This project observed the pajelança done by the Yawanawa tribe, which inhabits the Gregório River Indian Área in Acre, Brazil, and it is estimated that the tribe’s population is of 480 people. The Yawanawa people consists of diferent groups, some of them already extinct. Etymologically, the word yawa means chin, and nawa, people. Since 1992, the “chin people” has been organizing and finding alternatives of survival, like exploration of ecologically viable products, such as urucum and rubber.
In 2009, the Institute for Environmental Education, Floresta Viva, together with the Yawanawa People’s Memorial Centre developed a series of meetings between the Yawanawa indian community and the Santo Daime’s centres in Brazil’s mid-west and southeast. The program has as its objective the contribution to ecological awareness of the valorization of the cultural traditions of the peoples of the forests.