Fieldwork in Religion, Vol 2, No 3 (2006)

Religious Matrices of the União do Vegetal, translated by Christian Frenopoulo, revised by Matthew Meyer

Sandra Lucia Goulart
Issued Date: 27 Nov 2008


This article analyses the relations between the União do Vegetal (UDV) and other religious
traditions. Narratives provided by early members and biographical details of the founder of the
UDV since his childhood, reveal the presence of elements within the cosmology and rituals of this
religion that are originated in various sources. These span from popular Catholicism, Allan
Kardec's Spiritism, Masonry, Jewish tradition, and Afro-Brazilian religions, to popular Amazonian
beliefs. The text shows how the combination of aspects of these different traditions is important in
the constitution of the new religious system of the União do Vegetal. The article situates this
ayahuasca religion within the field of Brazilian religiosity, indicating, for instance, parallels in its
formative process with the history of other religions, such as Umbanda. The article also highlights
relationships between elements of the mythology, doctrine and rituals of the União do Vegetal
and the Amazonian context linked to the use of ayahuasca.

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DOI: 10.1558/firn.v2i3.286

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