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Accepted Paper:

'Traditional medicine' and cosmopolitical experiences in Alcindo Wera Tupã and Geraldo Karai Okenda's visit to Belo Horizonte (Brazil)  
Isabel De Rose (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) Esther Jean Langdon (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina)

Paper short abstract:

This paper is based on the course “Arts and crafts of traditional knowledge: care and healing” taught by the Guarani spiritual leaders Alcindo Werá Tupã and Geraldo Karaí Okenda and highlights the conflicts and negotiations surrounding the concepts of health and traditional medicine.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is based on the material from one of the modules of the course "Arts and crafts of traditional knowledge: care and healing", part of the Program of Transversal Formation in Traditional Knowledge from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Brazil). This module happened in May 2015 and was taught by Alcindo Wherá Tupã and Geraldo Karaí Okenda, Guarani spiritual leaders from Santa Catarina (Brazil). Based on their classes we highlight the conflicts and negotiations that emerged surrounding the concepts of 'health' and 'traditional medicine'. We also emphasize the cosmopolitical quality of Alcindo and Geraldo's leadership, as well as the creativity present in their discourses. These discourses bring up central aspects of the Guarani cosmology and at the same time attempt to translate them to the non-Indian students of the course. Further, we attempt to articulate this material with the previous fieldwork Isabel de Rose conducted at Yynn Morothi Wherá Guarani village (Santa Catarina, Brazil). This fieldwork was centered in the emergence of the Medicine Alliance, a network connecting the Guarani Indians and members from several non-Indian spiritual groups from southern Brazil. This contemporary shamanic network involves the circulation of a set of shared ritual performances and symbolic elements, including among them the Amazonian beverage ayahuasca. Grounded in this data and in the recent material from Alcindo and Geraldo's visit to Belo Horizonte we approach the formation of this network as an ethnopolitical movement associated to a native project of reinforcing the Guarani shamanic system.

Panel P088
Dialogue among indigenous traditions and health
  Session 1