Ayahusca’s Pedagogy: For an epistemic decolonization of knowledge

Maria Betania Albuquerque


The article analyzes a unique modality of education mediated by the consumption of ayahuasca, a drink made from plants of Amazonian origin, used in the ritual context of the Santo Daime religion. Due to the diverse learning that they generate, these plants are considered by the adepts as teachers. But how can we understand this education whose master is not a human but a plant? What knowledge pervades such an educational practice? How to place this type of education epistemologically? These are questions reflected in this article, that aims to analyze the educational dimension of daime and the knowledge that permeates this pedagogical experience, as well as reflect about the epistemic logic that characterizes this experience. To do so, it considers the bibliography regarding the use of ayahuasca and the Santo Daime religion, as well as oral testimonies of people who consume daime in different regions of Brazil and abroad. Theoretically, the article is based on the broad concept of education as culture, raised by Brandão (2002); in the epistemological criticism of Boaventura de Sousa Santos (2008, 2009) concerning the epistemic sovereignty of science in its eagerness to legislate on what counts as valid knowledge, as well as in the concept of cultural mediators of the historian Serge Gruzinski (2003).


education; ayahuasca; knowledge; epistemology

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.26.3519

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