Daniel Pereira de Matos, o Mestre Daniel, tambem no Rio Branco, em 1949, com a bebida "Daime" e o ritual "Barquinha".
Oratories, the viola caipira, incense, sailor hats, images of Catholic saints, glasses filled with tea from the sacred plant: Daime. The cross represents the body of Jesus and the commitment to the Christian faith; and the drawings of olive branches, charity. Blue stands for that which is beyond the skies and the oceans. Hymns teach and advise, sung in the accents and words from a variety of Africas, Amerindians, Europes, Brazils.
The works, rituals named as such due to their mandatory nature towards God, resemble a Christian mass or a family meeting: they all dress alike, sing together, read from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and instructions received through automatic writing by those through which the spirits operate. Every Saturday, they talk about their charity work. Works are also performed for curing, celebrating saints and festive dates: Saint Francis of Assisi is one of those who gets parties and affection from those at the Barquinha.
For the followers - those who believe that one must work to keep life afloat - it is a journey within the journey that’s life itself. Beyond the colorful weave of elements from so many different faiths, The Barquinha is precisely what the word anticipates: a space-time big enough to accommodate all of those who are in search of themselves.
The founder of the doctrine, Friar Daniel, was born in the Maranhão state and moved to Rio Branco, capital of the northern Acre state, in search for a new life. In a city that now has three hundred thousand inhabitants on the frontier with Peru and Bolivia, Friar Daniel then found a settlement in the heart of the Amazon forest. That’s where he struck a friendship with Master Irineu and, being an Afro Brazilian man, he started to spend more time with indigenous people and their works with Santo Daime.
Known as a bohemian man who sang lovesongs around Rio Branco and who fell ill due to excessive drinking, Daniel was aided and cured by Master Irineu’s hands. During one of the Daime sessions, he heard from the spirits that it was his mission to lay the basis for another branch of that practice. So, he proceeded to meet with his family at home to listen to entities and spirits’ teachings: first, they whisper the lyrics in someone’s ear that are later shared with everyone, then the Barquinha practitioners receive the melodies. These are the hymns they exhaustively rehearse for the group presentations. The musicians and priests don’t own the songs; they’re just vehicles for the expression of them.
Friar Daniel’s practices and teachings were passed on to Master Antonio Geraldo, who transmitted them on to his son: today, it’s Master Antonio Geraldo Filho who leads the work at the Barquinha in Acre. The sacred plant, the Daime from vines and Ayahuasca leaves and fire and water and responsibility and earnestness… it’s a plea to God, an important, however non-fundamental, part of being at the Barquinha.
In this faith, it’s prepared with precision and that’s all – it’s not sold, but drunk on meeting days; it’s a way for God to help them in reaching understanding. Not all practitioners drink Daime, neither is the beverage included in every ritual.
In order to carry all the faith found along the way in their boat, the Barquinha people are guided by what’s both the simplest and hardest thing to achieve: the respect and love needed to carefully listen to the voices of the invisible.