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Jaguars of the Dawn: Spirit Mediumship in the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer

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Jaguars of the Dawn

Spirit Mediumship in the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer

Emily Pierini

290 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-565-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (January 2020)

ISBN  978-1-80539-117-3 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (September 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80539-366-5 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Jaguars of the Dawn is, by far, the most comprehensive account of the Vale do Amanhecer in English. …for scholars of new religious movements, anthropologists of religion, or those interested in the phenomenology of religious experience, embodied learning, or the therapeutics of spirit mediumship, Jaguars of the Dawn offers a thoughtful and detailed account of a fascinating—and internationally growing—new religion.” • Nova Religio

Jaguars of the Dawn is one of the most fascinating ethnographic works recently produced. Detailed and deeply embedded in a variety of theoretical and analytical routes, it covers some of the most current themes in the anthropology of religion…An essential addition to the library of all students and scholars working in the fields of anthropology of religion and medical anthropology. It is bound to engage the interest of anyone eager to learn more about religion, spirituality, mediumship, and healing.” • Religion and Society

Jaguars of the Dawn is the best publication to date on one of Brazil’s most intriguing and influential new religions, Vale do Amanhecer (Valley of the Dawn). This is an exceptionally rich and valuable work on an important and understudied new religious movement. The focus on embodied experience in the training of mediums makes Jaguars essential reading for students and scholars interested in mediumship and spirit incorporation.” • Numen

“This is an exciting book for several reasons… it contributes original knowledge to theoretical debates on the relationship between humans and spirits and the ways in which spirit possession/mediumship is about a transformation of the self.” • Cristina Rocha, Western Sydney University.


The Brazilian Spiritualist Christian Order Vale do Amanhecer (Valley of the Dawn) is the place where the worlds of the living and the spirits merge and the boundaries between lives are regularly crossed. Drawing upon over a decade of extensive fieldwork in temples of the Amanhecer in Brazil and Europe, the author explores how mediums understand their experiences and how they learn to establish relationships with their spirit guides. She sheds light on the ways in which mediumistic development in the Vale do Amanhecer is used for therapeutic purposes and informs notions of body and self, of illness and wellbeing.

Emily Pierini is Assistant Professor in Anthropology and Marie Skłodowska–Curie Fellow at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. Her recent publications include the volume Other Worlds, Other Bodies: Embodied Epistemologies and Ethnographies of Healing (Berghahn, 2023), which she co-edited with Alberto Groisman and Diana Espírito Santo

Subject: Anthropology of ReligionMedical AnthropologySociology
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean


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