This interview with Antonio A. Arantes, Brazilian anthropology professor and recognized
specialist on the topics of intellectual property and traditional knowledge, addresses the 2008
request by Brazilian ayahuasca groups to be recognized as part of the immaterial cultural
heritage of Brazil. In the first portion of the interview, Arantes reflects on the challenges
of the new conceptions of the Brazilian national immaterial policy program. He discusses
several examples of cultural goods recognized by the Brazilian state, such as the candomblé
and the samba, and analyzes the controversial issues involving authenticity and tradition in
these and other similar cases. In the second portion, Arantes reflects on the specific case of
ayahuasca, the relationship of this cultural heritage request to legal issues, the challenges to
define exactly what aspects should be recognized, and speculates on the chances that these
religious groups will come to be recognized as a national symbol of Brazil.
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Labate, B. C., & Goldstein, I. (2009). Labate, B. C., & Goldstein, I. (2009). Ayahuasca–from dangerous drug to national heritage: An interview with Antonio A. Arantes. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 28(1), 53–64.. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 28 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.24972/ijts.2009.28.1.53