“Where is the ‘dega’ (joint), my boy?”. This is how the documentary “Dirijo” begins, a real masterpiece about Brazilian history, culture and weed.
Produced in 2008 by an indigenous teacher’s organization from Opim, Amazonas, and by filmmaker Raoni Valle, the minidoc approaches the herb culture by the Mura people, one of 66 indigenous populations in the state of Amazonas.
It is known that marijuana has been used by indigenous populations in Brazil and South America for centuries, but there is no precise data regarding on the number of tribes that use marijuana. More than a medicinal herb, the weed was also used by the tribes as a trading item, with which they exchanged for other goods like food and tools.
The video shows the Murutinga tribe, from the municipality of Autazes, Amazonas. Old folks telling stories about their young days when the herb was not a legal issue seems like an outrage for civilized society nowadays, but in this kind of social context, it goes beyond than the modern man’s drug concept.
The word ‘Dirijo’ comes from a slang used by the tribes to refer to cannabis, and the documentary is an important tool to keep the legacy of these tribes alive, and also, to help widen the knowledge about cannabis.