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Mabi and usages in Amerindian cultures
The mabi is not the ordinary beer for festivities and collective drinking parties. The cassava beer plays this role. The sweet potato beer occurs in particular contexts, either as a ceremonial beverage in communication with the spirits, or as a beverage reserved for certain rituals, or as a medicinal beverage whose effectiveness still depends on good spiritual communication.
"They also make potato wine, but not as abundantly as this one [cassava beer]." (Anonyme de Carpentras, 1618-1620, ed. Moreau 2002, 160).
The sweet potato beer serves as an offering to invoke the protective spirits. It allows to communicate with them, accompanied by the petun that one smokes, a cigar of tobacco leaves rolled in a fine dried bark.