Religious tradition in Brazil: the Candomblé

Our reporter Henry Borzi during his trip in Brazil had the exceptional opportunity to assist to a typical religious ceremony of Condomble’ in the city of Areia Branca in the North east of Brazil.

Candomblé (Portuguese pronunciation:  dance in honour of the gods) is a religion, practiced mainly in Brazil by the “povo do santo” (people of the saint). Candomblé officially originated from  Salvador, Bahia at the beginning of the 19th century, when the first temple was founded.

Candomblé developed in a creolization of traditional Yoruba, Fon, and Bantu beliefs brought from West Africa by enslaved captives in the Portuguese Empire. Between 1549 and 1888, the religion developed in Brazil, influenced by the knowledge of enslaved African priests who continued to teach their mythology, their culture, and language. In addition, Candomblé absorbed elements of Roman Catholicism and includes Indigenous American traditions.

As an oral tradition, it does not have holy scriptures. Practitioners of Candomblé believe in a Supreme Creator calledMVI_5272.MOV.Still002 Oludumaré, who is served by lesser deities, who are called Orixá. Every practitioner is believed to have their his  tutelary orixá, which controls his or her destiny and acts as a protector. Music and dance are important parts of Candomblé ceremonies, since the dances enable worshippers to become possessed by the orixá. In the rituals, participants make offerings from the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms.

MVI_5272.MOV.Still003The 31st of December the African house of African culture Ile Ase Dajó Ìyá Omí Sàbá organised the tribute celebration to Orixá Iemanjá in Areia Branca where religious embarked on ferries that go to the mouth of the Rio Mossoro, and there, they  deliver offerings.

Lemanja is the queen of the waters according to candomblecista belief. The walk which is traditionally the last day of the year, has become one of the largest manifestations of African origin religion in Areia Branca by gathering supporters and practitioners of other religions.

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