Candomblé, briefly

Based on an ancestors’ legacy and the cultural-religious identity from the Slaves Coast, Candomblé is a religion of ritual performances with songs that invokes Orishas mythology and their presence, dances that actualize their mythology and the drum music, composing an interlock that produces a narrative via gestures and sounds.

© Carybé

During the slave trade from Africa to Brazil, particularly between 1770 and 1850, a period known as the Cycle of Benin, a large number of slaves of Yorùbá and Gbe-Fon origin are brought to Bahia. Those African men and women were divided in catholic congregations according to their supposed ethnic origins. This initiative of conversion was crucial in the establishment of Vodun and Orisha congregations in Bahia, non-intentionally promoting the institution of Oshoosi and Shango cults, in the early days, and later of many other gods and goddesses, giving origin to the first temples such as Bogun and the Barroquinha Candomblé, which would become divided in Engenho Velho, Gantois and Alaketo temples.

Although the history of Candomblé is widely complex, with many different steps and moments, Candomblé is, briefly: a religion of the memory of cultural and civil African structures there is expressed via religious values and rituals; of the relation between Humankind and Nature; of the relation between the self and the personal Orisha thru the initiation; a religion of community expressed in familiar and hierarchical ties; a religion of trance and divination; of self-encounter.

Candomblé is not a religion of salvation, but a religion that helps one to find its nature, its soul balance, through a communitarian and initiate experience, inscribing the self in a totally different experience of the body, ethical values and spiritual path.

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