Image of the Day – Candomblé

This week’ series of images are going to focus on popular religious practices in Latin America. We start with Candomblé, a Afro-Brazilian religious practice that has its roots in African religions that slaves brought with them during the slave trade in colonial Brazil. In Candomblé, the body is possessed by orixás, or spirits and deities. Dancing and offerings to orixás also make up an important part of the ritual process. Candomblé is popular throughout Brazil, but is particularly important to the Northeast, where it has its origins. Although the Catholic Church prohibited Candomblé and governments criminalized it as a racially-coded “danger” to Brazil, Candomblé has survived and increased in popularity, and evidence of it can be seen throughout Brazil, be it through meetings of practitioners or offerings left on sidewalks or on the beach.

Afro-Brazilian women from Bahia ("Bahianas") practicing Candomblé in the traditional all-white outfits.

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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