By Paul Christopher Johnson
During this wide-ranging ebook Paul Christopher Johnson explores the altering, hidden face of the Afro-Brazilian indigenous faith of Candombl?. regardless of its value in Brazilian society, Candombl? has bought some distance much less awareness than its sister religions Vodou and Santeria. Johnson seeks to fill this void by way of providing a accomplished examine the improvement, ideals, and practices of Candombl? and exploring its transformation from a mystery society of slaves--hidden, persecuted, and marginalized--to a public faith that's greatly part of Brazilian tradition. Johnson lines this historic shift and locates the turning element within the construction of Brazilian nationwide id and a public sphere within the first half the 20th century.His significant concentration is at the ritual perform of secrecy in Candombl?. Like Vodou and Santeria and the African Yoruba faith from which they're descended, Candombl? includes a hierarchic sequence of initiations, with expanding entry to mystery wisdom at each one point. As Johnson exhibits, the character and makes use of of secrecy advanced with the faith. First, secrecy used to be necessary to a society that needed to stay hidden from professionals. Later, while Candombl? grew to become recognized and actively persecuted, its secrecy turned a sort of resistance in addition to an unique hidden energy wanted via elites. eventually, as Candombl? turned a public faith and an essential component of Brazilian tradition, the talk more and more became clear of the secrets and techniques themselves and towards their possessors. it's speech approximately secrets and techniques, and never the content material of these secrets and techniques, that's now most vital in construction prestige, legitimacy and gear in Candombl?.Offering many first hand debts of the rites and rituals of latest Candombl?, this ebook presents perception into this influential yet little-studied team, whereas whilst creating a worthy contribution to our realizing of the connection among faith and society.
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Additional info for Secrets, Gossip, and Gods: The Transformation of Brazilian Candomble
Bascom in Apter 1992, 150) what Is Candomble? 37 Pierre Verger (1957, 1981b) offered similar speculations. In this view, Ogun (in Brazil, Ogum), the orixa of iron and war, may have been a great warrior-king or a leader of a blacksmith guild. Shango (in Brazil, Xango), the male orixa of thunder and sudden passions, is remembered as the fourth king of the great Yoruba city-state of Oyo. Obaluaiye (in Brazil also called Omolu), the orixa of smallpox and by extension of disease in general, may have been a feared sorcerer.
Stories (itan) recorded in the terreiros also address the problem of fundamentos and sealed lips. The well-known priestess Beata de Yemonja of Rio tells of a beautiful young negra in whom Exu, the trickster and messenger, confided secrets. The young woman could not keep a secret, though; she always told her friends, which enraged Exu. One day he invited her to a banquet and served her a dish with herbs that produce fire. Afterward, whenever she spoke, fire came from her mouth, and she is still in that condition to this day.
Recalls that the "real Africans" possessed the secret of making themselves invisible (sigidi), a feat now achieved by no one. Rendering sacrifice to the orixas, including offering one's body for spirit possession by the orixas, is both the expression of cognitive memory and the form of bodily practice through which such memory is built and reproduced. Sacrifice and memory are corollaries. Most terreiros today invoke, remember, and feed between twelve and twenty orixas. One of the most common and important, along with those named above, is Oxala, orixa of sky, creation, and "whiteness" (funfun).