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Nagô Grandma and White Papa

Candomblé and the Creation of Afro-Brazilian Identity

Beatriz Góis Dantas

Publication Year: 2009

###Nago Grandma and White Papa# is a signal work in Brazilian anthropology and African diaspora studies originally published in Brazil in 1988. This edition makes Beatriz Gois Dantas's historioethnographic study available to an English-speaking audience for the first time.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Series: Latin America in Translation


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote

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pp. ix-x

I hope this study contributes to enriching the debate on so-called Afro- Brazilian religions, which have not been the object of many publications over the past decade. People and institutions contributed in different ways to the making of this work. I should like to express my thanks to them...

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pp. 1-8

As an analytical field, the study of so-called Afro- Brazilian1 religions — and of Candomblé in particular — has traditionally privileged cultural contents and their specificities in addition to the search for their origins. Continuous allusion to Africa and the unceasing...

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ONE: The Configuration of Prestige in Xangô Terreiros

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pp. 9-29

A flourishing city in the state of Sergipe’s sugarproducing region during the nineteenth century, Laranjeiras is considered the initial focal point and strongest center of Nagô tradition in the state (Oliveira, 1978), as well as a city in which so-called Afro-Brazilian cults vigorously proliferate...

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TWO: Nagô Speaks of Itself

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pp. 30-64

In studies of Afro-Brazilian religions — particularly those concerning the Nagô Candomblé — the history of terreiros and the genealogies of their leaders are often presented as proof of a continuity with Africa which attests to the fact that it is a certain set of cultural features experienced...

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THREE: Nagô Speaks of “the Others”

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pp. 65-84

Although she initially differentiates cults that came from Africa from those established in Brazil, the mãe-de-santo distinguishes different forms of relationship to different African ethnicities among the former. “In the old days, all you had in Laranjeiras...

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FOUR: The Construction and Meaning of “Nagô Purity”

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pp. 85-133

In this chapter, I return to certainly previously stated ideas, to differences in the features of Nagô purity as conceived within the Laranjeiras terreiro and in the “pure Nagô” Candomblé terreiros of Bahia. Because the ideology of purity presupposes the existence of an original state, a sort of cultural...

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FIVE: Uses of Africa by the Nagô Terreiro

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pp. 134-149

In this chapter I propose to analyze how the intellectual movement that glorified the African is reflected in a small city of the Northeast and how the Nagô terreiro of Laranjeiras, having established its exclusivity of pure African tradition, uses such glorification in the competitive market of symbolic goods...

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pp. 150-154

Throughout this work Nagô hegemony has been an ever-recurring problem. In their attempts to come to grips with it, Brazilian black studies scholars have resorted to various factors. Nina Rodrigues, who initially explained it through the numerical...


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pp. 155-160


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pp. 161-178


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pp. 179-184


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pp. 185-198

E-ISBN-13: 9781469605487
E-ISBN-10: 1469605481
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807831779
Print-ISBN-10: 0807831778

Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: Latin America in Translation
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OCLC Number: 646847018
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Nagô Grandma and White Papa

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Afro-Brazilian cults.
  • Brazil -- Religion.
  • Candomblé (Religion) -- Brazil -- Bahia (State).
  • Candomblé (Religion) -- Brazil -- Sergipe.
  • Yoruba (African people) -- Brazil -- Folklore.
  • Blacks -- Brazil -- Ethnic identity.
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