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African-Brazilian Culture and Regional Identity in Bahia, Brazil

Scott Ickes

Publication Year: 2013

Examines how in the middle of the twentieth century, Bahian elites began to recognize African-Bahian cultural practices as essential components of Bahian regional identity. Previously, public performances of traditionally African-Bahian practices such as capoeira, samba, and Candomblé during carnival and other popular religious festivals had been repressed in favor of more European traditions.

Published by: University Press of Florida


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-xii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Introduction: Brazil’s Black Rome and the Remaking of Bahian Regional Identity

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pp. 1-16

Brazil’s northeastern city of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, stands out as one of the most prominent points of reference within the African diaspora. The city, also often referred to as “Bahia,” is known for hosting a vibrant, complex, and historically rich African-Bahian culture. Salvador’s....

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1. Salvador, Bahia, 1930–1954

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pp. 17-39

Brazil’s First Republic (1889–1930) witnessed extraordinary transformations associated with urbanization, immigration, and industrialization in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and, especially, São Paulo. In 1930, Salvador, by contrast, remained very much unaffected by...

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2. The Revitalization of African-Bahian Culture

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pp. 40-70

On the sixteenth of September 1931, Juracy Magalhães arrived by steamer in Salvador, Bahia, to take up the office of interventor, or appointed governor. The Brazilian Revolution of 1930, which had catapulted Getúlio Vargas to the (provisional) presidency in the hope that he would break the grip of...

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3. Performing Bahia: Public Festivals, Samba, and African-Bahian Agency

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pp. 71-98

At dawn on Thursday morning, the ninth of January 1941, up to one thousand Salvadorans from all walks of life converged on the space in front of the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Praia in Salvador’s commercial district. They had come wearing mostly white to participate in the...

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4. Rituals of Inclusion: Evolving Discourses of Bahianness

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pp. 99-142

During the time U.S. anthropologists Melville and Frances Herskovits researched Salvador’s African and African-Bahian religious heritage, from November 1941 to May 1942, they noted the tense atmosphere in the city. The war in Europe dominated the news, Salvadorans were contending with...

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5. Carnival of the People: Batucadas and Afoxés

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pp. 143-194

In 1942, Salvadoran poet, journalist, and magazine editor Áureo Contreiras wrote a piece for the conservative daily A Tarde titled “The Value of the Cordões and Batucadas to Carnival.” In his article, which was reprinted the following year in the Diário de Notícias, he argued that the small clubs from...

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6. The Project of Regional Identity Formation: Culture, Politics, and Tourism

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pp. 195-229

In 1952, the archbishop of Salvador, Dom Augusto Álvaro da Silva, lifted another ban on the Washing of Bonfim ritual. This one had lasted for three years. The lifting of the prohibition was emblematic of the wider process of the acceptance and inclusion of African-Bahian cultural practices since...

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Conclusion and Epilogue: Cultural Politics in Bahia

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pp. 230-242

By the middle of the 1950s, the formulation of Bahian regional identity that continues to characterize Bahia was in place. This process began somewhat tentatively in the 1930s as a number of political and intellectual trends merged with initiative from the working classes. Juracy Magalhães, Vargas’s...


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pp. 243-244


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pp. 245-282


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pp. 283-284


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pp. 285-308


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pp. 309-322

About the Author

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pp. 338-341

E-ISBN-13: 9780813048383
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813044781

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 9 figures, 3 tables, map
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 857769351
MUSE Marc Record: Download for African-Brazilian Culture and Regional Identity in Bahia, Brazil

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Blacks -- Brazil -- Bahia (State) -- History.
  • Bahia (Brazil : State) -- Social conditions.
  • Bahia (Brazil : State) -- Race relations.
  • Bahia (Brazil : State) -- History.
  • Social classes -- Brazil -- Bahia (State).
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