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The Formation of Candomblé

Vodun History and Ritual in Brazil

Luis Nicolau Parés

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-11

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pp. xi-xviii

...The result of more than seven years of research, this book aims to recover the historical memory of a group that is largely forgotten, both within Afro- Brazilian studies and among Candomblé practitioners. The prestige of the Jeje nation within Candomblé1 is still recognized among religious experts, and scholars do refer occasionally to certain aspects of its ritual practice...

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pp. xix-xx

...This book is the result of a long research process that would have been impossible without the help of a great many people and institutions to whom I would like to express my gratitude. First, I would like to give my thanks to those more elderly individuals who very patiently shared their time and wisdom with me: the late...

Note on Names and Abbreviations

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pp. xxi-xxii


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pp. xxiii-xxvi

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1 Between Two Coasts: Nations, Ethnicities, Ports, and the Slave Trade

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pp. 1-34

...time by slave traders, missionaries, and administrative officials from the European factories along the Mina Coast to designate diverse autochthonous populations. The initial use of nation in the context of West Africa by the English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese resulted from a sense of collective identity then prevalent in the European monarchic states, an identity projected on their commercial and administrative enterprises along the Mina Coast. These sovereign European states found a strong...

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2 The Formation of a Jeje Ethnic Identity in Bahia in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

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pp. 35-66

...Having reviewed the Portuguese and Bahian slave trade on the Mina Coast, we can now examine the possible processes that led to the formation of a Jeje ethnic identity among the African population in Bahia in the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries. What was the demographic importance of this forced Jeje migration to Bahia? Unfortunately, the data on the evolution and demographic structure of the Bahian population of the eighteenth century...

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3 From Calundu to Candomblé: The Formative Process of Afro-Brazilian Religion

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pp. 67-86

...The dialogic dynamic of ethnic differentiation among the diverse nations analyzed here found a privileged context for expression early on in the blacks’ festive gatherings and in their religious practices of African origin. As early as the eighteenth century, in a frequently cited letter from Martinho de Mello e Castro, Count of Povolide, dated June 10, 1780, there is talk of the festivities held in the Church of the Rosário, in Recife, where...

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4 The Jeje Contribution to the Institutionalization of Candomblé in the Nineteenth Century

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pp. 87-123

...Although they could be restricted to the domestic sphere, the religious practices based on the “altar-offering complex”—and their extension into public ceremonies of drumming, dance, and the manifestation of multiple deities in the bodies of their adepts—tended to be organized in private spaces reserved for such purposes. The increased ritual complexity...

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5 Bogum and Roça de Cima: The Parallel History of Two Jeje Terreiros in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

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pp. 124-158

...This chapter examines historical information from the second half of the nineteenth century regarding two Jeje terreiros: Bogum in Salvador and the terreiro known as Roça de Cima (which could be translated roughly as “the upper farm”) in Cachoeira. Seja Hundé (also known as Roça do Ventura) arose from Roça de Cima at the end of the century. The two terreiros maintained close ties until around the 1950s. The data in...

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6 Leadership and Internal Dynamic of the Bogum and Seja Hundé Terreiros in the Twentieth Century

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pp. 159-207

...Continuing with the historical reconstruction of the Bogum and Seja Hundé terreiros, this chapter examines the leadership and internal dynamic of these congregations in the twentieth century. Additionally, the end of the chapter presents information on other Jeje terreiros that operated during the same period. I discuss Seja Hundé first, beginning with table...

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7 The Jeje Pantheon and Its Transformations

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pp. 208-243

...Having reconstructed the microhistory of the Jeje-Mahi terreiros of Salvador and Cachoeira, I will now examine their religious system, beginning, in this chapter, with the spiritual entities or voduns, and the internal dynamic of the “pantheons” into which they are organized. Continuing with a topic highlighted in chapter 4, in the first part of this chapter I analyze...

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8 The Ritual: Characteristics of the Jeje-Mahi Liturgy in Bahia

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pp. 244-290

...The objective of this final chapter is to examine certain liturgical characteristics of the Jeje-Mahi terreiros of Salvador and Cachoeira in order to evaluate those elements that differentiate the “Jeje nation” from other religious traditions within Candomblé. This highly ethnographic and descriptive task is not easy. As in many other social institutions, in Candomblé...

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pp. 291-296

...which present singularities that differentiate them from homologous rituals performed in the candomblés of other nations. However, they do not constitute ritual segments that practitioners identify as exclusive to the Jeje nation, so I have left them as material for future studies. One of my more general conclusions is that the processes of religious identity, which are articulated within contemporary...


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pp. 297-300


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pp. 301-350


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pp. 351-368


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pp. 369-398

E-ISBN-13: 9781469612638
Print-ISBN-13: 9781469610924

Publication Year: 2013

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Bahia (Brazil : State) -- Religious life and customs.
  • Blacks -- Brazil -- Bahia (State) -- Religion.
  • Blacks -- Brazil -- Bahia (State) -- History.
  • Blacks -- Brazil -- Bahia (State) -- Ethnic identity.
  • Candomblé (Religion) -- Brazil -- Bahia (State).
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