By C. Sterling
This article explores how Afro-Brazilians outline their Africanness via Candomblé and Quilombo types, and build paradigms of blackness with affects from US-based views, throughout the vectors of public rituals, carnival, drama, poetry, and hip hop.
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Extra info for African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity in Brazil
42). Journeys like those of Marcelina da Silva, Eliseu and Martiniano do Bonfim, Baba Obiticó, and Felisberto da Souza must be contextualized in accordance with the history of returnees between Brazil and West Africa, for it places them at a special crossroads in these transatlantic interactions. 38 Similarly, due to the growth in the palm-oil export trade, Lagos after 1851 was in the midst of an economic boom, attracting the Afro-Brazilian freed population with desired skills to work as cobblers, masons, carpenters, seamstresses, and such professions.
It is indeed a constructed process, but an entirely organic response, when commonalities and compatibilities in underlying belief structures and a shared social structure of negation adjoin disjunctively due to their oppositional dynamics. With the consecration of these terreiros under the Yoruba siré and the practitioners embracing and acquiring a Nagô identity, whether or not they descended from the Yoruba line, their rites and rituals became institutionalized signification and praxis. Miscegenation between the ethnic groups, Fred Aflalo (an initiate and a scholar of the religion) suggests, allowed new ritual and liturgical aspects of the religion to form.
40 Capone, however, in constructing her argument that the connection with Africa is largely mythical, points out that Asipá is an honorary title given to war chiefs in Yoruba kingdoms; hence, almost anyone can gain such a title (220). In Oyo’s political schematization, the Asipá title was given to a member of the Oyo Mesi, the ruling families, who resultingly became the head of the Ogun cult and chief of the hunter’s guild. It may have been a lesser title used selectively across Yoruba kingdoms, but in Oyo it denoted an ascendant position in the authority of the state.
African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity in Brazil by C. Sterling