By C. Sterling
This article explores how Afro-Brazilians outline their Africanness via Candomblé and Quilombo versions, 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
Traveling the Roads of the Orisas Through the siré, the ceremonial ritual order, the memory of Africa became institutionalized practice but reconfigured differently as Roger Bastide asserts. Continuity, however, as Mãe Valnizia Pereira points out, is found in the passage of knowledge from one generation 44 AFRICAN ROOTS, BR A ZILIAN RITES to another (Harding, Refugee 147). When the transmittal of the religious knowledge is reconfigured as “traveling theory,” memory serves as a conduit, revealed through the configuration of the orisas—in the names and identifications of each, the existing mythos, the patterns of divination, and the ritual processes encompassed in the belief system.
Mastering the double-voiced rhetoric that slave societies demanded, they found spaces in which to project their sense of self and communal configurations.
Among the Yoruba, for example, each principality had its own patron orisa. When a supplicant needed the aid of an orisa outside her home territory, it was commonly accepted that she would travel to the source of that orisa to obtain succor. However, in New World contexts this level of individuality and independence could not be maintained. The terreiro, in becoming the figural ground for the transplanted Africa, reconfigured and reconstituted that Africa in the image that fit the times and the modality of life.