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African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National by C. Sterling PDF

By C. Sterling

ISBN-10: 1137010002

ISBN-13: 9781137010001

ISBN-10: 1349436224

ISBN-13: 9781349436224

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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Additional info for African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity in Brazil

Example text

Racial mixing produced a color-gradated hierarchy that still prevails. These differing levels of identification promoted dissension and, therefore, prohibited more extensive alliances that could lead to rebellion. 14 A complex system of color classification developed out of the multiracial groupings in the society. A category such as pardo signified a range of color in the mulatto category. Other classifications, such as caboclo, sarará, café com leite, or cor de tônajura,15 were based on the quantifiable and visible signs of indigenous, European, and African bloodlines.

By 1940 the rapid scale of immigration had resulted in radical decreases in the black population (Santos and Hallewell 70–71). Simultaneously, African cultural and religious expressions were restricted in the public domain and private ceremonial functions had to be registered beforehand with the police. In the year 1890, two years after the abolition of slavery, the penal code became more restrictive with regard to all forms of black social, cultural, and political expressivity, and for Candomblé devotees specifically, all ceremonial interactions, from drumming to spiritual possessions, were forbidden.

As a deified force, he is called on to bring about justice to any situation (Edwards and Mason 1985; Sangode 1996). Changes in the standing of the divinities then resulted from their use value within a society defined by its oppressive order; for instance, Ochossi, who is a minor orisa among the Yoruba, gains preeminence in his Brazilian incarnation. Ochossi is considered the orisa of the virgin forests and of hunting, and is brother to Ogun, the entity that governs metals and warfare. As the guardian of the Ketu people, his ascendancy can easily be explained by the number of Ketus sold in the transatlantic trade.

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African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity in Brazil by C. Sterling


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