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The word Candomblé refers to three things: the religious tradition of Orisha worship in Brazil, a religious festival or celebration (xirê), or the house of worship. The house of worship is also called terreiro, meaning “plot of land” or “homestead.” This fact expresses the vital significance of land, Earth, and soil in this religion. Each house of worship or terreiro community has its own axé, a form of the spiritual energy or life force that moves the cosmos, placed in a specific location called assentamento. In other rooms similar to chapels, called pegis, certain deities have their own specific axé. When one enacts the ceremony of grounding this spiritual force in a house of worship or a pegi, it is said that one is “planting ...

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