Candomblé is the name given to diverse religious manifestations of African origin, singularly and creatively elaborated in Brazil; it is also an umbrella term covering a range of similar cultural practices. Although today its followers include people of various colours, candomblé is a Black religious tradition, built by enslaved populations brought by force to the Americas from the 16th century onwards. As part of their lived experiences of resistance, these populations and their descendants reorganised in the ways available to them—despite the innumerable forms of violence to which they were subjected—the devotional practices connecting them to the deities and ancestors previously worshipped on African soil. They also, however, adapted their religion in ingenious and creative ways as they encountered other cultural traditions.

One of candomblé’s principal ...

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