Candomble From Brazil: Its History and Faith

Candomble From Brazil: Its History and Faith

Candomble is often seen as a strange and unfamiliar religion, but to those who know its cousins, one of which is the Yoruba-based Santeria—which hails from Cuba—Candomble will feel vaguely familiar.

Candomble is an African-Brazilian tradition that, over time, absorbed many Catholic tenets. The word “Candomble” means “dance of the gods” and is a religion practised by “povo do santo” or “people of the saint.” While this religion is mostly from Brazil, it has over two million followers, primarily in countries such as Uruguay, Venezuela, and Argentina.

Candomble—a History

Candomble was founded in the 19th century in Salvador, Bahia, where the first temple was raised. In all actuality, however, the religion is essentially a “creolisation” of Yoruba, Fon and Bantu beliefs from West Africa. From the mid-1500s to 1888, Candomble had been influenced by the African priests who, despite being slaves, continued to teach their mythology and culture while blending in parts of Catholicism and indigenous American traditions.

Later on, Candomble practitioners were violently persecuted for their faith by the Roman Catholic church, right up till the 1970s where the ban on Candomble was repealed and the police were allowed public ceremonies.

Faith

Candomble has its roots in Yoruba, Fon and Bantu beliefs. Followers of Candomble believe in a supreme being named Oludumare, who’s served by lesser beings called “orishas,” or “orixas” in Portuguese. Candomble is an oral tradition, so there are no scriptures to follow, and music and dance are very important to Candomble’s adherents, as music and dance allow them to be possessed by the orishas.

Another interesting aspect of the Candomble faith is that it is not a dualistic religion, meaning practitioners don’t believe in the concepts of “good” or “evil,” but rather they believe that each person has a specific destiny that they must fulfil to their greatest capacity, whatever it might be.

That said, they believe each practitioner has a tutelary, or guiding, orisha which controls the practitioner’s destiny and is that person’s protector. In Candomble rituals, orishas are presented with offerings from the vegetable, animal or mineral kingdoms.

There are other entities that belong to the Candomble religion: the voduns of the Fon and Ewe (Jeje) nations, as well as the nkisis that come from the Bantu tribe.

Because of its blend of various forms of African tradition and aspects of Catholicism, Candomble has a rich history and form of spirituality well worth exploring fully.

Bead Necklaces And Their Colours In Candomble

Bead Necklaces And Their Colours In Candomble

Just as the orixas (“orishas”) are an integral part of the Candomble religion of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, so, too are the colourful bead necklaces of the practitioners.

In many religions, certain items have specific spiritual meaning. It is no different with Candomble. The bead necklaces that are commonly worn are considered an outward manifestation of their orishas. Whenever these beads are consecrated, either by blood sacrifice or are run through a sacred herbal bath, the necklace shares in what’s called the axe’ (“ah-shay”), or the spiritual force that permeates everything.

But it’s not just the beads themselves that mean something when consecrated. When devotees learn of their guiding orishas, they will wear necklaces representing the orisha or orishas that guide them, the beads in the same colours as that particular orisha.

Additionally, when the beads become consecrated, and with the proper offering, the beads don’t just represent the divine spirits, they become those spirits, just as the Candomble practitioners become possessed of their orishas while dancing.

This sort of consecrated empowerment allows the necklaces to be protective talismans for the wearer, but they can also harm the owner. This emphasises the level of responsibility required just by owning the beads. In short, blessed and consecrated bead necklaces require a level of devotion and solemnity that ordinary jewelry does not.

The Colours of the Beads

As mentioned before, each orisha is said to choose its devotee, and passes power to that chosen person, finding a way to communicate that this is the spirit belonging to that particular individual, that that individual has the right, the power to wear the specific colour of beads, and is in the right state of mind and heart to worship and make offerings.

Each colour range, such as greens, blues, whites, yellows, reds, black and so on, belongs to an aspect of nature, of the natural force of things, emphasising Candomble’s focus on seeking to harmonise and blend with nature, the Orishas embodying and representing the powers of the wind, sun, earth, fire and water.

So to the casual onlooker, the multiple strands of coloured beads made of clay, glass and perhaps plastic are just that: multiple strands of beads. But to the Candomble practitioner who is forever devoted to their orisha, the strands of consecrated colours are much more than ordinary strands. They are a connection to their spirituality, to the earth, to the orishas themselves.

Orixas: Nature Gods

Ossain-received_1066113386766934-mdOne of the most important aspects of the Candomble religion from Brazil are the group of orixas, or “orishas” that are honoured and revered with ritual offerings.

Orishas serve the supreme being Oludumare, and are considered powerful nature gods, who were originally the ancestors of the Yoruba, Fon and Bantu people, among other tribes. Other Yoruba-based religions also honor the orishas, so if you’ve done any reading about other such paths, Candomble might seem familiar to you. Read more

Cowrie Shell: Its Mystic Power to Answer Questions Through the Orixas

Cowrie Shell: Its Mystic Power to Answer Questions Through the Orixas

buziosDivination systems have been around since time immemorial. From the I Ching to the Tarot, everyone who has a strong connection to Spirit somehow finds their way to one divination system or another. One such divination system that’s not very well-known to the rest of the world is the art of cowrie shell reading. This divination art is often found and associated with the Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian religions, one of which is Candomble, a religion founded in Brazil around the 19th century when the first terreiro, or temple, was first built. Read more

The Soup Project is back

The Soup Project is back

The New Year started with an opening party for entity Exu Morcego which took place at our church on the 30th of January. It was a blessed event, a lot of positive energy. Now we are continuing with our projects for the upcoming year. Our main focus is to help people in need. We will continue with our soup project from February.

Soup project:

This February we will be continuing with our soup project in central London. I would like to stress that this project is currently being funded by us with the help of a few donations. This is not my project but a project belonging to all that care about others, if we have more than we need why not help those that do not have enough? I would also like to emphasize that this is a humanitarian project, not for profit and not for religious purposes. It is not our intention to use this as an opportunity to expand or advertise our religion.

Please feel free to volunteer and help even if you are not a member or a believer of our faith. These people sleep rough, in the cold, and without a permanent address they are not even entitled to receive benefits – they need our help. Let’s keep their hopes up by doing what we can. We welcome donations!

Thank you,
Priestess Mae Eja

Ecological Corner

Ecological Corner

Hello everyone!

This week we will be discussing carbon footprint – what it is, how it’s measured and what we can do to reduce it.

Carbon Footprint is the term used to describe how much carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are emitted into our atmosphere by a person, organisation, an event or group. These gases cause pollution which endangers our environment as well as our health.

How much emissions are produced by an individual or a household will depend mainly on how much electricity and gas you use at home; other factors will include waste disposal, how often you use a car, train, bus, etc, your diet.

Here is a link from the charity WWF which has a good calculator: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/

After you have completed the questionnaire, your footprint will be displayed as well as tips on how to reduce it, and how you compare to others in the UK as well as the world.

It is very important to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, and live a greener life. This will ensure our planet is safe for all creatures and it will also bring many benefits to our health.

Check back again next week for more information and tips on how to take care of our planet!
Axe

Vivian Carvalho

OGAN

OGAN

Hello! hope everyone is well ! and we will continue with our explanation about Ogans, and how they are divided and they ” positions ” within a temple of Candombl

But that will happen only after all this learning process varies from person to person :

I will write some positions Tata Kambondo :

1. Tata Kisaba – Ogan responsible for the leaves.
2. Tata Kivanda – Ogan responsible for the killings, the sacrifices of Some kind of sacred animals . (even if Axogun ) .
3. Tata Muloji – Ogan preparer of spells with leaves and Cabacas .
4. Tata Mavambu – Ogan or saint ‘s son who takes care of (Exu) Eshu house (preferably male) ,

Next meeting , lets talk about each these positions.

OGAN or KAMBONDO

OGAN or KAMBONDO

The player of drums is better known as “Ogan” withinin the Church of Camdomble!

I will talk about Candomble Bantu , or as it is commonly known, Candomble Angola .
In Candomble Angola, the “Ogan” is also known as: Kambondo

But to get to this level of Kambondo, the drummer goes through a learning process, each with their own duties and role. After going through this learning process, he will be called: Tata Kambondo.

What is a “Ogan” or Kambondo within the Candomble?

A: Ogan is a kind of male priest in charge of playing the “drums”
and singing to the Orixas.

But the “Ogan” is divided in various functions within the Church of Candomble.
We’ll be discussing Ogan OR Kambondo in more depth on our next conversation here on the site: Chuch of Candomble

Make A Donation

Make A Donation

Church of Candomble has a lot of projects and needs your support.

Every Sunday we have a soup run in Central London where we collect food from local businesses, prepare the soup and give it to the homeless. Your donation will go towards food (only some foods are currently being donated), disposable cups and spoons and blankets.

We also have a christmas aid, where we will be sending gifts to children in orphanages and from low income homes in Brazil and Angola. Help us light up their Christmas, all donations will go towards the purchase of toys as well as getting these gifts safely to their destination.

Church of Candomble will use all donations towards these and other projects. If you would like to learn more or if you would like to volunteer please contact us at info@churchofcandomble.com

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