Abstract: The festival of Candomble is one week that seeks to spread and glorify the goddess of the ocean for the Brazilians. This glorification comes with a few dances and activities to glorify the deities of Brazil which are a combination of gods and catholic states after Catholocism intervened in Brazil. This blending came due to the religious intervention during the slave period of Brazil which the religious bringing up was meant to reduce the suffering due to slavery. The deities are known to them as orishas and have been innovated over the years to incorporate catholic and Brazilian traits such as the Ocean goddess.
Background: MC is a Brazilian currently living in Florida and is a student at the University of Southern California. She’s an advocate for Brazilian culture and expresses it by speaking highly of their myths and legends and even partaking in the semi-religious activities such as wearing bracelets with powers to grant wishes to the wearer. She describes one of the few stories heard from parents when she was younger and details it below.
P: let’s hear about one of the most famous deities from your recollection
MC: Ok so the one who I enjoy the most due to the influence is the goddess of the Ocean known as Lima Jow and we celebrate her with this festival known as Candomblé where we do a few things like for one, we would toss white flowers into the ocean as a method of good luck and a way for her to calm the water. So the festival stems from this whole religious movement but the cool thing is even people who aren’t Candomblen I guess still partake in the celebrations of the deities.
P: There are more gods then?
MC: Yea there are but I just mentioned the water goddess because that’s the one I’m most familiar with. There are other gods and also did I mention this takes place during the new year and the roles are separated by gender so the women wear white and have some white paint on their faces. One random thing which I’m not sure if this is practiced but I heard women have to wear new underwear when the celebration happens on New Year’s eve and start the new year with a new pair of underwear.
This is a very interesting festival because it seems as though it originated with these Brazilian deities known as Orishas which consisted of characteristics which were held important by the people of Brazil and those characteristics were altered to favor the catholic religion and destroyed a piece of history important to Folklore studies and to the people of Brazil. The traditions are also unique and it seems like women played a big part in the ceremonies such as throwing white flowers into the ocean would be a symbol of purity and the white clothes may have some connotations to virginity and giving their purity to their goddess. On top of this, the ceremonies performed such as dances and celebrations are sung with the idea of thanking their deities for keeping them safe and plentiful with crops and necessary resources. The final bit of information involving the new underwear could be an act of leaving your past self behind and start anew similar to how each year in America people create new goals to achieve. This seems like a fun festival and interesting take on Catholicism in another group and how its influence greatly changed the ceremony to include saint and catholic references in their celebrations.