Fita do Senhor do Bonfim

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Brazilian
Age: 22
Occupation: Student
Residence: Florida
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/22/20
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Abstract: The incorporation of a bracelet with the magical power to grant wishes to the user who wears it. The bracelet is always decorated a certain color representing a spirit or a feature of Brazil and it always has a catholic prayer or saying listed on the outside of the bracelet. It was made out of cloth and woven together with the phrase placed on top.  The goal was to wrap up the bracelet somewhere on your body and then perform a few steps to ensure your wish comes true.

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.

To gain a wish:

MC: First you take the bracelet and you figure out a spot where to tie to your person. 

MC: Next you have to come up with 3 wishes before you start to tie it on.

MC: Now you wrap it around you so, for example, I’m using my ankle and you have to make 3 Knotts with it, each symbolizing your wish and basically knotting it to you so you don’t lose it.

MC: Make sure you say each wish in your head before you start the next Knott and then once it’s tied up you leave it. The bracelet will fall off over time and when it does, your wishes will come true.

Interpretation: 

It interesting to see that the catholic faith has overtaken the traditions and meaning of items in Brazil. An item that grants wishes but has a verse from the Catholic bible written on it is a blend that shows the mix of Brazilian ideals. The idea of tying this to your person could be a way of carrying the faith and trusting in the Catholic God and as time progresses and the bracelet “matures” or gets old, so does your feeling of being used to having the bracelet on you. Shows that you can grow in the faith just like you grew into wearing a bracelet on you. From this burden of having the bracelet and it eventually falling off shows how your bond exceeds that of Knotts and you’re rewarded with having your wishes come true.