By C. Sterling
This article explores how Afro-Brazilians outline their Africanness via Candomblé and Quilombo versions, and build paradigms of blackness with affects from US-based views, throughout the vectors of public rituals, carnival, drama, poetry, and hip hop.
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Extra resources for African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity in Brazil
Seemingly an oxymoron, buying oneself was not 24 AFRICAN ROOTS, BR A ZILIAN RITES an easy task because it took years of payments and was subject to the whims of the slave owners. Without the owner’s consent, freedom remained an elusive dream. Yet more than in other slave societies, the enslaved acquired their freedom and the freedom of kinfolk and friends (Nishida, “Manumission” 1993; Cohen 25–26). As religious adherents, the libertos and the escravos were commonly banned or persecuted for their religious practice.
Jacqui Alexander (2005), and in African-based cosmological systems the spiritual exists within bodily praxis in symbiotic relationship with social, political, and cultural interactions. Theoretically, there are four different types of memory: the habitual—skills or behaviors acquired through repetition; the cognitive—the capacity to remember learned facts or previous experiences; the personal—recalling events from one’s life and past; and, the collective or social—knowledge from educational and historical sources that provide a shared context for personal and group experiences (Lawal 43; Connerton 1981).
Carneiro also explained how Arthur Ramos expanded Rodrigues’s Nagô-centric claims in his text on Africanism in Brazil, The Negro in Brazil. Ramos, as Rodrigues’s successor, was a psychiatrist similarly sent to study Negro aberration to enact suitable penal legislation. Building on his predecessor’s work, Ramos created opposing polarities by deeming Bantu-based practices degenerate cults marked by sorcery and Nagô rites as pure religion controlled by priests. 45 In effect, his sense perception, like that of Rodrigues, was manipulated behind the scenes to dismiss all forms of Candomblé except for the Nagô-based model.