Recent Entries

  • The Saint in the Devil's Workshop

    Zé Diabo Zé Diabo (and notice the beautifully unintended Exu trident here!) Zé Diabo is a metalworker...maker of the agogôs used by the Filhos de Gandhy and other afoxés here in Salvador. He also makes stylized representations of the orixás for houses of ca...
  • Dancing Gods

    Dancing Gods Did you know that Brazil has gods (football aside)? In the sense that the Greeks and the Romans did? The Greek and Roman gods were done in by Constantine (first blow) and Theodosius (final blow). The gods of Brazil were born in Africa and arrived in Brazil within the negreiros making t...
  • Salvador's Afoxés & Blocos Afros

    Salvador's Afoxés and Blocos Afros Afoxé (ah-faw-SHEH) is basically candomblé with the religion taken out...the use of candomblé rhythms and "songs" in social, non-religious settings like Carnival and weekly dances. The principal rhythm associated with afoxé ...
  • Capoeira in Bahia, Brazil

    Capoeira in Salvador & BahiaDance Like a BaryshnikovHit Like a Kalashnikov Capoeira. You, dear reader, may have never heard of it, or maybe you're one of the legion who can pick up a berimbau and play the toques, handle the pandeiro (a tambourine, kind of) and atabaque (a conga, kind of), sing the ...
  • Ubiquitous Deities

    Ubiquitous Deities: Candomblé Oxum It's night in Salvador and you hear drumming. It may be coming from one of the numerous terreiros de candomblé scattered throughout the city. Most terreiros will permit visitors to attend their ceremonies. Should you go, dress respectfully. Trousers...
  • A Short History of Brazilian Music

    ONCE UPON A NIGHT IN BRAZIL... In Rio de Janeiro, in the house of a Bahia-born ialorixá (priestess) who had arrived in Rio as a young woman (part of the exodus of emigrating Bahians leaving for the capital in search of work around the time of Brazil's abolishment of slavery), the music (in t...