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Afro-Brazilian cults

Afro-Brazilian cults. New (syncretist) religions based on survivals of African religions among the black slave population, originally in the north-east but now over most coastal areas and in southern cities. Some exhibit traditional Yoruba religion little changed from W. Africa. Candomblés are the forms developed in Bahia early in the 19th cent. (also called Xango, i.e. Shango). These vary according to whether the African origins are Congolese-Angolan, Yoruba, or Islamic Negro (Hausa, etc.), and to the presence of Amerindian or Catholic elements. ‘Macumba’, more in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, emphasizes possession by ancestral spirits rather than deities, and tends to pass over into magic and to forms known as Quimbanda. Batuque in Belem is more Brazilianized, with songs in Portuguese and members from all races, although lower class.

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