Candomble: More Than A Religion To Brazilians!

Above: Sister Prandhara Prem, an American spiritual & emotional healer for many Black Expats In Brazil! Introduction:

Candomblé is a spiritual path in Brazil alongside the two great monotheistic religions that are Catholicism and Protestantism. The religion of Candomblé is much less defined in its "borders" than the two aforementioned monotheistic religions. Candomblé syncretism appeals to African reminiscences mixed with specific rites of Christianity.

I. Candomblé: a mixture of African rites and Christian beliefs.

The Candomblé is a fascinating mixture between the slaves' rites brought by force to Brazil and Portuguese colonizers' Christian beliefs. In neighboring countries such as Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela or Paraguay, citizens practice this Afro-Brazil religion. However, it is in Brazil that this religion takes on its historical dimension.

Candomblé is one of Brazil's strongest religious beliefs; nowadays, it affects all social aspects of the country. It also includes rites based on music, dance, and feast, perfectly suited for Afro-Brazilian people. This population is known to not be the last to rejoice for grand celebrations, whether religious or otherwise.

II. Candomblé: a more or less tolerated religious belief.

The African slaves brought by force to Brazil fought their fear by practicing their ancestral beliefs. Portuguese colonizers officially banned these beliefs. The African slaves added a false adoration of the Christian saints to counter this decision. This spiritual mixing resulted in the emergence of a new original religion.

Candomblé allowed the oppressed African slaves to maintain a link with their African heritage. These venerations allowed the oppressed slaves to raise the morale of the community. Simultaneously, it helped to unite slaves against the harshness of their masters and their condition.

The Portuguese colonizers were, despite everything embarrassed to brutally condemn these religious practices. The masters had a vital need for the work of their slaves. When they witnessed certain prohibited spiritual ceremonies, they more or less pretended to not see anything.

III. Candomblé: a popular Afro-Brazil religious belief.

Candomblé slowly progressed in Brazilian society, despite its ban by the Catholic church. For numerous years, Portuguese colonizers forbid this religious practice until it was officially authorized and protected.

The Afro-Brazilian religion has a very strongly permeated popular culture. It is especially the case in Salvador de Bahia[1] , the first city to welcome African slaves. It is no coincidence that the popular Festa do Bonfim (one of the biggest Candomblé spiritual celebrations) takes place in Salvador de Bahia.

IV. Candomblé : Many Faces

In Brazil, several types of Candomblé originated from different African countries where slaves came from. The “Bantus” (or Umbanda) Candomblé was the first established in Brazil; it dominated until the 19th century. “Dahomey” also induced a Candomblé, but the most celebrated one is the Nigerian Candomblé (Yoruba ethnicity).

From this syncretism, the Candomblé line of priests and priestesses, the "Pai e mãe-de-santo" appeared. These priests and priestesses were healers and magicians. The Candomblé is the cult of African totemic deities and family ancestors. “Orixás” is the name of the African Gods.

There is a link between each natural element (fire, earth, sea) and the Orixàs. Specific objects and a set of colors characterize each Orixá. It is an immaterial force present in nature, and an Orixá chooses each human being at birth. After the baby's birth, the priest identifies his Orixà.


Candomblé is an integral part of the Afro-Brazil population customs. The Afro-Brazilians make offerings to Iemanja (goddess of the sea) during major ceremonies on February 2sd in Bahia. They can also have the future read through “Buzios”, divination by seashells.

Almost every Afro-Brazilian knows its Orixá. This protective supernatural presence pushes Afro-Brazilians (whatever their origin and social level) to attach themselves to these mystical rites. Beliefs that go back to their distant ancestors who came from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to the "New World".

-We're looking forward to hearing your stories on Brazil!  Please send any pictures, articles, writings, suggestions or questions on how we can help you to move to Brazil  (<- click that!) to us at:

30 views0 comments