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Faith and Devotion

Bernardo Hupsel | Brazil

In colonial Brazil, slaves brought from Africa were not allowed to practice their own religion and costumes resulting in a huge syncretic religious fusion that developed into different Afro-Brazilian religions such as Candomblé and Umbanda.

Altough worshipped through Latin America the most popular cult is maintained in Bahia, the black heart of Brazil.

One of the most popular 'Orixá' (spiritual entities) worshipped by them is Yemanjá, originally from the ancient african Yoruba mythology, 'Yemoja' considered the mother of all other Orixás, the goddess of the living ocean and the patron guardian of the fishermen.

Since 1923 every year in Salvador City, Bahia, thousands of devotees participate at the celebration in her honor. Faithful, dressed in the traditional white and blue they start lining up at dawn to leave their offerings at her shrine in Rio Vermelho Beach, Yoruba chants and prayers are sung and sometimes followers become possessed by the goddess and other ancient spirits. At the end of the day offerings are thrown to the water by local fishermen.



In colonial Brazil, slaves brought from Africa were not allowed to practice their own religion and costumes resulting in a huge syncretic religious fusion that developed into different Afro-Brazilian religions such as Candomblé and Umbanda.

Altough worshipped through Latin America the most popular cult is maintained in Bahia, the black heart of Brazil.

One of the most popular 'Orixá' (spiritual entities) worshipped by them is Yemanjá, originally from the ancient african Yoruba mythology, 'Yemoja' considered the mother of all other Orixás, the goddess of the living ocean and the patron guardian of the fishermen.

Since 1923 every year in Salvador City, Bahia, thousands of devotees participate at the celebration in her honor. Faithful, dressed in the traditional white and blue they start lining up at dawn to leave their offerings at her shrine in Rio Vermelho Beach, Yoruba chants and prayers are sung and sometimes followers become possessed by the goddess and other ancient spirits. At the end of the day offerings are thrown to the water by local fishermen.

 

Born in Rio de Janeiro and raised in Bahia, this is just a small contribution and an attempt to document and show people a little bit about this magical and cultural place, the faith and devotion given on this day is really something special to witness.

Odoya, Yemanjá.

 

Bernardo Hupsel

bernardo.hupsel@hotmail.com

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