Introduction: Bahia of All the Saints (01:39)
The majority of Salvadorians are African slave descendant; they practice Candomble. The faith is based in natural elements and the supreme God is Oxala; he rules with several deity-saints known as orixas.
Lemanja Celebration (05:14)
During Candomble festivities honoring the mother of all orixas, the faithful splash, and submerse themselves in water. The deity is also the sea goddess. Fishermen sing "Invitation to Bahia" while floating flower baskets on the ocean.
Caetano Veloso (09:49)
The Bahian composer explains how Candomble impacts his work and discusses living in a society governed by Catholicism and African gods. He performs "Doces Barbaros," and other songs dedicated to his slave ancestors and orixas.
Day of Senhor Do Bonfim (06:43)
On the third Thursday of January, Jesus Christ and Oxala are announced a single, miracle-performing deity. A procession from the Church of Conceicao De Praia to the Church of Senhor Do Bonfim begins ten days of celebratory healing, dancing, singing, and drumming.
Photographer and ethnologist Pierre Verger discusses immigrating to Bahia; after fulfilling a ritual obligation in Africa, he receives a new name. The survival of Candomble instills a sense of pride in slave descendants.
Terreiro Pilao De Prata (06:40)
Air Jose de Souza explains songs performed for orixa and Candomble's Nigerian heritage. Within the temple built by the priest, the congregation falls into trances, a form of possession by the gods.
Bloco Olodum (05:03)
Thousands dance at the Salvadorian anti-racism carnival established in 1979; the festival's origins are rooted in politically aware Candomble youth. Joao Jorge describes the positive impact the survival of the African faith has on slave descendants.
The Salvadorian artist explains how his work represents Bahian street life; his orixas are Oxum, Oxossi, Oxaguia, and Oxala. He introduces friends, naming their saints. Babalu is known to take in foster children when they arrive at his door.
Carlinhos Brown (08:49)
The pop star plays metal bucket drums; he discusses staying grounded. Brown grew up hearing Franciscan Gregorian chants in tandem with Candomble music. His percussion orchestra, Timbalada, plays into the night for a dancing audience.
Joselito works with street children, creating musical instruments from refuse. He describes being beaten by police for being black. Although he is a government employee, Joselito identifies as Candomble.
Terreiro Da Gomeia Do Portao (10:49)
The temple priestess explains the Sao Goncalinho leaf ritual and compares orixa Iansa to Saint Barbara. Devotees host a party for the goddess wherein deities inhabit dancers, putting them in a trance.
Gilberto Gil (03:55)
The Bahian musician explains the importance of Candomble to culture. The faith unites the community, allowing Africans to physically and spiritually survive. Gil describes support offered by faith and local temples.
Grupo de Capoeira Angola Pelourinho (02:46)
The group performs a song and dance. A participant incorporates choreography into all her chores. She is a single mother of four with two jobs, and must multitask to practice.
Ile Aiye: Beleza Negra (08:28)
Pageant contestants dance and discuss Candomble, black beauty, and orixas. The new pageant queen is from Liberdale. Antonio Carlos Vovo, President of the first Afro Bloco of Bahia, explains area politics and the significance of Carnivals.
Ile Aiye: Carnival (06:41)
The new queen prepares for Ritual Departure and arrives at the festival as a dancing representation of the goddess. Babalu feels the death rate at events is relatively small; his friend makes official decorations for the celebrations.
Men play music on the sidewalk. Oscar da Penha introduces himself and describes Samba as his religion. He will perform at carnival with "Saudade."
Carnival Days (06:36)
People and trucks pack Salvador streets in a massive, night-long procession. Margareth Menezes sings "Alegria da Cidade." The next morning, Geronimo performs "Amanheci Chorando."
Credits: Bahia of All the Saints (01:11)
Credits: Bahia of All the Saints
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