Category Archive: Understanding Brazil

The Role of Women in Candomblé

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Screening: Xirê dos Orixás

Documentary: Odo Ya! Life With AIDS

Before modern medicine, indigenous people around the world took care of themselves with medicine from the earth.  There was always someone in the community with knowledge of herbs who could help heal the… Continue reading

Isokuso – How Yoruba Language Influences Candomblé

by Iya Melissa Isokuso means slang in Yoruba. While it’s undeniable that African languages did not survive as living languages in Brazil, there are several words – used by folks who are not even… Continue reading

Women Combat Religious Intolerance

by Iya Melissa In 2014, Marcos Rezende premiered his documentary, “Mulheres de Axé,” (Women of Axé) during New York City’s Brazil Week.  I had the pleasure of attending the presentation of his work… Continue reading

Combating Religious Intolerance on Social Media – an interview

The campaign – Testemunhos de Axe – was looking for people willing to share their stories about leaving the church and joining a terreiro.  I reached out to one of the organizers, Renata Cassini, to find out more about the movement.

Criminals Force an Iyalorixa to Destroy Her Own Terreiro in Nova Iguassu, Rio de Janeiro

Witnesses told CBN that the drug dealers arrived and urinated on sacred images. The entire act was recorded and shared on social media. The Commission to Combat Religious Intolerance found another video showing the same situation. This case also took place in the Baixada Fluminense borough, in Rio de Janeiro.  

A Refuge in Thunder: Dr. Harding Lectures About Candomblé

A Refuge in Thunder, by Dr. Rachel E. Harding, takes a close look at the trajectory of Candomblé in its Brazilian home as a religion of resilience and affirmation of a Black identity in Brazil.

Workshop on Yoruba Language in Rio de Janeiro

Agudas: From Yorubaland to Brazil & Back

During slavery, Yoruba people were among the later ethnic groups to be captured. Yoruba-Brazilians, then, had clearer memories of their roots which allowed them to return home.

Orisha Workshop: Chicago

Afro-Brazilian Dance Class in NYC | January 2017

Cleonice Fonseca is back at Cumbé.  Check out her class on January 15, 2017 at 6 pm.

Yemanjá: Ecological Wisdom From the Heart of Brazil

In August I came across the trailer for an upcoming documentary, Yemanjá: the film.  To my surprise, the documentary has also already been released (and has English subtitles!).  In addition to addressing Candomblé… Continue reading