Orixá Dance Class in NYC – August 2016

One of the most frequent inquiries that I receive is whether or not I know of any Candomblé dance classes.  There don’t seem to be any regular classes in NYC, but here’s one… Continue reading

Candomblé, Ifá and the Diaspora

Here’s a short documentary where Chief Elebuibon draws comparisons between Candomblé and the way the religion is practiced in Nigeria. The interview begins with a discussion about sacred music and some differences between… Continue reading

Candomblé Doesn’t Begin with the Xirê

A xirê can be one of the most exciting, beautiful and breathtaking experiences you ever have in Candomblé.  Many people come to religion (in general) through public events – revivals, music & concerts,… Continue reading

Orixá Community Census & Survey

The Orisa Community Development Corporation, while not focused solely on Candomblé, aims to address the concerns of the religious community in the USA.  If you’re interested in giving them feedback from a Candomblé… Continue reading

Sacred Journeys: Oshun-Oshogbo

The Oshun festival takes place every year in Oshogbo, Nigeria during mid-August.  Millions of people travel from around the world to participate in the festival, to bathe in the sacred Oshun river, to… Continue reading

The Importance of Family & the Terreiro in Candomblé

I was reading Jacqueline Woodson’s Op-Ed in the NYT last month.  Her opinion piece had nothing to do with religion, much less Candomblé, but the message of resistance in her words reminded me… Continue reading

Feast of the Iyabas

The end of the year marks a special time for celebration in most terreiros.  The female Orixás, Iyabas, are honored with a public feast.  Here are some videos showing the rum (hoom –… Continue reading

Iyawo – a poem

Iyawo by Nany Kipenzi Vieira   A few words heard from afar, someone touched my feet.  A summoning or sweetness? Time to wake up! The sun has yet to rise, but Iyawo it’s your… Continue reading

Why Initiate?

by Iya Melissa  “What happens most today is that people initiate into Candomblé, and then begin to question our dogmas – the hierarchy, manners, and comportment.  No Orixá temple is going to adapt… Continue reading

Getting Involved in Candomblé V: What do I receive first?

by Iya Melissa Recently, I received an email from someone that went a little something like this: I’ve been studying the religion for a while and I’m ready to get started.  How much… Continue reading

Bori Bonanza: The New Kid on the Block

When I first began learning about Orisa religion the most important lesson I learned was the concept of iwa pele: gentle character.  It’s a concept not unlike the golden rule; behave in a way that brings… Continue reading

Orixás: Interview with Pierre Verger

It seems that there are always new treasures on YouTube.  I stumbled upon these jewels – a 1986 documentary on Pierre Verger including interviews with him and Iyalorixás in Bahia.  Most of the… Continue reading

Review: Mulheres de Axé

Marcos Rezende has put together both a book and documentary showcasing the importance of women within Candomblé.  In September, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation of his work in NYC during… Continue reading