What Is Candomble? Beliefs and History – Learn Religions

Best Candomble Religions In Brazil – Candomble is a summary of Brazilian religious combining a system of catholic representations to those of African fetishes. It is a hierarchical religion with its own cosmology, its own pantheon of divinity (the orixas), and it is fundamental, a correspondence system between orixas and catholic saints. Also, there is such penetration of Catholic representations. We can define this religion as an African fetish Christianized.

However, as we shall see it, interactions with catholicism are not unambiguous. Indeed, if the African fetishes have mutated in contact with catholicism, colonial catholicism found itself Africanized.

An African origin

Candomble Religions In Brazil

Candomble (1) To understand the origin of this Afro.

Candomble Religions – In Brazilian religion, first, we must understand the intertwining of deported Africans in their interactions with each other and especially with the veneer of Christian indoctrination that Portuguese settlers have imposed on them through social structures of slavery.

This introductory understanding can enlighten us on why the followers of Candomble consider themselves primarily as Catholics (hence their under-representation in the census) and what are the origins of the prejudices that hang over the religious practices of Candomble.


Remember that millions of Africans were deported to Brazil by European vessels, in favor of the slave trade, came from very specific coastal areas. There are whole nations, chained, who set sail. Huge African territories were reduced to the status of human deserts and it is particularly flagrant in Angola, which was pretty much a Brazilian colony.


These African nations who brought with them their knowledge, religious beliefs (animists, fetishes, Muslims, and even Christians…), and their rivalries have continued for centuries in Brazil. In 1835, in Bahia, for example, it is Muslim slaves who are the cause of the violent uprising.

Best Candomble Religions In Brazil

Candomble Religions In Brazil – Today, in Bahia, Brazilians speak their ancestors’ language, Yoruba (Nigeria’s current language). This proves that in the centuries-long slavery, contact with Africa was never really broken. Statuettes and other objects of worship have continued to flow from Africa to Brazil without truly knowing how…

A catholic origin


if the nascent heart of Candomble beats on an African tempo, he was undoubtedly educated in the shadow of colonial catholicism. Thus, since the setting up of the slave trade, the Portuguese crown ordered the catechism of slaves once sold and integrated into a Portuguese family.

Candomble Religions In Brazil – The conversion of Africans to catholicism is also sometimes performed before entering the boat. Typically the African let himself willingly indoctrinate either for a gift or because he was exasperated to be the object taunts of creoles who made fun of his “barbarism.”


Candomble Religions In Brazil – these conditions, the piousness of the new converted did not go beyond the sign of the cross and of some prayers badly said. But in the shadow of the cross, fetishism persisted.

Because Africans have always been regarded as disguised pagans, a real religion of color will be formed in Brazil’s colonial, in the shadow of “official” catholicism.

In fact, Black was always relegated outside the master’s chapel and therefore it was from the porch that he attended mass.

When he was allowed to enter the chapel, there were only two services: one for Whites, the other one for Blacks.

Candomble Religions In  Brazil’s colonial, there was not only one, but two catholicisms, on behalf of prejudices that still stigmatize the followers of this Afro-Brazilian religion or the inhabitants of quilombo : brazil


The negro is not born, he comes into existence

He does not die, he does not exist anymore

White gives up his soul to God

and the negro, gives his to the Devil

Negro does not worship God,

What he worships is Colunga ( fetish doll.)

Every negro is a fetishist

Black does not go to Church, he spies from


candomble7The slave.

in reaction to this hate, will continue the ancestral forms of his cult. But nearby, the frustration and the feeling of exclusion of Africans will lead to a syncretic phenomenon as curious as unexpected. Its main event will be associated with each orixa (African divinities) a catholic saint (for example, Saint-Georges is associated with Ogum, orixa of war): This is the real archaism of this Afro-Brazilian religion.


Therefore each mystical ceremony, traditionally African, will be preceded by a mass.

Syncretic phenomena will appear early. They are already present at the time of fights in Zumbi and in quilombo of Palmares, a fight that was failed by Portuguese and Dutch armies throughout the seventeenth century.
Candomble Religions In Brazil But we can not speak of Candomble yet.


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