by Daniela Sztajnbok
Candomblé is a religion that originated in Brazil and has roots in West African traditions. It is one of the Afro-Brazilian religions that developed among the enslaved Africans brought to Brazil during the colonial era. A syncretic religion that combines elements of African spiritual beliefs and practices with elements of Catholicism. It centers around the worship of orishas, which are deities or spirits associated with different aspects of nature and human life. Ceremonies involve music, dance, and ritual offerings to the orishas. These ceremonies are led by a priest or priestess, who is known as a babalorixá or iyalorixá, respectively. Candomblé has had a significant impact on Brazilian culture and has influenced many aspects of Brazilian art, music, and literature. However, it has also faced discrimination and persecution throughout its history, particularly during periods of political and religious intolerance in Brazil. Despite this, Candomblé remains an important part of Brazil’s cultural heritage and continues to be practiced by many people in Brazil and around the world.