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Candomblé is a composite of Portuguese Catholicism and African paganism, which can be traced back to the West African slave trade. While Candomblé is most fervently practiced in Salvador, it defines the raw, uninhibited sensuality of Brazilians that you can find all over the country.
Around 40% of all African slaves transported to the New World came to Brazil – officially 4.5 million, and that’s a conservative estimate. Millions came to Bahia, the center of Brazil’s sugar and slave trades, and today more than 80% of the population has African ancestry.
African slaves believed in a pantheon of protector gods (known as Orixás) who not only personify natural forces such as fire, wind and water, but also find handy allegiance with all things animate and inanimate: animals, colors, a day of the week or a certain food group. World Nomads online article
In Brazil the ancient religion of Candomble focuses on the land, animal sacrifice and conjuring higher spirits. Unexplained Mysteries
Candomble is similar to the African religion of vodun or voodoo. ibid.
The occult practice of spirit possession is an essential part of Candomble. ibid.
Candomble is a religion found primarily in Brazil that is strongly influenced by religions from Africa, which came to Brazil by means of the slave trade from the 16th to 19th century.
Candomble is found in small numbers in Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Adherents of Candomble practice surrender to ‘Oriashas’ – which are spirits – to the point of possession. Followers also conduct various sacrifices to spirits and call on spirits to heal them as well.
The Candomble religion teaches that some Oriasha spirits are deceased Catholic saints. Sociologists believe this is a result of religious syncretism, which combines religions brought from Africa with the teachings of Catholic missionaries in Brazil.
The Candomble mass involves celebration, animal sacrifice, and spirit possession. Religion Facts online article