Candomblé & Orishas

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From the religions of Santeria (Cuba) and Candomble (Brazil) the Orixá/Orishas are deities. Each has a character, a dance, a colour and a song.

Afro-Brazilian dance is composed of a group of different dances which were created in Brazil in many regions at different times. These include:

The dances of the Orixás from the religion Candomble: Candomblé (meaning dance in honor of the gods ) is a religion found primarily in Brazil with a number of elements derived from African cultures. It not only incorporates some religious aspects of Yoruba, Bantu, and Fon African societies, but it gradually integrated some characteristics of Catholicism as well.  Each deity has their own steps, own colors, own songs and rhythm. Oxum, for example, the goddess of fertility and sweet waters, dresses in yellow as she performs her steps. The gestures, footwork, torso isolations and rhythmic patterns of the orixá dances allude to specific legends, struggles and beliefs.

Capoeira: A game, a fight, and a dance, composed of kicks, acrobatics, and traditional Kongo dance movements. One doesn’t speak of  dancing or fight­ing but rather of playing capoeira (jogar capoeira). One popular conception of cap­oeira is that it was developed as a means of self-defense for slaves hoping to escape to independent black communi­ties in the backlands of the agricultural states.


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