Candomblé is an African religion that has been developed in South America, particularly in Brazil. The enslaved Africans that arrived in the New World brought with them their beliefs. The religion is based on oral tradition. It includes various rituals such as personal worship, animal sacrifice, dance, and ceremonies. Candomblé includes some elements of indigenous South American beliefs along with Catholicism. Although Candomblé used to be a hidden religion, it has finally become public and has at least 2 million adherents across the continent in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Argentina.
Followers of Candomblé believe in a single powerful god known as Olodumare. The ultimate god is served by various deities that visit Earth. The deities communicate with people through the messenger god known as Exu. As there were similarities between Candomblé and Catholicism, each deity was hidden as a saint. For example, the god of smallpox called Omulu is quite similar to Saint Lazarus. Thus, the adherents were able to continue worshipping their deities without any trouble.
Candomblé devotees believe that the deities control their destiny. They pray to them to act as their protector. The deities influence daily actions, food habits, clothing, and more. The same goes for the week, animals, and food. Similar to the zodiac signs, the deities have certain characteristics. For instance, those that believe in the God of Thunder tend to be stubborn, aggressive, and proud. There is a spiritual force that sustains the devotees referred to as axe. It is improved through ceremonies and rites. The followers aim to get possessed by the deities. Cowry shells are used by the priest to determine the path you are on.
Salvador, Bahia is home to the first Candomblé temple. It was founded in the 19th century. It is where half-Brazilian and half-Nigerians can be found worshiping to their deities. The temple provides the perfect space for the followers to seek their ultimate god. It consists of an indoor and outdoor space. The temple is considered a place of sanctuary for all. The leader of the group tends to be a black woman. She communicates with spirits. Visitors can see some parts of the temple. In order to enter, they must splash water at the entrance and their body to release negativity. To ensure that you follow the guidelines, you have to respect the rituals and elders.
The Candomblé religion has three threads. Each is associated with a different nation. During the 19th century, worship was repressed. Then, followers started worshipping openly in the 1970s. As Candomblé means dancing to honor the gods, adherents have to dance and call out to the spirits. The main goal is to get possessed by a spirit while in a trance. Dancers follow different rhythms.
Once you have gone over this post, you will know everything about Candomblé beliefs and practices. There is a lot that the world can learn from the religion. It is full of symbolism and divine teachings.