Brasil / Brazil post 1 of 4

Brasil is featured a lot these past weeks I thought I’d share a few posts of my experiences in and near to Rio de Janerio in Feb 1990. Upon meeting a French journalist he invited me to go to visit a ‘Voodoo’ ceremony outside Rio. Which meant catching a local bus at midnight to be dropped off by a hillside of a small village within the environs of Coelho Da Rocha. Visions of witchcraft and slaughtering of animals over burning fires were dispelled as my accomplice told me of Candomblé Ketu. An African – originated or Afro-Brazilian religion. The religion is based on the “Anima” (soul) of nature. It was developed in Brazil with the knowledge of African priests that were enslaved and brought to Brazil, together with their mythology, their culture and language, between 1549 and 1888. I was given permission to photograph but as I had no particular reason, I wanted to respect thisAs Bra occasion and refrain from being intrusive particularly at ‘the opportune moment’ which to me, as a completely new experience was when various people would go into trances to the point of virtually keeling over. It appeared disturbing enough to assume an ambulance was required. The priest-spirits perform symbolic dances while the mother or father of the saints leads songs that celebrate the ‘spirit’s deeds’. Of course I couldn’t not take a few ‘snaps’ . Nobody spoke English and with the heat and persistent drumming it was a bit of an endurance during those 5 hours! Dehydrated I was beginning to feel the effects of a trance. Do check in for Brazil post 2!
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