"Can you take a picture of the wind?": Candombles absent presence framed through regional foodways and Brazilian popular music.
Prior to beginning the PhD program in Food Studies at New York University I had spent the last 30 years as a cook, executive chef, and culinary consultant. My research work began with a Harlem jazz club/restaurant restoration project, Minton's, that never fully came to fruition. Minton's Playhouse had been the birthplace of Bebop. Researching the roots of Harlem Renaissance cuisine and dining caused me to investigate the confluence of African, European, and Indigenous foodways that spawned American Southern cookery. My research flourished where the project sputtered. An Instituto Sacatar grant to travel to Bahia in 2008 helped to frame a missing link in my research of West African Diaspora cookery: the role and influence of the sacred in quotidian culinary practice.
Outside of my fieldwork, it was easy to fall in love with Brazil. When I got back to New York, books and music were the souvenirs that staved off my saudade (longing) to return to Brazil. To better tune my ear for Portuguese, I listened to much of the Brazilian popular music songbook I had collected on CDs. Upon my return to Brazil I discovered something that used to occur back home: intergenerational knowledge of popular songs and rhythms. In my youth the music written or performed by Harold Arlen, Fats Waller, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Woodie Guthrie, Paul Robeson, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and many others could be shared the way the work of Dorival Caymmi, Vinicius de Moraes, Tom Jobim, Elis Regina, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Pixinguinha, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethania, Cartola, and Carmen Miranda are shared in Brazil. I found the rhyme schemes of the lyrics to be quite poetic, thematically complex, riddled with double entendre and oblique messaging. This was epitomized by Buarque's song "Calice." (1) This can be partially attributed to the repression of the Ditadura (military dictatorship) from 1964 to 1985, and the populism following the regime's fall. I observed how themes of food, cooking, and consumption were often inserted into the music.
While it is easy to use food as metaphor, much of what I heard was less predictable or as randy as Bessie Smith's "I Need a Lil' Sugar in My Bowl." I am referring to songs such as "A Preta do Acaraje" (The Black-Eyed Pea Fritter Vendor), "Cotidiano" (Everyday), or "O Que E Que A Baiana Tem?" (What Is It That a Bahian Woman Has?). My studies in anthropology, cultural studies, and documentary film/media brought a critical eye to my hobby for language improvement. I noticed that in several major hits, cooking and consumption themes functioned as an identity politics of race, Baianidade, and West African heritage, and also contained allusions to the practice of Candomble, an Afro-Brazilian religion.
I was aware that the presence of Afro-Brazilian cultural identity in popular media arose with the formation of a black press, the first Afro-Brazilian organized political movement, Frente Negra Brasileira (Brazilian Black Front), challenging government efforts to suppress black self-determination. Getulio Vargas' Estado Novo (New State) dictatorship advanced a centralizing nationalist agenda that included outlawing social organizations and political groups, such as Frente Negra. (2) Estado Novo's industrialization and urbanization projects developed the large southwestern cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo while the former national economic engine in the northeast, founded on plantation agriculture, became impoverished. I was intrigued by the dichotomy between identity, politics, and mediatization that presented Afro-Brazilian identity via themes of food/consumption and religion in media circuits and the evolution of cultural identity branding to stimulate the northeastern economy (Marchant and Conceicao 2002; Jones-de-Oliveira 2003; Seigel 2009, 47-51; Weinstein 2003, 10 and 237-239; Outtes 2003).
Candomble, a diffused monotheistic religion centred upon cults honouring a diverse community of divinities, is dominated by ideologies of the Yoruba ethnic group, the last and largest group of enslaved Africans imported to Brazil. Its ceremonies are highly performative practices consisting of both experiential and discursive elements. The components of the ceremony--food offerings, prayers and praise songs, dance, elaborate dress and costume, and embodiment of specific deities in trance--foster a dynamic dialogism between the supplicants, congregants, adepts, and orixa. These instruments are the tools of mediation, constituting Candomble as a spiritually oriented media practice.
Media circuits are flooded with explicit images that are presented out of context, such as supplicants in trance embodying their deities or in elaborate costumes representing specific deities. Concurrently images that implicitly refer to Candomble practice through subtle metaphors in online videos and Brazilian popular music depicting Afro-Brazilian culture can also be freighted with misunderstandings based upon the implications of lyric or visual content and the absence of context. Yet do all of these images further the idea of Candomble as a tool of macumba and fetichismo (witchcraft and fetishism)? Or do they open a larger dialogue that valorizes Candomble, in part via presentation and reception in the public sphere and diminution of some the hidden secrets associated with the practice (Lovheim and Lynch 2011; Ginsburg 2006)?
The argument that I would like to develop here is that the evolution of a mediated image created in a Candomble terreiro, in a kitchen, or through allusion in a song to food, consumption, or spiritual practice transforms the original mediated image to a second generation through the process of remediation. (3) The first-generation mediated images were created from practices strongly rooted in the "pre-discursive" experiential body, in this case via food and cooking, embodiment of Candomble deities, song, dance, and so on. I am interested in the transformations that occur when these media migrate to media practices that are more discursive (texts, images)--thus producing "Candomble's absent presence in media circuits" (Connerton 1989, 48-50; Fraser 1990; McCallum 2011; Stam 1989, 41; Mazzarella 2004).
This article will examine the use and role of early-to-late 20th-century media practices in popular music as a productive or disruptive tool for the dissemination of Afro-Brazilian identity and Candomble practice predominantly via the lens of consumption and foodways. Mikhail Bakhtin's idea of dialogism and his interpretation of the carnivalesque as a platform for discourse across classes and social groups will be used as a primary means of inquiry. (4) Media theory, textual analysis, and observations drawn from field research conducted in the last four years will provide supplemental information. My ethnographic qualitative fieldwork has consisted of participatory observation, including enrollment in regional culinary classes, attending sacred and profane ceremonies and festivals where food is a central focus, and personal reception/consumption of rituals and foods associated with Candomble. (5) I have also interviewed a diverse cadre of local respondents including Candomble adepts and congregants, artists, intellectuals, local cooks, culinary professionals, street food vendors, and academic scholars.
This article has been divided into six sections to best address the themes and discourses raised by an inquiry of media circuits, Afro-Brazilian identity politics, Candomble religious practices, and enskilment as an exponent of indigenous knowledge. To establish a theoretical framework, I will begin with definitions of media, the carnivalesque, and enskilment, and introduce Bakhtin's theories of the carnivalesque and dialogism. The subsequent sections address the concept of Baianidade, situating the practice of Candomble, food and Baianidade, food and as a language or subtext in media discourses, and analysis of particularly appropriate song texts from the Brazilian popular music songbook, and are followed by a conclusion.
Media, the Carnivalesque and Enskilment
Media as a form of mass communication is a consumable presence in all of our lives. The consumption of mediated messages often occurs subtly or subconsciously. The application and performance of media as a practice circulates information, presenting an image of a mediated idea, group, or activity. Media practices are the methodologies for using media as an instrument of communication and the management of technology to disseminate mass communication. A medium, the singular of media, can be defined as an intermediate state/agent through which interventions can be made (Mazzarella 2004). Mazzarella also defines media as an ambiguous concept, concurrently existing as a material framework and a reflexive and reifying technology. The material product, radio broadcast/video transmission, could create an inter-media relationship that is reflexive, reifying, or derogative to the respective communities implicitly and explicitly identified in the broadcasts/transmissions (Coudry 2004).
The primary media under observation are early 20th-century popular musical recordings broadcast on radio, consumed as recordings, or viewed as live concerts and early promotional films. I argue that media, its circulation, and its remediation as an inter-medium have created awareness, mis/perceptions, myths, and commerce of Bahia, Baianas, and Candomble. The ability for musical recordings and videos to communicate across media platforms, creating an inter-medium engaging Candomble practice and foodways, affects the production and reception of each medium. In many cases caricatures and stereotypes have been developed from those early media circuits. Both Candomble practice and Afro-Brazilian identity have to confront reification of the imaginary existent in media circuits. Issues of personal, gendered, and collective power and racial and sexual stereotypes are rampant. Food and consumption themes provide simple equations for reductive constructions of black, female, and spiritual identity. Concurrently, the remediation has exposed local, national, and international audiences to this region and its culture. Since the dictatorship had suppressed black identity projects during Estado Novo, there are significant merits to the effects of remediation. Remediation has brought the absent presence of blacks, women, and Candomble culture to the public sphere. The responsibility of the producer and the viewer to interpret and reframe these negative characterizations, contextualizing the artisanship associated with cookery and Afro-Brazilian religions as products of indigenous knowledge and enskilment, is therefore a central theme of this text (Connerton 1989; Telles 2004; Van de Port 2007; McCann 2004, 9-22; Reily 2000).
Mikhail Bakhtin's theories of dialogism and the carnivalesque as a platform for discourse across classes and social groups will be used as a primary means of inquiry. The carnivalesque, particularly the lower bodily stratum, which refers to union of the genitalia, the digestive, and the excretory systems as the intersection of life-giving, consumption, and elimination processes, provides an intersection for Mikhail Bakhtin's work to speak to gender, power, food, and foodways, and illustrates an alternative means of knowledge production. Carnival, with its parodic testaments that mock prevailing orthodoxy, amplifies the dialogism between the mass or subaltern populace and the elite to provoke change and interrogate the existing norms (Bakhtin 1968, 85-86; Bakhtin 1981, 324-325 and 342).
The employment of the carnivalesque (particularly the lower bodily stratum) to construct a location where the masses can speak directly to the upper classes is often undertaken for strategic reasons. The site of carnival as a geography of reckless abandon and surreal reinvention of life conveniently produces an environment where the double meanings expressed from the mass can be understood and embodied as a new way of being, laughed at, laughed with, and/ or ignored. These improprieties of public dialogue melded with the transformative bodily practice of ingestion through elimination reveal a unique knowledge production in the public sphere. The act of consumption, with food as an actor on and in the body, alters the body physically, psychically, and metaphorically. Looking beyond the vulgarity associated with the lower bodily stratum to identify and interrogate social and cultural practices is a productive means of harnessing the carnivalesque in the illumination of indigenous knowledge. The carnivalesque allows for the dissemination of discrete discourses that often are left unspoken or suppressed, whether due to issues of propriety or hierarchal social relationships (Bakhtin 1968, 18-23, 71, and 192-194; Bakhtin 1981, 11, 67, and 121). Dialogism argues that all meaning is relative, in the sense that it comes about only as a result of the relation between two or more bodies occupying simultaneous but different space, where "bodies" can be thought of as ranging from our physical bodies, to political bodies, to the bodies of ideas, to ideologies. Looking for and listening to the discourses and resultant dialogism evidenced through the engagement with the carnivalesque allows for the voice of what Nancy Fraser has termed the "subaltern public" to be heard (Fraser 1990; Holquist 2002, 19).
Finally, to engage with the idea of enskilment we need to consider its root: skill. Harry Collins' definition (1997) locates skill as the site at which technology, history, social relations, and political economy converge. This concept further problematizes the idea and perception of globalization as a predetermined discourse, implying the demise of traditional skills and handmade products in deference to the power and efficiency of modern technology. The notion of enskilment, a term coined by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (1991), encompasses the harnessing of specific information, bodily practices, and dexterity associated with labour and physical production. Enskilment is seen as the critical moment of socialization of new actors through apprenticeship, in specific "communities of practice," and as a fundamental mechanism of situated learning. The expansion of the concept of enskilment evidenced through Gisili Palsson's (1994) work with Icelandic fishermen and Heather Paxson's (2010) work on cheesemaking and terroir will help to better contextualize enskilment within the confines of food production and commensality. These texts analyze the dialectics raised through the modalities of learning and performance, defined as cognitive and operational learning or the socializing and relational dynamics of the trainee en route to becoming enskilled (Grasseni 2007, 10 and 17; Palsson 1994; Paxson 2010).
Afro-Brazilian culinary practice is largely associated with the cuisine of Bahia. The state of Bahia is marked by two particular definitions of cultural identity. First, Baianidade is an inclusive term defining the Bahian-ness of something or someone. Bahia is secondarily defined by the aforementioned spiritual traditions of Candomble and other West African inspired religious practices, including Caboclo, Egunguns, Espiritismo, and Umbanda. The integration of Baianidade and Afro-Brazilian religions into food practices are primary elements in defining the syntax of this regional food as language, a means of discourse that defines community in much the same way as Benedict Anderson's metaphor that newspapers and print media create a location of shared identity (Anderson 1983, 4-5 and 18-19; Fry 1977).
Baianidade ultimately is an enigmatic expression established to frame Bahian regional identity as a collective consciousness. The characters drawn in the writings of Jorge Amado and the musical compositions of Dorival Caymmi typify the persona of Baianidade. The opening scene of Amado's novel, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, introduces Vadinho, a lazy, libidinous, self-absorbed bon vivant:
Vadinho, Dona Flor's first husband, died on Sunday of Carnival, in the morning, when, dressed up like a Bahian woman, he was dancing the samba, with the greatest enthusiasm ... the whiskey flowed like water at the expense of one Moyses, a cacao planter, rich and open-handed ... He whirled in the middle of the group ... then suddenly gave a kind of hoarse moan, wobbled, listed to one side, and fell to the ground, a yellow slobber drooling from his mouth on which the grimace of death should not wholly extinguish the fatuous smile of the complete faker he had always been. (Amado 1969, 5-6)
Defining Baianidade has been achieved in distinct ways that include collapsing racial, ethnic, and economic distinctions with satire, humor, roguish carnal behaviour, folktales, and mediated tourist marketing pitches. Baianidade is derived from literature and the arts and creates a fictional portrait of identity that is romantic, nostalgic, and elastic. The term Baianidade is commonly used to define the unique Bahian way of feeling contextualized with protocols for public and private behaviours that reflect local means of self-expression. There is an implicit correlation to Carnival's tradition of reflecting the tension of the periphery, identified as the general public, in their relation to the core or elite classes. This relationship manifests as a stress between behaviours of transgression and obedience. Carnival provides a platform where alleged truth rises up from the masses as a resistive behaviour or rebuttal of authority. Carnival was, and often still is, considered as a transitional state between the everyday and the fantastic or imaginary (Bakhtin 1968).
Commercialized Baianidade has been used as a media tool for the spread of ethnic tourism promoting Bahia as a space of marketing an imaginary of black and African identity. Initiatives to industrialize Brazil begun during Getulio Vargas's Estado Novo regime (1937-45) included promoting cultural tourism in the recently impoverished post-colonial agrarian northeast. Industrialization and urban development had strengthened southern Brazilian economics. The loss of mono-crop agriculture dominance forced the northeast to seek alternatives for the purpose of solvency. The imaginary of Bahia as "Black Rome," the centre of Afro-Brazilian culture, Carnival, pristine beaches, regional cuisine, and exotic black and creole women fostered a hedonistic travel experience that was interrogated and promoted by local and national elites. (6) Early 20th-century Bahian elites had ambivalence toward how they wished to portray themselves and their regional identity. An initial push to reference modernity over history, excising cultural references of slaves, Afro-Brazilians, and the indigenous by the Bahian state Office of Culture, ultimately produced a disjunctive hybrid portrait. The first issue of the 1939 cultural journal, Bahia tradicional e moderna (Bahia Traditional and Modern), featured a disproportionately large Baiana with a prominently ample bosom carrying a basket of food on her head. She is standing in front of a modern port with the newly renovated, renowned multi-story Lacerda elevator in the background. The plump, fecund, labourer Baiana is objectified and marketed as a visual brand (Romo 2010, 88-92; Martinez-Echazabal 1998).
Concurrently cultural radio programs emanating from Rio de Janeiro used the nascent samba music to promote Brazilian cultural identity. The larger, financially secure stations introduced live European orchestral music to their listeners, which came off as elitist and propagandistic. The economics of hosting small combos playing folkloric and ethnic music was accessible, popular, and economically cheaper to produce. This movement catapulted the local and national careers of Dorival Caymmi, Luis Gonzaga, Ary Barroso, and many other musicians and composers promoting regional music. Cultural and heritage tourism as an economic engine and mythic imaginary continued in the 1960s during the administration of Bahia governor Luis Viana Filho, with the creation of the Instituto do Patrimonio Artistico e Cultural (IPAC; Institute of Cultural and Artistic Patrimony) and Bahiatursa (the Bahia department of tourism), following the UNESCO world heritage designation of Salvador in 1968. "Finally today we have a department that has the purpose of coordinating and implementing the policy of promotion and development of tourism in the State of Bahia according to government guidelines" (Bahiatursa 1998, 19).
The government was used as the marketing arm of the Bahia brand. The continued efforts of three-time Bahian governor Antonio Carlos Magalhaes to promote public works, urban renewal, and tourism have all contributed to the mythologization of Baianidade. In 1995 Magalhaes created the office of Secretaria de Cultura e Turismo de Estado (State Secretary of Tourism and Culture) and enacted a program, Bahia Reconstrucao e Integracao Dinamica (Reconstruction and Dynamic Integration of Bahia), with the following proclamation: "I am sure that, despite the mistakes of recent years, Bahia will continue to be increasingly more prosperous and contribute its dynamic industry, agricultural modernizations, its tourist potential, and the strength of the culture of its people to enable the nation to resume its path to progress" (Olivera 2006).
Corruption scandals revealed later in the Magalhaes regime revealed how he used the office of tourism to appropriate funds and further his family's media empire. Yet the collusive collaboration of the Bahiatursa department, that implements branded marketing of cultural identity tourism, and the media conglomerate Rede Bahia is precisely what fosters and maintains a mythic imaginary of Bahia and Baianidade (Nova and Miguez 2008; McCann 2004, 9-20 and 96-120; Pinho 2010, 81-83 and 114, Ribeiro 2010; Zanirato 2004; Dias 2009; Pitombo 2007; Fernandes 2008). (7)
Contextualizing Candomble, Food and Baianidade
Anthropologist Paul C. Johnson defines Candomble as a world "where everything and everyone eats, not only people but also drums, natural phenomena like trees, rivers, stones and significant places like terreiros (temples), in addition to the orixa (deities)" (2002, 14). Within Candomble cosmology, the orixa are manifest as the spiritual and energetic embodiment of rivers, trees, winds, earth, plants, and oceans. Candomble is indelibly tied to food production, since deities are first entreated to engage with a terreiro community through the virtual consumption of a sacred banquet, A Comida de Santo (the food for the divinities). In this cosmology, the sacred culinary practice dictates that a multi-course meal, A Banquete Sagrado da Comida de Santo (a banquet for the deities), must be prepared for, presented to, and virtually consumed by the primary deities of the Yoruba pantheon before any ritual begins. Preparing the favourite foods of these divinities entreats them to be present in the physical temple space. Their presence is demonstrated by the ability of certain supplicants to "be mounted" and spiritually embodied by these deities. As maes e os pais de santo (the holy mothers and fathers/the priestesses and priests) and the temple are all imbued with axe (power), reflected by this demonstration of faith initiated by consumption. Later in the ceremony, the food is served to all in attendance. Ingestion of this meal brings the sacred into the bodies of the congregants, paralleling the Christian reception of the sacrament. Prayer and ritual practices are the primary mediations between mundane, quotidian life processes and spiritual ascendance, via dialogism with the sacred. The following interview excerpt indicates how one woman's work has become enskilled through Candomble practice. We also see that feeding the deities occurs as a regular, internal, non-public religious ritual, satiating and sustaining the orixa:
Maiana, a middle-aged respondent who is assentado (partially initiated) in a local Salvadoran terreiro, told me of her duties to clean the assentamentos (shrine rooms) for certain orixa:
First I have to clean the room and then I bring the prepared food offerings to feed each deity. I had to be taught how to do it, where to place the offerings on the peje (altar) and respect the ota (sacred stones). Everything has to follow a certain order. Such as wrapping the three-atabaque (sacred conga) drums with a piece of cotton fabric, the colour[s] of which relate to each of their respective divinities after they have been fed. (Interview with Maiana, age unknown [over 50], Salvador, 2010)
The spiritual consumption associated with Candomble stems from the production of axe and is one of the primary precepts of the practice. Axe is seen as a change agent, the transcendent spiritual force with material effects that are analogous to an electrical charge. Adherents to Candomble commune with these various deities and consume axe from them as a product of their worship. (8) Within the various cults the primary role of animal sacrifice and the consumption of specific prepared foods and sacred herbs, aside from their nutritive function, is to provide axe and place the initiate in dialogue with the deities. Virtual or actual consumption thus becomes endemic to Candomble and related Afro-Brazilian spiritual practices (Dantas 2009, 22-23; Thompson 1978, 5; Bakhtin 1981, 270-271; Johnson 2002, 36; BBC 2012; de Sousa Jr. 2009).
Carlos, a resident of Sao Paulo and a recent initiate, his friend Marinaldo, and I were the only outside guests at an Egungun ceremony at Terreiro Bela Vista on Itaparica Island. (9) At an impromptu breakfast following the all-night ceremony, Carlos shared a personal experience of receiving his deities that suggests the potential for axe to also have a deleterious effect:
Ever since I became initiated, whenever I eat pineapple my lips and mouth sting. It's a quizila (dietary prohibition specific to each orixa) for Omulu; he has my head. I was instructed to remove it from my diet, but I love it. Unfortunately, I have learned from the discomfort that it is off limits to me. (Interview with Carlos, approximately 40 years old, 2011, Itaparica) (10)
Marinha, iao ("wife of the orixa," or a Candomble initiate of less than seven years) in different terreiro in Itaparica, said she learned about other things besides Candomble in the terreiro: "We never had guests at our house. Family? Yes, grandma and grandpa, uncles and aunts. But these people, our family, are not the same. I learned how to calculate how much rice or beans to cook in the terreiro. I learned how to prepare the table and serve guests there" (interview with Marinha, age in her early 20s, 2009, Itaparica).
A dialogic relationship evolved between Marinha and her tasks in the kitchen. Repositioning the role of food and cooking as a means of disseminating cultural and sacred knowledge within a social group engenders greater significance to this quotidian practice. Foodstuffs and food production as a discursive practice can be framed in terms of power dynamics based upon access to resources, skill and knowledge, and control of labour and product resources (Fischler 1988; Stam 1997, 78 and 205; Bakhtin 1981).
On a visit to a terreiro in Salvador, Dona Alva, an octogenarian Mae Pequena (junior priestess), told me her story of learning how to cook as a young girl. Following this exchange I asked other women who were 60 or older the same question, and they all told a similar tale of making galinha a cabidela (a chicken dish made with its own blood as a sauce):
It was a game ... They had made it up. My mother and my grandmother; they brought us into the kitchen as if it was a kind of game when I was a girl. Me and my sister. [How old were you? I asked her] Me? I was eight or ten. A game with viscera, Cabidela [she pronounced it slowly].11 We had to clean and prepare the hen's guts. Yes, the guts. We saved all of the blood. We washed the intestines several times. Then we add seasonings, spices, flour, salt; everything we were told to do. We cooked and ate it. Well, if it was poorly done we still had to eat it. We did this while either our mother or grandmother was preparing the hen. If we didn't do a good job in the end only the intestines were wasted. The viscera had little to no value, it came with every chicken. The meat was what was expensive. Yes, I taught my daughter the same way that I learned. It was made into a game, but in the end a girl had to be learn how to cook before she got married. But now, my granddaughter, she doesn't know how to make this dish. No, she has no interest. And also, we do not have confidence in the chickens sold in the market today. Before we had farm/ country chickens. Today all we have are the industrial chickens, full of bacteria. (Interview with Dona Alva, admitted to being over 80 years old, Salvador, 2011)
Identifying "enskilment" as an exponent of knowledge production reflects a particular engagement with expertise in labour/craft activities. Paxson (2010) illustrates how the cultivation and production of food provide key sites of enskilment. Therefore the kitchen can be viewed as laboratory and classroom. Learning to cook is generally acquired through modelling and association, much like learning to speak or read. Mastery of the craft--technique--is a fundamental aspect for enskilling the novice cook. The finished dish or meal--the product of the cook's labour--requires an understanding of the cultural context that organizes and prioritizes the choices made in the creation of flavour combinations and tastes for the social group. Technical proficiency is required for accuracy in the transmission of culturally specific information embedded in the dish or meal. The result is a mixture of individual craft and knowledge of the lexicon of flavours that best expresses collective identity. Performances and critiques of gender, power, religion, etiquette, hygiene, economics, and the scope of the cook's knowledge are inherent to the act of cooking. Overtly, many songs, particularly "Bahiana do Taboleiro" (Bahian Woman Vendor's Table), "No Tabuleiro da Baiana" (The Display Table of the Bahian Woman), and "O Que E Que A Baiana Tem?" (Caymmi and Miranda 1939), teach cooking method and attitudes of comportment. The indigenous knowledge of the Bahiana is broadcast through the medium of song (Palsson 1994; Walls 2012; Paxson 2010; Stam 1989, 113).
"Um pe ": Who Initiates and Maintains These Discourses?
Eu tenho um pe na cozinha means "I have a foot in the kitchen," a Brazilian colloquialism that subtly identifies race, West African ancestry, and a possible self-reflexive interpretation of personal shame. Any speakers of this phrase are acknowledging their links to West African ancestry since black West Africans were presumed to be the best cooks. "Eu tenho um pe na cozinha--I have a foot in the kitchen--I have black blood inside me, we are all or partially [West] African" supports the theoretical construction of Brazil's racial democracy, validating an imagined Afro-Brazilian nation-state. A few of my older respondents have used it in reference to themselves; although visually they appear black, apparently they want to link their racial identity to Africa and acknowledge their culinary proficiency. I asked Nele, an ebomi (senior Candomble initiate) who admitted to being over 60, what she thought of some of the music she heard in her youth: "Surely, I liked him. His music was good. Dorival was singing about us and about Bahia [our culture]. His songs were so good ... as tasty as my cooking" (Interview, Cachoeira, 2011). (12)
Edson, a Pai de Santo (13) who was fortyish and self-described as cor de leite (the [skin] color of milk), spoke to me about food and eating outside of the Comida de Santo he consumed in his terreiro: "I love feijoada. I was born loving it [pauses] I come from several Ogums. Loving it, the one the blacks make, I mean. It is the only one truly worth eating. It is not a light dish, so you have to eat it sparingly" (interview, Lauro de Freitas, 2013) (see also Fry 1977). This type of racial identity politics revels in the culinary skill of black cooks as savants de la cuisine, yet delimits the agency and cultural access that West African descendants--blacks--have in Brazil (Matory 1999, 2003).
Colleagues suggested that I interview Paulo, a Candomble scholar at a local university, to develop a collegial/mentor relationship and suggest additional respondents for my research. Paulo's comment belied the realities of power and access and race, echoing the 19th-century citation that follows it:
Yes, I have knowledge of Candomble. I have researched it and attended ceremonies for years. Regarding food and A Comida de Santo, I know very little. I can tell you about the songs and dances, the costume, the religious tenets, etc. I know what constitutes Comida de Santo, but I don't cook. Here in my own house [he points to the open doorway], I cannot do anything in the kitchen. Our maid does all the cooking. (Interview with Paulo, admitted to being near 70 years old, Salvador, 2013)
And we do not know if cultural life can survive the disappearance of domestic servants. (Alain Besancon, Etre Russe au XIXe siecle, cited by Bourdieu and Nice 1984, 9)
The person who prepares the meal explicitly affects its consumers. The performance of cooking is another mediated dialogic practice. It involves a personal or anonymous relationship between producer and receiver depending upon the scale and orientation of the distribution of food. Food and cooking become another component in the inter-medium expressed in these Brazilian songs (Bourdieu and Nice 1984, 183-184; Graham 1992, 13-19 and 49).
From Edible Food to Food as Media
Transitioning the consumed meal to a virtual consumable in the mediatized world necessitates the explication of ingredients and procedures. A few cornerstones of the Bahian larder are acaraje, blackeyed-pea fritters cooked in palm oil, and its steamed counterpart, abara, which has a bready, dumpling-like texture. It is made from the same batter, then cooked and wrapped in a banana leaf. Vatapa (a viscous puree of cashews, peanuts, stale bread/flour, palm oil, and spices), pamonha (white corn mush steamed and served in a banana leaf), caruru (a gumbo-like stew of okra, smoked and dried shrimp, cashews, peanuts, and palm oil), and mungunza (a sweetened and spiced porridge of white hominy corn, coconut and/or condensed milk, and butter) all co-exist as street food and with variations as components of A Comida de Santo. Although there are actual distinctions between these culinary iterations, the liminal status these dishes share widens the implicit and explicit conversation of cultural identity and purposefulness. Therefore the use of similar foods and recipes in Candomble ritual practice and in street or home food production informs the quotidian, the sacred, and the enskilment inherent in both. Ebo (offerings) made via sacred culinary practice are catalysts for discourse with Candomble deities. They help initiate trance as a vehicle for spirit possession. Afro-Brazilian spiritual practice increases the agentive nature of food production and consumption and anchors the implicit power of enskilment, informing both the presentation and subjugation of this practice in the public sphere and the media.
As previously mentioned, in Candomble cosmology all living things and deities are seen to hold axe. The energy of life revitalizes all who come in contact with it. Axe functions as a mediator between the orixa and mankind. Ascribing value to axe as a vital force contributes to the bleeding of boundaries between sacred and profane worlds. Therefore the mimesis between secular comestibles and sacred ones such as the aforementioned acaraje and feijoes (beans), vatapa, or caruru fosters a tacit understanding that the words structure the conversational theme when they are apparently innocently inserted in a common discourse or song lyric. Therefore the beans in Chico Buarque's song "Cotidiano" speak to consumption: daily, subsistence level, or lack thereof (mouths full of beans, coffee, passion, mint; homeopathy/folk medicine or Candomble as a curing herb; and dread). (14) Finally there is an implication to the inclusion of Ogum, an orixa who opens doorways, Xango, an orixa of passion and justice--or other deities who are celebrated with an offering of beans (Moura 2004, 43-52; de Souza 2009).
African and Creole women employed as street food vendors constitute a Bahian tradition more than 300 years old, institutionalized by the ganhador system in colonial Brazil. Women and men could create income-generating businesses with inequitable division of profits between their masters and themselves. This practice introduced and sustained West African foodstuffs in the daily lives of Bahians. Traditionally these vendors were all Candomble initiates, and the foods prepared and sold were foods favoured by specific deities. Ritual practices before the start of business included prayer, lavagem (ceremonial cleansing), and the offering of specific foods to each deity. Europeans became acquainted with West African foods at these stalls, and free people of colour and male slave ganhadeiros (day labourers or pieceworkers) renewed their taste of home, waiting for itinerant day labour (Graham 2010, 99). One of my respondents (39 years old, interviewed in Itaparica, 2009) characterized the ubiquity of the acaraje vendors when he said, "O cheiro da Bahia e dende; dende quente (Salvador's perfume is boiling palm oil)."
Dorival Caymmi's "A Preta do Acaraje" names, locates, and laments for the lonely Bahian creole priestess/street vendor, and is arguably the most famous song within this genre. I will analyze it along with two songs popularized by Carmen Miranda. First I offer an excerpt from Antonio Andre de Sa Filho's "Bahiana do Tabuleiro," followed by Ari Barroso's hit, "No Tabuleiro da Baiana." Carmen Miranda (CM) and Luiz Rui Barbosa (LB) sing this song in a call-and-response style:
"Bahian Woman Vendor's Table" I am the Bahian woman [street vendor] with a wooden display table for my wares. With my hands on my hips, I'm swaying my body to see [to flirt with] Massa. Oh! I place on my board 'illusory' snacks. [I am] A delicacy made of heart-shaped kisses. And I have stopped selling coconut candies, vatapa and peanuts. Today I only sell caresses, that you [Massa] will like. For any one who would like to buy love, I will sell love that once was mine, Beautiful, beautiful like pretty flowers and as false as a Jew. (Filho 1937) (15)
"The Display Table of the Bahian Woman"
LB: On her display table the Bahian woman street vendor has ...
CM: Vatapa, hey caruru, munguza, she has umbu for Massa.
LB: If I ask, will you give me?
CM: I will give you .
LB: Your love, for your plantation mistress?
CM: The heart of a Bahian woman has:
LB: Seduction, magic/macumba, illusion, Candomble.
CM: For you.
LB: I swear by Jesus, the Master/Lord of Bonfim. (16) I want you, little Bahian woman, all of you for me.
CM: Yes, but afterwards, what will become of us? Your love is quite fleeting, misleading/deceitful.
LB: All that I have done, was done after a spell was cast [on me] ... To be happy. I coupled my rags [paltry possessions] with yours [set up housekeeping].
CM: Yes, but afterwards you will create more illusions. It is the heart who governs love [not illusions].
(Barroso, Barbosa, and Miranda 1935-1941; see also Sansi Roca 2005)
Traditionally the Bahian vendors were Candomble priestesses in training. Beyond the literal translation that sensualizes and Africanizes this street vendor, reference is made to her clairvoyant capabilities. One skill of a Candomble priestess is her ability to divine the future. She communicates with her deities by throwing 16 cowries. Divination and communication with deities or the deceased inherent to Candomble practice is often construed as conjure magic, idolatry, and communion with the devil (Moura 2004).
Miranda's character, a black, implied-creole Baiana street vendor, turns her food cart into a mobile outlet for sexual procurement. Her body undulates and sways to entreat her customers to consume her wares and her body. Encouraging flirtation, she offers bolinhos da ilusao (illusory cookies) that concurrently imply her engagement with macumba, the legendary magic of Brazil's Afro religious cults. She lists her wares: cocada (coconut candies), amendoim (peanuts), and vatapa (real food with gustatory appeal). Yet she has stopped selling foodstuffs in order to sell her actual body as a consumable object of desire. The bawdy humour expresses the Baiana's parodic victory over her fear of reducing her flesh to a commodity akin to her cocoada, amendoim, and vatapa. Ultimately everything is subject to double entendre: pretty and false. Her culinary skill, a binary for her carnal abilities, is presented as a site of consensual pleasure. Her pleasure is in the performance, not in the act. In the second song, No Tabuleiro da Baiana, Miranda as Baiana attempts to counter Barbosa's taunts. She questions his fidelity and honesty. He finishes her sentences delimiting the Baiana's potential to have a genuine heart, by asserting qualities of seducao, canjere, ilusao, and candomble (seduction, magic, illusion, and Candomble) and implications of heathenism (Hoge 1983; Bakhtin 1981, 369).
Another hit song by Caymmi, "O Que E Que A Baiana Tem?", was also popularized by Miranda on disc and in film. It defined a typology of the ubiquitous, indefinable Bahian woman, of African descent--creolized via miscegenation, sensuous yet pious, constituted of a fluid identity that vacillates between vamp and religious adept. By her own description she possesses all of the adornments of seduction and access to the Church of Bonfim in Salvador. Bonfim, an iconic location of Afro-Catholic practice, is syncretized with the supreme Candomble deity, Oxala, a trope for the Judeo-Christian God. The Lavagem of Bonfim, the washing of the church steps by Baianas, introduced a West African Candomble ritual to the church. The song alludes to the fact that a Igreja de Bonfim (the church of Bonfim) locked its doors, barring entry by the Baianas and citizens participating in this carnivalesque rite (Bakhtin 1968, 81-96; Bakhtin 1984, 79; Sansi-Roca 2005).
"What Is It That a Bahian Woman Has?" Does she have a silken torso? She's got it. Does she have a golden earring? She's got it. Does she have a starched skirt? She's got it. Does she have African robes? She's got them. Look at how well she shakes it! ... Only those who go to Bonfim have it ... What is it that a Bahian woman has? (repeat twice) Only those who go to Bonfim have it ... A golden rosary, and the proper pendant Ay-i, who has no festival jewelry, cannot go to Bonfim What is it that a Bahian woman has? (repeat twice) Hey, whoever has no festival jewelry, cannot go to Bonfim (repeat 6 times) (Caymmi and Miranda 1939)
Dorival Caymmi, one of the fathers of the Brazilian songbook, reframes Appadurai's thesis (1988) that cookbooks contributed to the development of a national cuisine, since cookbooks possess the ability to frame and forecast national identity by inscribing knowledge and cultural practice in a discursive text not as cookbook but in a song text, such as "Vatapa." Vatapa is commonly used as a condiment in the ubiquitous street food of Bahia. Acaraje (fritters made from black-eyed peas) are considered a West African retention food consumed wherever West Africans have lived. Vatapa and acaraje are also fundamental preparations of the aforementioned Comida de Santo (Carney 2011, 33, 67-69, 124-125; Bascom 1951).
An ad hoc recipe is embedded in the song. The nega Baiana (black Baiana woman) functions as a marker of regional cultural identity as equally as Caymmi's musical rhythms do. The lyrics include the line "Procure uma nega, o que saiba mexer" (Find a black Baiana woman, one who knows how to mix it). To mix or stir is a standard culinary procedure. By choosing the verb mexer (to mix), instead of cozinhar (to cook), her culinary ability can be seen as intuitive as opposed to being formally trained. The nega Baiana can be viewed as an inspired naif. In this instance, finding or "procuring" the black woman and "mixing"--integrating/conjoining--has an implicit sexual tone. Intimacy and sex are reiterated via the instruction to add incremental mouthfuls of ingredients: "Bota castanha de caju, um bocadinho mais" (add cashews, add a little mouthful more). Cooking involves tasting to adjust the flavours of a dish. The addition of cashews reads as a standard recipe direction, but adding ingredients by the mouthful does not. The accompanying video displays two people dancing intimately. To know your partner is to understand how their body moves and responds to yours. This level of intimacy is not inherent to the relationship of cooks navigating the space of a kitchen workplace. The song and video's dialogistic mediation is inherently contradictory.
The process of mixing as a symbol for a sexual act and the combining of disparate products into a homogeneous mixture, creating the vatapa puree, both connote mesticagem (the mixing of races) and the creolization of cultures. By virtue of its ingredients, vatapa the dish, and thus the song, acknowledges and condones the theory associated with Gilberto Freyre, of a creolized racial democracy constituted by successive generations of African, Indigenous, and Portuguese couplings. (17) Reflecting the Columbian Exchange, vatapa's ingredients include stale European wheat bread, Indigenous peanuts and cashews, West African dende (palm oil), coconuts, pimenta da costa (hot peppers from the Mina coast of the Gulf of Guinea), smoked and dried shrimp (a derivation of the traditional dried or smoked fish condiments inherent in West African cookery), ginger (a legacy of colonial trading) and onion (Carney 2011, 24, 55, 97-98, 144, 193; Palmie 2006; Martinez-Echazabal 1998).
The song "Vatapa" illustrates how a simple nutty puree positions Afro-Brazilian food in the structure and syntax of the language of popular culture and music.
"Vatapa" Who would like vatapa, o? What do you look for to make it? First the flour Then the palm oil Find a nega Bahia [black Bahian woman] o Who'll know how to mix it [cook, stir, sex; she will transform you] Who'll know how to mix it Who'll know how to mix it Add some cashew A [little mouthful] little bit more Malagueta chilies A [little mouthful] little bit more Peanuts, shrimp, grate coconut It's time to bruise it [pound it in a mortar & pestle] [Now] salt, ginger and onion, yaya It's time to add seasoning Don't stop stirring it, o! It's time to get it right Put the pot on the fire Don't let it burn If you've got 10,000 reis, or a black woman, o! You can make vatapa You can make vatapa What a great vatapa [you will make] (Caymmi and Anjos do Inferno 1942; translation by author)
The gustatory aspect of food, here vatapa, has an inherent sensuality linked to ingestion and the pleasures of consumption. The heteroglossia produced by the multi-layered meanings and the global circuits of connectivity generated by vatapa create an inability to finalize the dish and anchor West African identity within Brazilian popular discourse. (18) Implicitly the unctuous puree, vatapa, links diaspora cultures by creolizing cuisines and systems of knowledge, marking Afro-Brazilian identity. Yet explicitly it becomes sensuous, albeit salacious, thus mythologizing Afro-Brazilian identity. Superficially vatapa and Afro-Brazilian identity resonate as a sexual binary. Reinforcing sex through cooking suggests that the cook has power not simply to stimulate but also to seduce the diner. As cuisine reinforces sex it obscures the implicit skill associated with culinary adepts, here nega Baianas. The function of these dishes as emblems of sacred Bahian cuisine is wholly obscured. The bawdy characterization also unintentionally opens a door for regressive interpretations of gender and West African/Afro-Brazilian identity (Bakhtin 1968; Telles 2004).
The video and film productions of "A Preta do Acaraje" (The Black Bean Fritter Vendor), featuring Carmen Miranda, 1939, and Gal Costa, 1979, reference different aspects of Afro-Brazilian identity. In each version the song begins as a dirge, introducing an upbeat samba rhythm by the second chorus. Where Miranda straddles West Africa and Brazil, Costa firmly represents the branded imaginary marketed by Bahiatursa (Caymmi and Miranda 1940; Costa 2005):
Ten o'clock at night On a deserted street The black [woman] street vendor Sounds a lament There is abara! In her wooden bowl She has an aromatic sauce With spicy peppers from the coast The acaraje is coloured Hey you there, come look. Come and bless them They are hot (freshly fried) The whole world loves acaraje. (Translation by author)
Caymmi's composition also delineates the racial identity, working class position, culinary expertise, entrepreneurship and patrimony of the song's protagonist. The Black Bean Fritter Vendor simultaneously inhabits Brazil and West Africa. Her culinary ingredients--pimenta da costa--and prepared dishes--abara and acaraje--are the embodiment of her West African heritage and allude to her relationship to Candomble. (19) She works tirelessly late into the night, comforted by the fact that everyone--the whole world--loves acaraje. She tells her prospective clientele that the fritters are coloured, reddened from frying in dende, palm oil. Dende, a ubiquitous ingredient in Bahian cuisine, is an essential ingredient of Comida de Santo. Her gamela (carved wooden bowl) is made from the tropical gameleira or Iroko tree of the Ficus genus, common to West Africa and Brazil. Iroko, a giant ficus, is a sacred tree and an orixa in Candomble cosmology. (20) Arjun Appadurai defined interconnected transnational circuits and networks of community as ethnoscapes (1996). These distinct localities are constituted as a unity by the initiation of a deliberate set of actions manifest by a social group. Therefore the Afro-Brazilian-Candomble ethnoscape has the ability to create a synergistic West African diaspora global spiritual network as a mediated virtual entity.
The subtle reference to Iroko via the gamela implicitly integrates the sacred into the text. Her molho cheiroso (aromatic hot sauce) forecasts the profane aspect of her commercial enterprise. Sacred acaraje and abara served in ceremony are served without any sauce. Serving the sauce on the side allows her to potentially serve both communities. These references in "A Preta do Acaraje" affirm the ethnoscape and the absent presence of Candomble practice and West African identity. Oblique attributions to deities, praise poetry, Afro-Brazilian commensal behaviours, and class and racial positions implicitly signal identity not by what is said, but by what is left out.
Food and consumption are thus inherently agentive. The question "What's for dinner?" addresses interventions of choice, access, ability, time, status, and pleasure. Foodways as a lingua franca of this ethnoscape has the potential to concurrently speak overtly as a disseminating tool of identity and exist as a simple nutritive act. Food and foodways' evolution from a mundane position, a table, into an inter-medium for racial, gender, and political positionality in musical compositions is dynamic, provocative, and potentially dangerous (Appadurai 1996, 48; Boyer 2007, 73; MacDougall 1987, 54; Mazzarella 2004).
If food is ascribed agency, a capacity to produce an effect or result beyond its nutritive capacity to sustain life, and ideas of food move from the table to the text and tune, then food can be seen to be dialogic. The song lyrics reflect layers of meaning within the local and national consciousness of Brazilian identity. Circulation of the ideas and the images via public consumption--on radio, on CDs, at concerts, or, when adopted by a populace and sung publicly as regional/national explicit anthem-text and implicit subtext--amplifies its narrative and metaphors. The ubiquitous presence of spirituality in Bahian culture is marked by its history of suppression by the state and sensational presentation by the media. Here typically innocent feijoes (beans) become a clarion for power or its lack and an inference of spirituality to the cognoscenti or the curious. These inter-medium texts assert a specific identity politics to local and regional reception networks that are always already conversant in the norms of Bahian and/or Candomble cultural practice. The texts provide an empowerment tool for a black majority population that wields minor political power. Mediatization and inter-medium communication can thus create or open boundaries and establish different dialogic communication to the hierarchies of power (Boyer 2007; Fraser 1990; MacDougall 1987; Tomaselli 2002; MercoPress 2009).
This article's title, "Can you take a picture of the wind?"--a conversational excerpt between Candomble initiate Luciano and Candomble scholar Lisa Earl Castillo--outlines the orthodoxy directing congregants and visitors to refrain from photographing or recording Candomble initiates in trance during their religious ceremonies.
An orixa is a state, a moment, a sublimation. What you should take away [from the experience of seeing it] is its essence, what it transmitted to you. And what is the orixa? The orixa is wind, a spirit, an essence. It can't be photographed! And I think that to try to take that kind of photograph is invasive. (Castillo 2009, 18-19)
Audience reception of an unrecorded event involves the perception of the moment and the development of a context for cognitive understanding of what has transpired. Contextualizing an unfamiliar event/experience via association and comparison to the familiar attempts to construct a coherent understanding of the experience. If this dialogism is freighted with ambiguities, the consumption of the experience is qualified by uncertainty. Establishing a common language through which media can be consumed, understood, and shared presumes a means of comprehension across different socio-cultural orientations. A strength of the inter-medium is the joining of the unfamiliar with the familiar for a more nuanced reception of the experience (Halbwachs and Coser 1992, 168-170; Strecker 1997).
Candomble reflects a state of being and a relationship to place. The place is geographic, representing the locale for worship, a relationship to land and the spirits embodied therein. Place is also a site of identity production for the Afro-Brazilian diasporic community and their adherents. Candomble ceremonies engage a liminal state of consciousness experienced and perceived by the practitioner/supplicant and audience/congregants. Ideally the context for the experience and the implication of the state of being while in trance and in communication with given deities is inherent in the observation of the ceremony by the congregants and guests. Transposing that experience into the "poetry" of song lyrics, the subjectivities of video production or other forms of media open the reception, distribution, and consumption of the experience that is inherently personal, intimate, and concurrently internalized and externalized for the supplicant. Thus photographing the wind--if at all possible--is circumspect and inherently a question of subjective perception.
Within the mediated Afro-Brazilian-Candomble ethnoscape, several of the aforementioned songs objectify women and reflexively broadcast coded messages about Candomble ritual practice and salient aspects of Afro-Brazilian identity. The production and reception of Afro-Brazilian identity as an expression of media and inter-medium communication across platforms and communities produced by local/ regional actors of that social group as well as national/international/ tourist projects complicate the conundrum of identity. Candomble is affirmed as an absent presence in local and transnational media circuits by references to the components of the ceremonies, the cosmology of the practice, and the blunt inference of Baianas as adepts of macumba (magic or witchcraft). While a narrow image of women and Candomble is developed in the musical compositions, a dialogue that includes Candomble practice and women also surfaced through this music. The role of women, their enskilment, and their contributions to Bahian culture are broadcast across local, regional, national, and international networks. Arguments exist for and against the mythmaking associated with Candomble initiates and their ritual practice referenced in the songs.
Consumption of media inherently carries a mandate to the consumer to be conscious and critically read the visual and narrative texts that they are consuming. The resonance of the mediated messages illustrates the hazards and ramifications of mythologizing identity. Intermediary entities that work between the cultural producers and media consumers possess the power to alter the depiction, promotion, and dissemination of media content. The mediatized public sphere grows exponentially, increasingly exposing more and more diverse globalized publics to productions of new cultural media. The development of Bahian branded identity, typified by the relationship between Antonio Carlos Magalhaes' statehouse and his family's media oligarchy, illustrates the power and danger of media circuits on the evolution, mis/interpretation, and/or preservation of cultural identity (Hjarvard 2008, 2011; MacDougall 1987, 2006).
Food has been shown to be a useful, apparently harmless metaphor and dynamic tool that can have offensive repercussions for communicating identity. Marketed images of food and eating illustrate how ordinary consumer goods stand in for family, love, and domestic bliss. Issues of personal, gendered, and collective power, racial and sexual stereotypes are rampant. Food and consumption themes provide simple equations for reductive constructions of black, female, and spiritual identity. The production and consumption of food always occupies the confluence of race, gender, politics, and religion. Reducing Carmen Miranda to A Nega Baiana, A Preta de Acaraje, or "the lady with the Tutti-Frutti hat" denies her and them--the Baianas--their personhood. We consume the image and caricature without fore- or afterthought. Successive reductivist postures towards Baianas, Afro-Brazilians, Latinas, Candomble adepts, and so forth are initiated and fed. Little to no regard is made for the true gifts, skills, and knowledge that they possess. The cumulative effect of inter-medium outputs can be simultaneously productive and derivative. We cannot photograph nor capture the wind, although we can see the path it has wrought, respect it, and accept our inability to contain it.
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SCOTT ALVES BARTON
Food Studies, New York University
(1) The song "Calice," launched at the height of the ditadura, is a homophone for calice (chalice) and cala-se (shut up). Sung in duet to mask the dialogistic double entrendre alluding to the denunciation of Christ and the silencing of the nation by the dictatorship--Pai afasta de mim esse calice (Father, take this chalice away from me), Pai afasta de mim e se cala-se (Father, go away and shut up)--it was immediately banned.
(2) The Brazilian Revolution ended the Old Republic in 1930, deposing the president and abrogating the former constitution, thus establishing a provisional government. Getulio Vargas took part in organizing the coup that installed a new congress and constitutional reforms. In 1937 he initiated a dictatorship called Estado Novo, shutting down Congress and assuming authoritarian rule. The corporate-based authoritarian regime lasted until 1945. A re-democratization movement began in 1946 and deposed Vargas, initiating the Republic of 1946 and the end of the Vargas era.
(3) Terreiro, literally defined as a yard, generally refers to the physical temple space of worship. In actuality a Candomble terreiro requires access to forest, free-running fresh water, and a water source such as a spring. Thus the structure sits as a "terrace" on the land where the deities, seen as elements of nature, wind, sweet and salt water, forest, leaves, sacred trees, etc., dwell.
(4) Carnivalesque is the ability for the masses--configured as the subaltern, working, and/or underclasses--to speak to the upper classes, the elites, the clergy, and governing authorities through the subterfuge, costuming, masking and absurd/surreal behaviours associated with Carnival.
(5) These ceremonies and festivals have occurred in homes, street processions, school presentations, cultural events, Catholic churches, Candomble temples, and on the property of the Catholic Church, both with and without the sanction of the religious authorities.
(6) Salvador was cited by anthropologist Ruth Landes as "Negro Rome" in 1940, and in the Salvador daily newspaper, A Tarde, on 11 November 2005.
(7) Rede Bahia/Rede Globo owns and operates media businesses throughout northeastern Brazil. The corporate conglomerate has six companies who run divisions in electronic and print media, media content development, six television stations, three radio stations, Internet portals, video production, and a construction company (RedeBahia 2012).
(8) "Prayers said over Christian-consecrated stone and written in sacrificial blood suggest a combination of efficacies arising out of the colonial encounter. Blood is an important element in many traditional African cultures for the imbuing and revitalization of the life force [axe] or 'the power-tomake things happen'" (Harding 2000, 31).
(9) Egungun cults honour and worship orixa through their departed ancestors. They believe that the dead can come back and communicate with the temple community. Their 10- to 12-hour-long ceremonies are few and far between. Itaparica Island is the home to most Egungun cults in Bahia.
(10) Candomble cosmology defines each individual as having three deities assigned to them at birth that control their head, lead them forward, or protect them from behind. Omulu is the orixa associated with illness and communicable diseases. Consequently he instills charity and humility, and protects the helpless.
(11) The deity Exu is the guardian of the crossroads. He is the first deity who has to be fed in Candomble ceremonies, thus allowing pathways to open. Two of the main offerings for Exu are muidos (chicken giblets: heart, liver, and gizzards) and beef liver. The preparation process echoes the jogo de cabidela that Alva was raised on, initiating dialogism between the sacred and profane cuisines of Bahia.
(12) Ebomi or Egbomis have been initiated and served a minimum of seven years in a terreiro. They work as caregivers to those supplicants who embody the orixas and do not become embodied themselves.
(13) "Pai de Santo" is a title for a male priest of Candomble.
(14) The lyrics say "Todo dia eu so penso em poder parar/Meio dia eu so penso em dizer nao. Depois penso na vida pra levar/E me calo com a boca de feijao" (All day I only think about when will I be able to stop/Noon I only think of saying no. Then I think in life is for the taking/And then I shut up with my mouth full of beans) (Buarque 1988).
(15) A reference to Ibero-Catholic historic anti-Semitism that led to expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian peninsula and forced emigration to Goa, India, northeastern Brazil, and other foreign ports to establish Portuguese strongholds. The noun judeu relates to the verb judear/judiar: nao judea a mim, nao me faca sofrer (don't be a Judas/Jew to me, don't make me suffer). "To be a Judas/Jewish" mean to mistreat, to inflict cruel or false behaviour, such as Jews were alleged to have inflicted on Catholic populace (Birnbaum 1971; Canny and Pagden 1989, 19 and 84; Sheinin and Barr 1996, 128-129).
(16) Lord of Bonfim, the saint of the church of the good end (spelled as Bomfim or Bonfim), is a metaphor for God. Concurrently Bonfim is a syncretic reference to the supreme Candomble orixa: Oxala.
(17) This theory that flattens and democratizes Brazilian racial divisions is associated with Gilberto Freyre, but was coined by Arthur Ramos in 1941 and later included in an article written by Roger Bastide in 1944. Both men seem to have adopted and adapted Freyre's earlier phrase, "social democracy." In a 1937 lecture Freyre identified the mixing of Portuguese and Luso-descendant cultures, races, and social classes as the greatest contribution that Luso-Brazilian civilization could make to humanity. In comparison to the United States' "one drop rule," Brazil had long appeared to be progressive in its racial policies. Frederick Douglass cited Brazil as a model for the US to emulate. Unfortunately, as well-meaning as Freyre was in this theorization, the actual premise is fraught with subtle and overt distinctions and disjunctures regarding racial divisions, representation, and agency (Freyre, cited in Guimaraes 2006).
(18) This Bakhtinian concept argues that the individual self is not finalized, completely understood, known, or able to be labelled. Actual and potential change as a fundamental aspect of the life experience precludes society's ability to concretize the individual self. Therefore a person's essence is never fully revealed to the world. The idea of the human soul is inherently implicated as a possible change agent (Bakhtin 1984).
(19) Pimenta da costa are hot peppers imported from A Costa da Mina (the Coast of the Mine), which corresponds to that portion of the Gulf of Guinea coastline extending east from Elmina, or Ghana's Castelo de Sao Jorge da Mina (St. George's Castle of the Mine), the first European trading post and oldest building in Africa south of the Sahara, through the Gold and Slave Coasts to Benin, Nigeria, and Togo.
(20) Iroko, also known as Tempo by some Candomble cults, is a male deity that symbolizes ancestry. One of Iroko's oriki (praise poetry) states that a woodcarver had to provide food offerings to secure the return of his son who had been turned into a bird when the divinity was not appeased. Iroko provides to the community that brings food offerings to him.
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|Author:||Barton, Scott Alves|
|Publication:||Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2012|
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