1 / 4       A believer during a rite of initiation into the Casa do Santo in Arborio, in the province of Vercelli. © Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photojournalism.

2 / 4       The Vercelli countryside near Arborio, home to the Casa do Santo, place of the Candomblé cult. © Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photojournalism.

3 / 4       A moment of a Candomblé celebration in the Casa do Santo in Arborio, near Vercelli. © Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photojournalism.

4 / 4       The tree in the centre of the photograph is an Orixa, a deity, in the Candomblé cult. © Gianmarco Maraviglia/Echo Photojournalism.

Candomblé among the paddy fields

The countryside around Vercelli. A typical agricultural landscape, rice fields as far as the eye can see. The town? Arborio. It is exactly as you expect it. A bar in the main square, old men playing cards and drinking white wine. Elegant people leaving the church, there are those who go to buy La Stampa and those who make their way to the trattoria for a good risotto.
But, a few metres away, from a low building, protected by walls, from one of the many residential villas, emerges a Pai de Santo, a spiritual authority of the Brazilian cult of Candomblè (1), festively dressed.
«Do not take pictures of that tree! – he says – it is an Orixa (2), a deity.
All day I will be assisting in rites and ceremonies of this Afro-Brazilian cult, made up of hypnotic rhythms, evocations of spirits, possessions and otherworldly events. In the middle of the rice fields in Vercelli. [ Gianmarco Maraviglia ]

(1) - The Candomblé is a syncretic religion of Afro-Brazilian origin, started in Salvador, Bahia, thanks to the slaves deported to Brazil in the period between 1517 and 1888.
(2) - The Orixa deities are associated with a natural phenomenon and some colours. They are described on the basis of a large amount of mystical teachings closely related to the natural element in which they are recognised and they can have a number of sub-categories corresponding to the Orixa specificity.

– – –

[ ongoing ] Global Religion by Gianmarco Maraviglia
[ video ] There is a dark side in religion?

Candomblé on Wikipedia
Candomblé on Censur
Gianmarco Mararaviglia
Echo Photojournalism

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published on 2016-01-27 in GlobalReligion


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