Category: Candomble

African religions resurgent in Brazil

BELFORD ROXO, Brazil — Beyond the storefront churches and sidewalk bars on Rio’s gritty north side, where the asphalt ends and dirt roads begin, Brazil gives way to Africa. The sound of atabaques, or African drums, rises in the night air from a squat brick house, and a full-throated tenor sings incantations in the ancient Yoruba tongue of Nigeria. Inside, slightly bored children play quietly while women in swirling skirts dance in a circle, chanting to invoke the Orixas — the gods worshipped by their African ancestors. This is Candomble, a religion once banned in Brazil, now emerging into public