Afro-Brazilian symbolism - I

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    The Negro was uprooted from his land and sold as merchandise, enslaved. In Brazil he arrived as slave, object; from his land he departed as a free man. During the journey, the slave traffic, he lost his personality, but his culture, his history, his landscape, his experiences; they came with him.

    300-year history of Negro enslavement in Brazil has made an impact on this country. Candomblé is one such impact, a religion filled with many secrets, symbols and rituals known only to initiates but it is also a vital part of cultural expression in Brazil. There are no definitive numbers on how many people in Brazil follow Candomblé. The government estimates, conservatively, that there are more than 300,000 centers of worship for Brazil's Afro-Brazilian religions, which include Candomblé. Those participating in these faiths are thought to make-up at least one-third of Brazil's near 170 million inhabitants. Many practice both Catholicism and Candomblé.

    Bahia, the state with the largest percentage of Blacks, is the capital of this religion, which closely follows its African roots and traditions among the Yoruba people of Nigeria and the Bantu people of Angola and the Congo. Yoruban traditions, including the most commonly used names of the Orixás (gods of the African pantheon), predominate.
    Today Candomblé is officially recognized and protected by the government of Brazil. However, during the period of slavery and for many decades following its abolition in Brazil in 1888, Candomblé practices were banned by the government and by the Catholic church, and its practitioners were severely punished.

    Model: 12-year old Naomi Leonardo de Queiros.

    In all societies we are constantly surrounded by symbols, which often contribute towards the stimulation of our creative senses. Symbolism was a 19th-century movement in which art became infused with exaggerated sensitivity and a spooky mysticism, but the symbols themselves have existed for centuries.

    In Asian culture there is not such a wide gap between spiritual and material things, as there seems to exist in the western civilization of today. Therefore religious symbols are a living part of all aspects of Asian culture.

    Animals may have a positive symbolism in one culture yet have a negative meaning in another. Animals in Celtic and Welsh mythology are tied in with fertility and vitality, because they are living, moving, and growing. They also provided vitality and continued life for the tribes through their meat, skins, and bones.

    In ancient Egypt it was thought that some Gods and Goddesses represented themselves on earth in the form of a single representative of a specific species, and honoring that species of animal would please the God or Goddess associated with the animal.

    Chinese astrology uses animal names and symbols in the Chinese lunar calendar. Astrology can be defined as a pseudo-science linking human destinies to charts associated with heavenly bodies or the recording of time. The Chinese believed the characteristics of a given zodiac animal influenced the personality of every person born in that year. They used this information to create horoscopes, daily predictions based upon the year of one's birth.

    Symbols exist in every culture, in all regions of our planet.

    -Antoine-, since1968, and 38 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. virgilioneto 104 months ago | reply

      maravilha de foto
      parabéns, está retratando o melhor de nossa cultura!

    2. Beehappy at Mowbray [deleted] 104 months ago | reply

      Love the sentiments and photo!

    3. shapeshift 96 months ago | reply

      very beautiful picture.

    4. shapeshift 96 months ago | reply

      hi gregory. i really love your work. the hues and dof are great in this photo. i blogged this picture to blogs.newamericamedia.org/photo-of-the-day. new america media is a non-profit alternative news organization operating out of san francisco. we give voice to underserved and marginalized coomunities in the U.S. and the natural bridge to their original cultural homelands.

    5. ricofrei 92 months ago | reply

      Beautiful mix between people, wood, real bodies, sculptures. Girl and sculptures colors are almost the same. Cool!

    6. Daniel A. Norman 85 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called RAW Street Photography, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

    7. elishaowdom [deleted] 83 months ago | reply

      Beauty is in the *EYE* of the Beholder
      Please add your Beautiful Photo to:
      Beauty is in the *Eye* of the Beholder!

      This is a great picture.

    8. carlessolis 81 months ago | reply

      Foto lindíssima!! Parabéns

    9. Tarky7 78 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Raelians Rulez, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

    10. GoodBye Flickr [deleted] 77 months ago | reply

      GREAT colours and DOF...i love the mood of this photo the best..

    11. avp17 74 months ago | reply

      amazing colours / composition.

    12. BrazilLover21 70 months ago | reply

      Im lovin the colors

    13. Aar☆n [deleted] 70 months ago | reply

      beautiful capture, great warm colours, - Aaron

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called:
      Divine Worship - (acts of religious devotion)
      Worshippers Kneeling and Burning Incense,
      and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    14. [deleted by administrator] 69 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called All People Are Equal, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    15. Criativa 67 months ago | reply

      Oi! Sou administrador de um grupo chamado Art & Crafts - Arte & Artesanato e nós adoraríamos ter isto adicionado ao grupo!

    16. Heart of Áfrika Designs 66 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called The Afrikan Female in Art and Photography, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    17. nkorozai 65 months ago | reply

      That's what i call photography, this picture is powerful

    18. Claudio Zeiger 54 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called West African Religions and Culture, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    19. marcellucray 53 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called worldlightning, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

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