When Feminine Gods Takes Yemoja And Osun To The Streets of Bahia In Brazil

The Africa out of Africa has returned to its normal activities, in the state of Bahia, at the weekend, in Brazil as the street flooded with Igba Irumoles, they celebrated Orishas and the end of slavery with Orisas and Ebos.

The festival , considered the world’s largest “Yemoja and Osun streets festival “ takes place every May 13, since 1889, it also commemorates the end of slavery. It is considered the Intangible Heritage of Bahia and Cultural Heritage of Brazil.

Offerings to Yemoja and Osun in River
The largest street candomblé ( Orisa religion) in the world, began this Wednesday 11th, May , 2022 , after two years of limited celebrations due to the pandemic.

Bembé , as it is called , has started since 1889, it celebrates the end of slavery and to reinforce the resistance of black people in the city of Santo Amaro, in the “Recôncavo Baiano”, Brazil.

“Festa do Bembé do Mercado..” brings together members from 44 terreiros , the Orisa grooves in the “Recôncavo of Bahia” Brazil

The festival starts with open rituals , the rituals of sacralization of the streets where the spiritual worships and celebration takes place .

Attending to Ancestrals’ Adeyinka Olaiya, Babalorisa Adeyan Rodrigues said ; “Bembé was registered as a Cultural Heritage of Brazil in June 2019. The title was granted by the Cultural Heritage Advisory Board of the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (Iphan).

Bembe in Santo Amaro Market , Bahia
The celebration of Candomblé in the open air has been considered Intangible Heritage of Bahia since 2012, by decision of the state government.

Festa do Bembé do Mercado brings together members from 44 terreiros in the “Recôncavo of Bahia” . Bembé do Mercado started one year after the abolition of slavery.

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Based on popular religiosity of African origin, the festival is reinforced by practitioners as a cult to the deities of the waters represented by Yemoja and Osun, being also a time to thank the individual and collective protection” the Spiritualist revealed.

According to history, there are three ceremonial moments: the rites linked to the foundation of the festival (the ceremonies for the ancestors, the Padê de Exu, the Orô de Yemoja and Osun); the
“Xirê do Mercado” ; and the delivery of Ebos , intended for Yemoja and Osun

There are several theories about the use of the name Bembé, almost all of them are based on the processes of the African diaspora – which is the name given to the forced immigration of men and women from the continent.

However, a survey carried out by the Federal University of Bahia (UFRB) and the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (Iphan), with the oldest practitioners, indicates that the name derives from candomblé’ the version of Orisa religion in Brazil.

Bembé is like a basket of history, culture, art and political action that welcomes the best expressions of the Orisa religion and Black history.

The inventive and transformative capacity of the festival allowed it to survive for more than a century, being a landmark against the slaveholding past. It is relevant to national memory, history and culture.

“ Today , we know our root , we know our home, we know Ile-Ife, we know Oyo-Ile , we know Africa , thanks to the resistance “ Ya Paula de Oya reveals.


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