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We were anxious to see the video site and get Olodum shirts to wear as a tribute to MJ on the 9th anniversary of his death (June 25), which overlapped with our trip. Olodum is the name of the Afro-Brazilian cultural/musical group based in Pelourinho that did the bomb percussion in the MJ video and he wore their shirts in the video. We purchased not one, but multiple Olodum shirts because….well, we’re obsessed with Michael Jackson :).
Along the way, we purchased souvenirs from a lovely shopkeeper, Sheila (below), who sold fabric prints. I picked a colorful trio of Bahian women silhouettes (I collect art of women who reflect their local culture).
We ran into this adorable fellow who practices capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance/martial art. It was created in Bahia by African slaves and it is believed their intent was to retaliate against their slavemasters and disguise their fighting practice as dancing.
That evening, we attended a Candomblé ceremony. Candomblé is a religion rooted in African tradition that slaves in the west created and it celebrates a number of gods (Orishas). We had to wear red and/or white to the ceremony, which was to honor and call upon Xango, the Orisha of fire.
Speaking of fire, there was a large fire pit that the ceremony was held around. When the flames reached their peak, we made (silent) wishes to Xango. That’s about all I can say because the religion carries a number of of well-preserved and protected practices.