Accepted Paper:

Andei Pelo Mundo Andei: historical antecedents for the internationalisation of Afro-Brazilian religions  
Brian Brazeal (CSU, Chico)

Paper short abstract:

The internationalisation of African-American religions is not new. Candomblé's stock of powerful knowledge includes elements of European demonology learned from witches degraded and deported from Portugal. Its Caboclo pantheon includes Italians and Hungarians alongside cowboys and Indians.

Paper long abstract:

The internationalization of African-American religions is not a new phenomenon. Candomblé, the foremost Afro-Brazilian religion was born in the crucible of the transatlantic slave trade. Its stock of powerful knowledge includes elements of European demonology learned from witches, heretics and gypsies degraded and deported from Portugal. Its Caboclo pantheon includes Italians and Hungarians alongside wild backland cowboys and Indians. Its Marujo pantheon sings of the seas between Brazil, Portugal and Africa. It was born in cosmopolitan cities that depended on international trade. It spread from the coast through the Bahian interior on steamships whose boilers were made in Britain and on railroads administered by French companies. The doctrines and rituals of the Ketu and Jeje Nations were consolidated in dialogue with the Lagosian Yoruba cultural renaissance and -Gbe-speaking traders who traveled between Bahia and the West Coast of Africa. If Candomblé's fame has spread to Europe and the United States today, it is because Candomblé's ritual lineages have a structural logic of expansion whereby practitioners seek out new clientele for their spiritual services and new initiates to grow their ritual families. This wave of expansion mirrors the processes by which Candomblé moved into the Bahian sertão and the industrial cities of the Brazilian South and entails similar transformation in religious beliefs and practices. This paper uses the concepts of fame, the transformation of value and the expansive logic of lineage segmentation to understand Candomblé's spread throughout Brazil and throughout the world.

Panel W075
The internationalisation of African-American religions