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Accepted Paper:

Developing shared sensescapes and ways of feeling with the world in Candomblé  
Daniela Calvo (Kyoto University)

Paper short abstract:

Throughout my field research with Candomblé communities, understanding the relationships with non-humans (particularly animals, plants, spirits, forces) meant developing common sensibilities, skills and specific ways of connecting, communicating and feeling with the landscape.

Paper long abstract:

At New Year’s Eve and at the feast of Iemanjá, people follow ritualized ways of entering into the sea, making their offerings to the “Queen of the sea” and determining whether she received the based on the movement of the waves. This is the most common way for Candomblé practitioners to interact with and communicate with the landscape, because divinities, ancestors, spirits, forces and nature manifest themselves and deliver messages through natural phenomena (such as wind, rain, rainbow, clouds and the sun) and animals and plants behaviour. In ritual and daily coexistence, exceptional and common experiences gain meaning and generate emotions and reflections, resulting in a bodily, affective and sensitive experience and mode of existence. An ontological monism establishes a common participation of all beings in the Cosmos to forces, and ritual acts allow them to be directed and accumulated. During my field research with Candomblé practitioners, I learnt that the wind brings intuitions and messages from ancestors and divinities; the appearance of birds signals a message from the Ìyámì, the Ancestral Mothers; plants reveal themselves to the priest in search of them if proper ritual procedure is followed; animals are sacrificed only after they manifest that they accept to offer their life; the presence of butterflies in a burial indicates that the deceased is in his or her way to the spiritual world; the health of plants indicates the balance of energies of the home in which they flourish.

Panel P093a
Sensory Commons as Transformative Spaces I
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -