An Afro-Brazilian religion, one of several derived from the
traditional religions of West Africa. Nagó refers to the West African
Yoruban people, many of whom were taken to Brazil as
slaves. Yoruban religion survives primarily among the African
people of Brazil.
Candomblé is headed by priests and priestesses who are specialists
in contacting the orixds, the ancester spirits of the Yoruban
people. The orixds are usually identified with natural forces
such as thunder, water, and the sea, but are also identified with
Roman Catholic saints. One of the leading orixds is Oxalá, who
is often identified with Jesus. Worship, which includes spirit
possession, drumming, singing, and dancing, occurs in temples
Candomblé is strongest in Bahia, the northeast area of Brazil.
In recent decades it has been closely associated with other
spirit possession groups such as Umbanda and Spiritism.
Bastide, Roger. The African Religions of Brazil. Baltimore,
Md.: Johns Hopkins Press, 1978.
Hess, David J. Samba in the Night: Spiritism in Brazil. New
York: Columbia University Press, 1994