Candomblé and Orixás
Candomblé religion is characterized by a deep spirituality, marked with tolerance and share. This cult, one of the oldest of humanity, imported by the slaves from Africa, still very active in Brazil and in particular in Salvador de Bahia region. Candomblé is founded on the relation between man and nature. Everybody is linked to a divinity in function of his birthday, to be later confirmed by a Babalorixa or a Ialorixa (“priest” of the cult).
With these divinities called Orixás, the follower is looking after advises and knowledge helpful for his day life. Orixás have their own personality, and to each one is associated some natural element, a specific trait of character, a weekday, a stone, a color and an identifying tool.
Lots of elements from Bahia culture are closely linked to Candomblé, as capoeira (martial dance originally practiced by the slaves) or acarajé (kind of sandwich made with bean pasta fried in palm oil, the dendê, and filled with typical ingredients).
Candomblé pantheon is quite extended, but we can remind the most important ones described below as those who participate day by day in the life of Salvador’s people; the city itself is influenced by two powerful and beautiful goddesses, Iemanjá and Oxum.
God of smallpox and other diseases; Monday is his day; his colors are white and black, and his tool is a stick (xaxara) used to cure the diseases.
God of the crossing paths, of sexuality, link between spiritual and material worlds; Monday is his day; his colors are black and red, and his tool is a trident (ogo).
God of war, progress and paths; Tuesday is his day; his color is dark blue, and his tool is an iron sword (obé).
Goddess of sleeping waters, source of life and death, considered as the oldest Orixá; Tuesday is her day; her color is purple and her tool is a stick of palm leaf (ibiri).
God of thunder and thunderbolt, justice; Wednesday is his day; his colors are red and white and his tool is a double cutting edge hatchet (oxé).
Goddess of winds and storms; Wednesday is her day; her colors are red and black, her tools are a sabre (adaga) and a tick made of ox tail’s hair (eruexim).
God of hunting, forests and agriculture; Thursday is his day; his colors are green and white, his tools are a bow with an arrow (ofa) and a whip made with horse hair (erukere).
Father of all Orixás; represents wisdom and harmony; Friday is his day, his color is white, his tool is a cane (opaxoro).
Goddess of fecundity, sea and oceans; Saturday is her day; her colors are white, pink and light blue, her tool is a silver mirror (adé).
Goddess of fresh waters, beauty, richness and love, she’s vain and sensual; Saturday is her day; her colors are yellow and gold, her tool is a fan-mirror (abebé).