Songs of Slavery

So, I’ve said a lot here about seeds and bees and ecology. But there’s another equally important strand to the Seed Thief story, and that is Candomblé.

The second part of the book takes place almost entirely in a terreiro, or place of worship for pracitioners of Candomblé, the Afro-Brazilian spiritual practice created by the estimated four million African slaves who were taken to Brazil.

Candomblé can be said to be an amalgamation of Yoruba traditions from the African continent, indigenous Brazilian traditions, and the Catholic traditions of the colonists. It is much more than that. It is a vibrant living system, an expression of culture, of black pride, of origin and adaptability.  It is a living memory of a cruel history that changed the human shape of the world.

It has its outward expression in ceremony, in pageant and dance and music. And the stories of its origin are preserved in songs like this one.

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