Spirited Things, 5-7



The Fetish and the Stone

Brian Brazeal


p. 134 mountain of emeralds

"The search for Itaberaba-ac[,]u`,

a mythical mountain of emeralds,

{an immense mountainrange of silver and emerald (AMMG, p. 36)}

was part and parcel of these expeditions (Buarque de Holanda 1968)."

AMMG = Saulo Alvaro de Mello : O Arsenal da Marinha em Mato Grosso. Dourados, 2009. http://www.ufgd.edu.br/fch/mestrado-historia/dissertacoes/dissertacao-de-saulo-alvaro-de-mello

Buarque de Holanda 1968 = Se`rgio Buarque de Holanda : Histo`ria Geral da Civilizac,a~o Brasileira. Vol. 1 "A E`poca Colonial". Sa~o Paulo : Difusa~o Europe`ia do Livro.

pp. 142-3 Candomble` performance : caboclo-spirits contrasted with oris^a-spirits

p. 142

"The caboclos are spirits of wild ... Indians. When they come to earth in Cachoeira, they clench one fist behind their back and pace, eyes bulging. ... They dance a histrionic samba, kicking their legs toward the drummers.

The orixa`s ... keep their eyes closed and do not speak or sing. They keep both hands behind their arched back and sway gently ... . ...

p. 143

Even their characteristic screams (ila`) are somehow dignified and predictable."

{The reason why "They keep both hands behind their arched back" may be that their arms are intended as folded-back wings of birds; and if so, the "screams" may specify the incarnations are those of birds of prey. This bird-of-prey practice may (in addition to that of the "caboclo") be of AmerIndian provenience; if so, Candomble` is thoroughly AmerIndian : unlike Lukumi`, which is Yoruba.}

p. 145 marmotry

"Marmotagem (literally translated marmotry, the behavior of a marmot) is the defiance of Candomble` convention for fun and profit."

pp. 147-8 prostitutes are paid with gains from mining emerald

p. 147

"In tunnels hundreds of feet underground they told ... of women in the once resplendent brothels of Carnaiba".

p. 148

"They spend they money on ... lavish expenditures on ladies of the night. ... Local lore once had it that the only way to ensure that one would find more emeralds was to spend the money earned on parties and prostitutes."

pp. 148-9 exu` & egu`n

p. 148

"Exu`[-]s are amoral ... demons, pimps and tricksters. Their imagery abounds with horns ... and engorged phalli. ...

Egu`n[-]s are the much more dangerous spirits of the dead. They are treated with much greater care than than the rowdy and companionable exu`s. ...

Too intimate relations with such powerful and problematic entities can jeopardize the life and the livelihood of the practitioner."

p. 149

"a sorcerer who never charged in advance ... did his work possessed, consulting his clients and performing the services they required while incarnating exu`."

p. 150 demands by deities (of articles for spirit-possession caerimonies)

"The high gods of Candomble` ... require lavish parties replete with the finest raiment, delicate cuisine, and sumptuous decorations. ... Animals, lace, ... brocade, ... honey, oil ... [are] necessary to honor the orixa`s".



Daimones and Money : ... Brazilian

Stephen Selka


pp. 158-9 complementary religions

p. 158

"In Brazil, the IURD is keyed to Candomble`, a religion with which it shares a cosmological vision and ritual logic. The spirits

p. 159

... in the IURD, for example, are the very ones that are venerated in Candomble`. ... The IURD engages such local practices in a way that sets up a complementary ... similar to that ... in African diaspora religions ... . ... I argue that in Brazil neo-Pentacostal churches like the IURD and Afro-Brazilian religions such as Candomble`form complementary aspects of a single ritual network."

pp. 159-60 Reco^ncavo & its terreiros of Candomble`

p. 159

"The Reco^ncavo encompasses Salvador, the urban capital of Bahia

p. 160

situated on the coast, and the rural town of Cachoeira located in the interior. With a population of about 31,000 ..., Cachoeira is located ... inland from coastal Salvador and sits in a valley on the banks of the Paraguac,u River. ... The Candomble` initiates are predominantly women, ranked by degree of initiation and ceremonial function. ... Candomble` terreiros are found in cities throughout Brazil, yet the oldest and most famous of them were established in the Reco^ncavo. About thirty regularly functioning terreiros exist in Cachoeira, several of which have histories that can be traced back to the nineteenth century. Day-to-day life at terreiros includes fulfilling obrigac,o~es (ritual obligations) to the orixa`s and other entities {divinities}. These obligations are due on days that are dedicated to particular entities, before public celebrations, as part of the requirements of initiation. Other kinds of spiritual work, including ... ebo`s (offerings) are performed for paying clients. These may be aimed at healing,

causing a person to fall in love, or ... other purposes."

{A person who would be expected to fall in love as a result of this official public religious ceremony directed toward deities, would be socially required to do so in order to evade accusation of impiety.}

pp. 162-4 IURD : spirits are invited; posture during spirit-possession

p. 162

"the IURD invites demons into its churches ... . ...

p. 163

Then the spirits began to manifest in several members of the congregation; their bodies shook as ... the possessed ... stood with their hands behind their backs, their eyes shut, and their bodies swaying back and forth exactly as they would if they had been possessed in a Candomble` terreiro."

p. 164

"The IURD's strong emphasis on ... the manifestation of Candomble` spirits during its services, ... draws on ... imagery from Candomble`. In general terms, these common denominators include a focus on spirits as well as on material

prosperity (Chestnut 2007)."

Chestnut 2007 = Andrew Chestnut : Competitive Spirits : Latin America's ... . Oxford Univ Pr.

p. 164 neo-Pentacostalism : ritual calendar

"neo-Pentacostalism and Afro-Brazilian religions often appear to constitute two aspects of a single ritual system. Spirits from the Afro-Brazilian pantheon ... regularly appear in evangelical churches.

Furthermore, as anthropologist Vagner Gonc,alves da Silva (2007) points out, the ritual calendars of IURD churches and Afro-Brazilian religious groups ... parallel each other. On the same days and at the same times that are set aside for exu`s and pomba giras to be received in Umbanda centers ..., these same entities are ... in neo-Pentacostal churches."

da Silva 2007 = "Relac,o~es ... entre neo-Pentacostalismo e Religio~es Afro-brasileiras". In :- Vagner Gonc,alves da Silva : Intolerancia Religosa. Sa~o Paulo : ESUSP. pp. 191-260.

pp. 165-6 (vide : Selka 2008) the consorority Boa Morte ('Good Death' {Latin /Bona Mors/})

p. 165

"the Sisterhood of Our Lady of Good Death (Boa Morte), an Afro-Cathoiic devotional group made up of women of African descent. ... Although Boa Morte is formally a Catholic organization, all of its members also participate in Candomble`. Nearly all of the sisters are fully initiated {in Candomble`} and some of them are prominent ma~es de santo (Candomble` priestesses, literally "mother of saint") in town. ... The sisters wear elaborate Candomble` necklaces during their processions through the streets of

p. 166

Cachoeira ..., and each year the festival is overseen by a different orixa`."

Selka 2008 = Stephan Selka : "The Sisterhood of Boa Morte in Brazil". J OF LATIN AMER AND CARIBBEAN ANTHROPOLOGY 13.1:79-114.

p. 167 abandoning membreship in Candomble`

"how one leaves Candomble` is critical :

When they leave in a rebellious way ..., they tend to go crazy, they tend to die or some kind of accident happens because the guides, the orixa`s, the caboclos, the preto velhos, the exu`s ... act in the life of this person by bringing madness, by bringing death".

pp. 169-70 {thoroughly fictional, but based on conventional metaphors of occult symbolism?} autobiography of "Tio Chico"

p. 169

"I worked for 680 companies .... . ... .

... I walked through 68 countries doing macumba ... . ...

p. 170

In Salvador da Bahi`a I did twenty-one raspagens de cabec,a ["literally "head shavings," of initiation"] ... . I got to the point of going to the cemetery at midnight to work with bodies. ...

A young woman died, she was buried. ... When I went up to the tomb... I saw at the gate of the cemetery a ball of fire ... . A demon materializeed in the form of a gigantic bat ... . It pointed to the tomb".



Possessing the Land

Elizabeth McAlister


pp. 187-9 legalisms of the Resistance

p. 187

"in the "resistance belt" ... the ancient peoples there transacted pacts with ... territorial spirits and deities associated with rocks, trees, and rivers. ... According to ... diplomatic {i.e., international} law, these were "legal" ... . ... Spiritual mapmakers are careful to study the spiritual legalities at work in these cases. In Haiti, for example, the long-standing traditional Afro-

p. 188

Creole religion, which anthropologists call Vodou ... is interpreted in terms of ongoing "diplomatic relationships" ... relying on old invitations ... (Sjo,berg 1993:109). ... "In return for a particular deity's consent ..., they have offered their singular and ongoing alliance. It is through the placement of these ancient welcome mats, then, that ... strongholds are established" (Otis 1993:30). ... Haitian theologians ... have since worked at spiritual mapping to fill in the details specific to their country. ... "At the ceremony of Bois Caiman {'Tree-Alligator', i.e. Cipac-tonal}, it was Erzulie Danto` {/danto/ 'tapir', name of an AmerIndian goddess} ..., who got the pioneer nation to ... make a ... covenant with that spirit" (Toussaint 2009:83). The "... covenant," elaborated ..., is an example of a spatiotemporal "time gate" when the nation was given legally to ... who[m] now controls it. ...

The same crises that social scientists blame on colonialism ... and ... capitalism is for spiritual ... intercessors a matter of ... legality, ancestral ..., which continues to affect present populations. ...

p. 189

Of course, the ... entrenchment that is figured as endemic to Haiti consists of the Afro-Creole spirits inherited through family lines by the majority of Haitians. Living in cemeteries, natural sites, and elsewhere in the unseen world, the spirits of Vodou are translated as "... welcome mats" that are legally holding Haiti".

Sjo,berg 1993 = Kjell Sjo,berg : "Spiritual Mapping ...". In :- C. Peter Wagner (ed.) : ... How to Use Spiritual Mapping ... . Ventura (CA) : Regal Bks. pp. 108-9.

Otis 1993 = George Otis, Jr : "An Overview of Spiritual Mapping". In :- C. Peter Wagner (ed.) : ... How to Use Spiritual Mapping ... . Ventura (CA) : Regal Bks. pp. 29-48.

Toussaint 2009 = Gregory Toussaint : Jezebel [= Erzulie Danto`] Unveiled. Miami : High Way. {The title is perhaps a play on that of Madam Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled.}

{Though the "Bois Cai:man" covenant be based in Tai:no legalities parallel with those Aztec CiPaC-tonal, yet there are also close connections with the Aiguptian Soukhos (Kemetic SBK), the crocodilian earth-monster glorified in certain Rosicrucian literature.}

p. 190 Vodun spirits

"The Afro-Creole religious ... complex

assumes a remote-creator God, under whom

{This mischievously anti-democratic conjecture of control of the universe by a tyrannical despot, is of course, not genuinely African, but is instead a purely Yhudi^/Christian/Muslim monotheistic delusion.}

there exist multiple branches of deities called "lwa" ... . ...

{/lwa/, /lua/, and /loa/ are perhaps corrupted pronunciations of S^emitic */lohh/ (<arabi /lahh/) 'deity'.}

Vodou practices are ... transmitted within an ethos of secrecy through initiation or family tradition. ...

Most of the spirits are thought to rest in Ginen, mythic Africa ..., and they can come to "ride" or "dance in the head" of their "servants" during prayer ceremonies. Spirits can also "own" and "live in" trees, lakes, and rivers, in cemeteries or in gates and intersections of paths or streets."

pp. 190-1 familial rites involving Vodun spirits

p. 190

"The extended-family members ... are called through spiritual messages from time to time to gather on the land and perform religious "work" requested by the family spirits. The spirit might ... affect a family member (with recurring dreams ...), and then the work of "serving" and "feeding" must be done to assuage the spirit ... (Richman 2005). ... The religious life of long-standing families ... is connected and rooted in the soil, in the trees, rocks, rivers, cemeteries, and mountains where they live. Ideally, religious work would take

p. 191

place on the family land. Because family spirits "own" the land, ritual work done on land founded by an ancestor can produce results that are not possible elsewhere."

Richman 2005 = Karen E. Richman : Migration and Vodou. Gainesville : Univ Pr of FL.

pp. 191-2 the land and a boar

p. 191

"spirits and land are intimately related in Haiti's indigenous {Tai:no?} religion, and spirits do in some sense dwell in and "own" family land. ...

{With this priestess's immolation of a wild boar, cf. how "in honor of the gods", Hainakolo "The bride's family offer pig" (LG&Gh, pp. 182-8 -- as cited in HM, p. 510).}

p. 192

Several weeks before the slave uprising [in 1791], ... Boukman and an African priestess named Ce'cile Fat[.]ima {a Muslim woman's name; miracle-site in Portugal} sacrificed a wild boar

in order to propitiate and strengthen their ancestral spirits."

{to strengthen the resolve of the spirits to assist the forthcoming insurrection}

LG&Gh = William D. Westervelt : Legends of Gods and Ghosts ... from the Hawaiian. Boston & London, 1915.

HM = Martha Beckwith : Hawaiian Mythology. Yale Univ Pr, 1940.

{According to Taittiriya Samhita 7:1:5,1 ("MSR", p. 188), the Earth was uplifted by Praja-pati (or, according to the Rama-ayana, by Brahma) in the guise of a boar. Because this Earth-uplifting boar (named Emus.a) hath 100 arms (according to S`ata-patha Brahman.a 14:1:2,11-- "MSR", p. 188), he must be one of the Hekaton-kheires, praesumably Briareos ('Strong'), whose wife's name ("NK") /Kumo-poleia/ 'Wave-Rangeress' may suggest surfing (as apparently doth their daughter's name /Oio-luka/ -- "NO"). Kumo-poleia may be aequivalent to "the pretty chiefess ... Kelea, while she was out surfing" (HM, p. 385) : /kelea/ is (HD, p. 133a) "Process by which a priest cleansed ... from contact with the dead." This may relate to how, according to the Kai of New Guinea, (HM, p. 512) "Tabotaing, chief of the dead, who tries to frighten a visitor ... by appearing first as a boar".

Because Oio-luka was (according to Ibukos, cited by Zeugnis -- PhZ:SW, p. 373) owneress of the girdle purloined from Amazon-queen Hippo-lute by Heraklees, therefore this girdle may be aequivalent to the "sacred red garments" (White 1887, vol. 2, pp. 55-9, as cited in HM, p. 196) recovered from witch-woman Te Ruahine {'priestess, menopausal woman'}-Mata {'fresh'}-Maori {'fresh'} by Paowa. Paowa's feigning "to feed her and pouring hot stones down her throat" (loc. cit.) is demonstrated to be aequivalent to Bellero-phon's similar treatment of the Khimaira, by noting that just as, in Lukia, Bellero-phon fled from women who displayed their nudity to him, so likewise (HM, p. 513) "Keanini came surfing from Hawaii and was about to land at Waikoloa when he saw two nude ladies bathing and was too bashful to proceed."

"MSR" = A. A. Macdonell : "Mythological Studies in the R.igVeda". J OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOC for 1895, pp. 165-90.


"NK" = "Nymphe Kymopoleia". http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheKymopoleia.html

"NO" = "Nymphe Oiolyka". http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheOiolyka.html

HD = Pukui & Elbert : Hawaiian Dictionary.

PhZ:SW = Philipp von Zesen : Sa:mtliche Werke. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 2011.


White 1887 = John White : The Ancient History of the Maori. 3 voll. Wellington.

pp. 198-9 ritual tying & wrapping in Vodun

p. 198

""tying" and "wrapping are central in Vodou spiritual work. Ritual experts in Vodou commonly construct physical objects whose elements

p. 199

semiotically instruct the spirits to address and direct a difficult situation (Rey and Richman 2010; McAlister 1995). Tying and wrapping have a number of effects : ... wrapping an object in certain colors calls and "heats up" the spirit being asked to bring about particular changes or events. Tying colored rope around the waist of a pilgrim to a shrine consolidates the power being engaged and directed. ... . ... the Vodouist operates within a scheme of ritual reciprocity, where the spirits act because they are being "fed" {with petitions} (by ... prayer, dance, flowers ...)".

Rey & Richman 2010 = Terry Rey & Karen E. Richman : "Tying Body and Soul in Haitian Religion". STUDIES IN RELIGION/SCIENCES RELIGIEUSES 39.3:379-403.

McAlister 1995 = Elizabeth A. : "A Sorcerer's Bottle : the Art of Magic in Haiti". In :- Donald J. Cosentino (ed.) : Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. Los Angeles : U.C.L.A. Fowler Mus of Cultural History.

p. 200 ancestral spirits on the bottom of the ocean

"They spoke directly to the demonic spirits they discerned ... to the bottom of the ocean. (This is where the spirits of ancestors ... reside in the Vodou cosmology ... .)"


Paul Christopher Johnson (ed.) : Spirited Things : the Work of "Possession" in Afro-Atlantic Religions. Univ of Chicago Pr, 2014.