Bahian Candomblé and the Quest for the Really Real
Distributed for Amsterdam University Press
For over a hundred years, writers, artists, anthropologists and tourists have travelled to Bahia, Brazil, in search of the spirit possession cult called Candomblé. Thus, successive generations of cultists have seen a long, steady stream of curious outsiders coming to their temples with notebooks and cameras, questions and inquisitive gazes, or ogling eyes and the hope of inclusion. This study asks what seduced these outsiders to seek access to the Afro-Brazilian religious universe and, conversely, how did cultists respond to the overwhelming interest in their creed and to becoming an object of the outsiders’ imaginations.