Flowers to the Ocean

Marta Cuesta

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The purpose of this book is to grasp the presence of Candomblé in the Brazilian society and more specifically in the city of Salvador da Bahia.

Candomblé is an Afro-Brazilian religion practised by approximately thirty five million Brazilians, today. Brazil is a country whose cultural diversity is characterised by social contrasts. The Candomblé religion has culturally mixed roots and as both part and product of the Brazilian society has a 'multicultural' character.

This book has three aims. The first one is to grasp the experience and meaning of Candomblé emphasising the members self-perceptions, identity-construction and world views. To render intelligible these aspects I have used my field material presenting the everyday experiences of the terreiros (Candomblé house), principally the Unipó Filho terreiro and particularly the voices of the filhas and the mãe.

The second aim is to analytically grasp gender and ethnicity as central constructing and shaping Candomblé practices. Theoretically, and through the concept of flexibility, authenticity and modernity I underline the continuos process of negotiations, recreation and change as central to Candomblé dynamics and impact in the wider society. Candomblé has for its practitioners historically implied political negotiations and a mixed identity; where each terreiro1s specific religious style, is a product of the interaction between different ethnic nations and gender aspects.

The third aim is to contribute to a fruitful dialogue between Sociology and Anthropology in the understanding of religious phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Sociology
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1997 Mar 21
ISBN (Print)91-7966-406-7
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 1997-03-21
Time: 10:15
Place: Carolinasalen, Lunds universitet
External reviewer(s)
Name: Lindius, Jan
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: [unknown]

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Free keywords

  • modernity
  • authenticity
  • flexibility
  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • identity
  • fieldwork
  • religion
  • Candomblé
  • Brazil
  • Bahia
  • Sociology


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