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While some fear its dark reputation, others take delight in dancing to the cult’s “rhythm of the saints,” the samba.

In its outward appearances and in some of its practices, Macumba (also known as Spiritism, Candomblé, and Umbanda) resembles Voodoo. Trance states among the practitioners are induced by dancing and drumming, and the ceremony climaxes with an animal sacrifice.

The ancient role of the shaman remains central to Macumba. He (it is most often a male) or she enters into a trance state and talks to the spirits in order to gain advice or aid for the supplicants. Before anyone can participate in a Macumba ceremony, he or she must undergo an initiation. The aspirants must enter a trance during the dancing and the drumming and allow a god to possess them. Once the possession has taken place, the shaman must determine which gods are in which initiate so that the correct rituals can be performed. The process is enhanced by the sacrifice of an animal and the smearing of its blood over the initiates. Once the initiates have been bloodied, they take an oath of loyalty to the cult. Later, when the trance state and the possessing spirit have left them, the aspirants, now members of the Macumba cult, usually have no memory of the ritual proceedings.

Macumba was born in the 1550s from a blending between the spirit worship of the African slaves brought to Brazil and the Roman Catholicism of the slaveholders. Although the captive slaves were forced to give token obeisance to an array of Christian saints and the God of their masters, the native priests soon realized how complementary the two faiths could be—especially since, unlike the slave owners in the United States, the Brazilians allowed the slaves to keep their drums. The Africans summoned their gods, the orishas, with the sound of their drums and the rhythm of their dancing. The African god Exu became Saint Anthony, Lemanja became Our Lady of the Glory, Oba became Saint Joan of Arc, Oxala became Jesus Christ, Oxum became Our Lady of the Conception, and so on. From the melding of the two religious faiths, the Africans created the samba, the rhythm of the saints, which has survived as an international dance favorite.

References in periodicals archive ?
This will help prevent any damage, interference, removal or destruction of the Macumba shipwreck or its associated relics.
46) Xangos o Catimbo, es el lugar donde se realizan las ceremonias religiosas del culto negro que en rio de janeiro se llama macumba y en bahia candomble.
Os sons, a medida que se avolumam, vao criando uma impressao formidavel de magia negra, de macumba, de bruxedo.
Lee la observacion, memoriza lindas tonadas de varias naciones [de negros], de los varios terreiros del Norte, y organiza en ese morro una autentica macumba.
Encouraging flirtation, she offers bolinhos da ilusao (illusory cookies) that concurrently imply her engagement with macumba, the legendary magic of Brazil's Afro religious cults.
Challenged by a Black man to get rid of the evil spirits inside of him, Alfredo agrees to participate in a Macumba dance ceremony.
De acordo com pesquisa bibliografica, a Gruta da Macumba e a Gruta do Feitico (MG-517) podem ser consideradas como os unicos exemplos brasileiros formalmente identificados da presenca de rituais religiosos afro-brasileiros, mas e muito provavel que existam outros locais.
She also provides information on disco and salsa dancing at Macumba nightclub, in Havana's San Agustin district.
A cena da macumba na casa de Tia Ciata, um dos capitulos de Macunaima que sera discutido logo a seguir, guardaria, segundo Mario, em seus rituais de magia e religiosidade a ainda intocavel aura da musica autentica dos negros, forma original preservada nos seus espacos fundadores--o morro, a Pequena Africa, seus redutos especificos.
These are contrasted with case studies of the ethnogenesis of new culture groups in the Caribbean and South America as evidenced by the emergence of Haitian Vodun, Brazilian Macumba, and Cuban Santeria.
Repay him with a round of cocktails at Macumba, Europe's biggest nightclub.
Este hombre forma parte de las investigaciones de la PGR desde junio de 2004, cuando fueron apresados Efrain Perez Pazuengo, El Efra, Jorge Aureliano Felix, El Macumba, y 20 delincuentes, incluidos agentes ministeriales.