What are Macumba rituals?Macumba rituals is a generic name given to several syncretic cults of common practice in Brazil, and strongly influenced by religion and spiritualism, occultism, the rituals of candomblé brought from Africa and mixed with native American and Christian European traditions. The meaning of "Macumba" was originally a drum, more precisely one of the African instruments that were used in these rituals.
Later it was called Macumba to any manifestation or execution of healers, sorcerers and all kinds of people who work with the "invisible forces of the afterlife".
Scpecialists not agree on the meaning of the term; However, some say that it relates to an African God of some importance in that region, while some say that the macumba refers to a musical instrument, specifically the African drum; Finally, they are what define it simply as a special kind of magic and more identifies it simply as a type of black magic into the santeria.
Beliefs related to Macumba ReligionTraditional beliefs of umbanda, fon, yoruba and bantu, who came from different regions of Africa, incorporated some aspects of the Catholic faith during the arrival of slaves shipped to Brazil. In this way, Macumba has its origin in a syncretic religion, meaning is it a religion which combines elements of many different religions.
A word that we rescue is candomblé, which means 'dance in honour of the gods'. Practitioners of candomblé believe in an all-powerful God called Oludumare, related with others minor deities. These deities are called orishas. Macumba ceremony and candomblé practitioners believe that each person has their own personal orixa that controls its destiny and acts as a protector. Music and dancing are an important part of the ceremonies of candomblé. Special choreographed dances are performed by the faithful so they can be possessed by the orixás.
There is no concept of good or evil to the Macumba Religion and candomblé. Each person is only required to fulfill his destiny to the maximum. Macumba is an oral tradition and therefore has no holy scriptures.
Macumba ritual DivisionsPagelanza, practiced in Brazil in the Amazon region.
Cantimbo, practiced with the border areas of Venezuela, Colombia, and Guyana and northern Brazil.
Tore, practiced in the State of Alagoas, Brazil.
As we mentioned in the beginning, macumba is African, with the arrival of the African slaves to the South of Latin America (about 3 million) during the period of conquest and colonization of Brazil around 1500 were imported several of the beliefs and customs that soon mingled with the Customs and beliefs of the natives of this region In addition to mingle with the nascent Catholicism also carried by the evangelists, all of this mixture resulted in this kind of practical magic, which would be later identified as Macumba rituals.
As elsewhere in America, the process of evangelization and introduction of a new religion required that the ancient gods were absorbed by the newcomers in the pre-Hispanic Mexico, for example, the Virgin of Guadalupe is a clear example of this. In Brazil, for its part, the goddess of the sea and waters was identified with the Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción, the God of the hunt was identified with Saint George and his God Oxala was identified as Jesus Christ.
The African elements that are commonly found in the Macumba rituals include an outdoor ceremonial space, candles, flowers and cigars and animals that are slaughtered. During the macumba ceremony the "santero", "macumbero" or Warlock enters in trance and is said that he comes into contact with spirits of Saints who made the requests. Of course, the worship of the Saints is an important part of all these macumba rituals.
Macumba religion and witchcraftPersons performing Macumba began to be persecuted by the Brazilian authorities with the arrival of the 20th century. Ritual activities that involve witchcraft or magic were prohibited by the Government and strongly suppressed. While the first Constitution of Brazil ensured freedom of religion and creed, a criminal law of 1890 prohibited the practice of "Spiritism, witchcraft and magic spells". In 1942 a new law still condemned the "sorcerers", but only to those who practiced evil or black magic. Anthropologists today understand that by suppressing witchcraft, they were showing that they believed in the power of these practices and religious rituals.
Macumba ReligionMacumba religion usually involves herbs and plants. Herbs are prepared by medical wizards (known as macumberos) and given to those who seek help of any kind, especially monetary, so it is advised to take baths. These herbs are used for 7 days. After this time is expected that the patient becomes richer. This practice is not limited only to the acquisition of wealth, also is frequently used to cause injury or bad luck to someone.
In Brazil not everyone gives his image to any person or to someone who they don't know personally, the reason is that they believe that a photograph can be used to inflict pain or cause damage. Doctor Macumber or Macumba can incorporate the image into a ritual to make black magic causing monetary loss, misfortune, misery, pain and death.
Rituals of Brazilian Macumba ReligionMacumba and other forms of witchcraft are practiced by many people in Brazil. For this, there are groups of practitioners and initiation. The initiate must enter into a trance so the holy father can identify what spirit has taken possession of the body and determine what ceremony is most appropriate.
These rituals include animal sacrifices, subtle spills of blood and deep hypnotic trances in which indoctrinated to the started to obey to the cult. During the ceremony they play drums, chants are heard and they make ritual dances to cause a general trance in the people witnessing the act , who sometimes end up exhausted and with no memory of what happened.