Sacred Leaves of Candomblé: African Magic, Medicine, and Religion in Brazil by Robert A. Voeks

Sacred Leaves of Candomblé: African Magic, Medicine, and Religion in Brazil

byRobert A. Voeks

Paperback | January 1, 1997

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Candomblé, an African religious and healing tradition that spread to Brazil during the slave trade, relies heavily on the use of plants in its spiritual and medicinal practices. When its African adherents were forcibly transplanted to the New World, they faced the challenge not only of maintaining their culture and beliefs in the face of European domination but also of finding plants with similar properties to the ones they had used in Africa.

This book traces the origin, diffusion, medicinal use, and meaning of Candomblé's healing pharmacopoeia—the sacred leaves. Robert Voeks examines such topics as the biogeography of Africa and Brazil, the transference—and transformation—of Candomblé as its adherents encountered both native South American belief systems and European Christianity, and the African system of medicinal plant classification that allowed Candomblé to survive and even thrive in the New World. This research casts new light on topics ranging from the creation of African American cultures to tropical rain forest healing floras.

About The Author

Robert A. Voeks is Professor of Geography at California State University, Fullerton.
African Ethnobotany in the Americas
African Ethnobotany in the Americas

by Robert Voeks

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Title:Sacred Leaves of Candomblé: African Magic, Medicine, and Religion in BrazilFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.04 × 0.67 inPublished:January 1, 1997Publisher:University Of Texas Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292787316

ISBN - 13:9780292787315

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Table of Contents

Note on OrthographyPreface1. Introduction 2. The Bahian Landscape3. Indians and Africans4. Religion of the Orixás5. Candomblé Medicine6. Medicinal Plant Classification7. The Candomblé Flora8. African Religion in the AmericasAppendix 1 Candomblé Species ListAppendix 2 House Abô for Three Candomblé Terreiros NotesGlossaryReferences CitedGeneral IndexIndex of Scientific Names

From Our Editors

Candomble, an African religious and healing tradition that spread to Brazil during the slave trade, relies heavily on the use of plants in its spiritual and medicinal practices. This book traces the origin, diffusion, medicinal use, and meaning of Candomble's healing pharmacopoeia. The author also compares the African system of medicinal plant classification that allowed Candomble to survive and thrive in the New World. 33 photos. 6 maps.

Editorial Reviews

Fascinating because it brings together in a single book information drawn widely from the several disciplines of geography, botany, history, and anthropology to provide an account of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé... in a competent and readable manner. - Sandra Lauderdale Graham, author of House and Street: The Domestic World of Servants and Masters in Nineteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro