Candomblé is the religion devoted to the cult of African deities known as “orixás”. These deities manifest themselves in the rituals when the Candomblé priests and priestesses get into a trance. It arrived in Salvador between the 16th and 19th centuries, with the slave trade. Candomblé is a word originated in the Yorubá language, and it means “festivity”, or the name given to the place where such festivity takes place. Candomblé is a monotheist religion, that is, it believes only in one god, known as Olorun. The orixás were created by Olorun to assist in the creation of the world and everything in it.
As a way of complementing the cult, the word Candomblé began to define the model of each tribe or African region. So, there are the Candomblés of the Keto, Jeje, Angola, Congo and Muxicongo nations. In Salvador were settled the Candombles of the Keto nation. The rituals are held in temples called “Terreiros” and their preparation is restricted to the initiates in the cult, which involves a complex liturgy centered on plants and natural elements. They are held in African dialects, with the use of chants and typical percussion instruments (the atabaques), that vary according to the deity being worshiped..
Among the thousands of terreiros that exist in the city, the ones that stand out are the Ilê Iya Omi Axé Yamasse (Gantois), founded by Candomblé priestess Mãe Menininha do Gantois, the Ilê Axé Opô Afonjá, which is one of the oldest and is coordinated by Mãe Stella de Oxóssi, the Ilê Axé Iyanasso Oka (known as the white house), which is coordinated by Mãe Tatá de Oxum and the Terreiro Araketu, a very traditional one, run by Mãe Olga de Araketu.