Candomble' was our next date. After rushing through dinner we dressed in our travelers best and loaded onto the bus to head for a ritualistic dance called Candomble'. Candomble' originated in Salvador and means "dance in honor of the gods". Originally brought to Brazil by slaves who wanted to practice their religion, candomble' represents a number of African religions with some Catholicism woven in. The ritual revolves around rhythmic drumming, singing and dancing that eventually sends some of the participants into a trance. Our guide did his best to explain the different gods and goddesses to us, what they represented and how we could tell their representations in the dance apart from one and other. Evidently millions of people practice this worship ritual in South America. At first it was difficult to understand what was going on, and personally I felt like an interloper into the private worship of these people. I felt awkward at first. It took about twenty minutes to adjust to the idea that we were welcome and to begin to understand what was going on. The drumming and singing were loud. The singing had an edge to it. The drumming was very African. There were two priest guides and probably fourteen dancers before the night ended. The movement was repetitive and rhythmic. Almost meditative. Between the singing, drumming, dancing and meditation the idea was that the dancer could slip into a trance. We did see a number of people go into trance. To witness this was very strange. The value of going into trance I'm not sure of. Some of them went quietly others went violently. As spectators there was no guarantee of safety as Rich, Dave Oberbillig, and his son Ian can attest. Nothing like being crashed into by a two hundred pound man spinning like a dervish to keep your attention. The ritual lasted about an hour and a half in a room that I would guess was a hundred degrees. No exaggeration. The whole experience was eye opening, sweat inducing and, for me probably misunderstood a bit. On the other hand it was a thinker. For a dance fan it was fascinating to see people worship through their movement. The combination of their dance and movement as meditative worship is a new idea to me. I do find watching dance can be very spiritual but I have never thought of it as my path to spirituality. As a westerner with my feet on the ground and much of my education founded in science it was a reach for me to believe what I was seeing, but I'm sure the worshippers would have a very different interpretation.
When we were done with our bus trip back to La Magna Rosa, we hit the restaurant and closed the place down. Learning more about people is a privilege I look forward to. I can learn more from one person's life than I could from any book. The shared wisdom and friendships more valuable than most real knowledge is, to me. I'm not much of a worshipper, but I will put my faith in a good friend any day. This faith was affirmed over for me tonight. Signing off from Salvador, Brazil wishing you peace with yourself and goodwill to your fellow man. Know that you will always have more than you need and never have less than you want.