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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Afro-Catholic baptism and the articulation of a merchant community, Agoué 1840-1860
Author:Parés, Luis NicolauISNI
Year:2015
Periodical:History in Africa (ISSN 1558-2744)
Volume:42
Pages:165-201
Language:English
Geographic terms:West Africa
Benin
Brazil
Subjects:Catholic Church
baptism
freedmen
culture contact
Link:https://doi.org/10.1017/hia.2015.19
Abstract:This article analyzes the 'Southern' Afro-Brazilian Catholicism which was brought to West Africa by former slaves from Brazil prior to the expansion of the 'Northern' European Catholic missions. In examining two significant mass baptisms held in the town of Agoué in 1846 and 1855, the article explores the religious history of the Aguda or Afro-Brazilian freed slaves, and how they built a network of ethnic, commercial, and affective relationships by means of Catholic baptism and godparenting. The Aguda's Catholic affiliation (rather than conversion), beyond being coextensive with Brazilian identity, served to produce a merchant community whose main activity, in the early period, was the slave trade. The article also discusses the methodological potential of cross referencing and fertilizing West African data with Bahian data in order to elucidate how the returnees' appropriation of Catholic ritual was shaped by their previous Brazilian experience. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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