Nosso Sagrado

Building a fraternal heritage

Exu Ijelú - Exu, Legbara and Nzila are the messengers between the human and the divine, respectively of the Ketu, Jeje and Angola nations. Vital Force that streamlines movement, path and communication.Museu da República

Nosso Sagrado ("Our Holy") arrived at the Museu da República on September 21, 2020, Spring of the Museums. The collection brings together 519 pieces of Afro-Brazilian religiosities confiscated by the police in casa de santo in the city of Rio de Janeiro in the first decades of republican Brazil.

Trio of atabaques (Lé, Rumpi and Rum, respectively the smaller, medium and larger atabaque). The atabaques dominate the dialect of the deities. In ceremonies, they call for the circle, singing, dancing. They echo feelings, tell stories and call for the fight. They are symbols of ethnic affirmation.Museu da República

Mothers and fathers of saints were accused of healers, charlatans and other typifications provided for in the then Penal Code of 1890. Their ritual objects, apprehended as “crime evidence”, became part, in 1945, of what is now the Civil Police Museum of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

Adê de Oxun - "Adê" is a word from the Yoruba language that means "crown".Museu da República

Associating objects of Afro-Brazilian religions with crime is a conduct that finds living expression in the Eurocentric scientific thought that gained strength in Brazil in the 19th and early 20th centuries, assuming the inferiority of non-white peoples and their cultural practices.

Feather Headdress - Used by Caboclos, spiritual entities of great relevance in Umbanda and Candomblé.Museu da República

In 1938, the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Service, currently Iphan, ordered the registration of the sacred pieces seized by the Rio police, which then contained around 200 items. It was the country's first ethnographic registration.

Beaded string - Necklace worn by initiates of African-based religions, with protective force.Museu da República

The sacred objects were then named The Black Magic Museum Collection, showing the prejudice and subtle aspects of the construction of a derogatory social imaginary of Afro-Brazilian culture.

Abebé de Oshun - Object with spiritual strength to drive away negative energies. In Candomblé, a sacred mirror in which Oxum admires his own beauty.Museu da República

The people of Axé fought hard for the liberation of sacred objects. “There was no crime” – repeats steadfastly Mãe Meninazinha de Oxum, a Candomblé authority – “what happened was disrespect, ignorance, religious racism”.

Pipe - In Candomblé, pipes represent the deity of healing. In Umbanda, they are widely used by Pretos Velhos, spirits associated with the archetype of the wise old man.Museu da República

In 2017, the community of santo mobilized the support of political authorities, artists and social movements, launching the Free Nosso Sagrado Campaign. The transfer of the collection to the Museu da Republica is seen as a result of this struggle.

Tool of Ossaim, Agué and Katende, respectively the deity of healing with leaves from the Ketu, Jeje and Angola nations.Museu da República

A delegation led by Mãe Meninazinha proposed, at the end of 2018, that the sacred objects be transferred to the Museu da Republica. The only condition, common to the parties: that a group of saint leaders and Museum technicians be constituted for the shared management of the collection.

Opá, representing Yamase, mother of Xangô, for the settlement of the Orixá.Museu da República

One of the first measures taken by the Santo Work Group was to rename the collection to the Nosso Sagrado Collection. The commitment is to empower it as an instrument for affirming the right to religious freedom, life, culture and memory.

Yemanja, in the siren's syncretismMuseu da República

The transfer of the sacred collection to the Museu da República is a precise step towards projects that shed light on this cultural heritage, ensuring its documentation, preservation, communication and democratic access.

Credits: Story

Museu da República /IBRAM/SECULT
Director - Mario Chagas
Technical Coordination - Daniela Matera do M. Lins
Communication Sector - Henrique Milen

Historical research: Maria Helena Versiani e Eduardo Possidônio .
Text elaboration: Maria Helena Versiani.
Editing: Paulo Celso Corrêa.
Photographs: Oscar Liberal.
Museological technical processing : Adriana Barreira, Emanuelle Rosa Ferraz e Maria Gabriela Glória de Moura.
Consultancy: Mãe Meninazinha de Oxum, Pai Roberto Braga Tata Luazemi, Mãe Nilce d'Iansã e Mãe Marcinha.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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