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The Yoruba in Brazil, Brazil in Yorubaland:

Cultural Encounter, Resilience, and Hybridity in the Atlantic World

(O Povo Iorubá no Brasil, O Brasil na Yorubalândia)


Edited by Niyi Afolabi and Toyin Falola


(This uniquely bilingual book has been CONTRACTED to be published by Carolina Academic Press, USA)


There is no other African ethnic group that is so widely dispersed across the Americas as the Yoruba. While the Yoruba people of West Africa constitute one of the largest ethnic groups in Sub-Saharan Africa that were forcibly taken to Brazil during slavery, the richness of Yoruba cultural and religious influence in Brazil is so extensive that it is inexhaustible. From the centrality of hybridized Yoruba religious rites in Candomblé and Umbanda where Yoruba liturgical praise chants (Oriki) are still rendered to the deities, linguistic retentions in such terms as Olorum, Oduduwa, Xango, Oxum, Yemojá, cultural manifestations of the sacred in the profane as in Yoruba-derived Carnival groups such as Olodum, Ilê  Aiyê, Okambi, Didá, to culinary renovations as in Acarajé (originally Akara) and Abara (originally Moin-Moin), the quantitative and qualitative evidence abounds that the Yoruba people and their culture visibly survived in Brazil. Considered as the second largest black nation after Nigeria, Brazil is poised to become a major cultural player in global affairs in the current millennium.

This volume seeks to bring together the diverse perspectives not only on these cultural retentions in Brazil but also to interrogate the reverse journey of the returnees (freed slaves) to West Africa as they grapple with a new colonial setting upon their return as well as their own efforts to recreate “Brazil” in Yorubaland. The Brazilian Government is currently encouraging the inclusion of African history as well as Yoruba language in the curriculum of many Brazilian universities—a prospect that will energize the emerging trends of mutual visits to reconnect with families left behind both in Brazil as well as in Yorubaland, which includes Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Togo, and Ghana. We thus invite essays written primarily in English but those written in Portuguese will have abstracts in English published with them for a wider readership.


Essays should be between 25-30 double-sided pages, using the MLA style and sent to the editors electronically in Word by August 30, 2014 (afolabi@austin.utexas.edu and toyin.falola@austin.utexas.edu. We encourage new submissions but relevant and previously published will be considered as long as they are accompanied with express permissions from the original publisher.  Please include a one-page bio to your submission as well as your related coordinates. A preliminary 100 word abstract should reach editors by March 30, 2014.


We envisage that this volume will fill a needed gap in scholarship in African, African American, Latin American, and African Diaspora studies, as it redefines the way we approach the Diaspora—not as a uni-dimensional event but that which is complicated by multivalent currents of Atlantic displacement, return, colonialism, neo-colonialism, new migrations and identity formations across a global landscape that is struggling to question the “center,” demarginalize the “periphery,” and reformulate the local in the global and the global within the local.