During the Festivity of Yemanja, people honor one of the most important deities of candomblé, in Antonello Veneri's photos.
By Antonello Veneri
The celebration of Iemanjá, held every year on February 2, in Rio Vermelho neighborhood, in Salvador, is the largest Afro-Brazilian festival in the country, reaching more than 300,000 participants, including representatives of terreiros, candomblé devotees, Catholics, lovers of traditions and tourists.
Historians tell us that the celebration began in the last century, in the 1920s, when a group of 25 fishermen from the Rio Vermelho fishing colony decided to make offerings to Iemanjá, the great Mother of Waters, asking in return, for fish in abundance.
According to historian Manoel Passos, this is the only one of the popular celebrations of Salvador eminently Afro-Brazilian. "It does not have catholic or european origin. It was created by the african ancestors who lived here and by a specific group, the fishermen's", he explains.
Yéyé Omó Ejá, Yemojá, Janaina and Iyá Ori, are the other names of Iemanjá, the "mother whose children are fishes", one of the most important orixás of candomblé.
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