Salvador is the capital not just of Bahia, but of African Brazil. One cannot avoid the country’s African heritage, from the carnival rhythms, the wonderful spicy cooking, the rituals of candomblé (Brazil’s equivalent of santeria) and in the martial art ballet of capoeira.
These photographs were taken during the events surrounding Carnival. In Salvador, the state capitol there was the Yemanja Ceremony, in which tens of thousands of people show up at the beach at dawn, to light candles, offer prayers to Neptune, and pray for marriage, good health and prosperity.
In the smaller communities of the Reconcavo, the ceremonies were smaller and more native where young men dressing up in sheets and masks ran through they villages “scaring” the young women. In other villages were others offering gifts and prayers in small rural churches. The daily life of the inhabitants of this region are depicted in these photographs which show the soul, warmth, and gentleness of these wonderful people.