Not so many people are aware about it but most of the culture of Brazil is of African origin. Just think about the music in Brazil as well as in other notable countries in south America such as Columbia and Bolivia, there is a good chance that your mind will think of excitement of carnival, hip movements of samba, intricate footwork and compelling rhythms. The biggest part in the world known as “carnival” in Brazil is European Pre-catholic pagan in origin but parading and masquerading traditions of African and their descendents made it what it is. Capoeira, Latin-African dance/martial art form has gained widespread popularity and student all over the world was originiated in Central Africa and brought into brazil by Black slaves which spain begun to mass import in 16th and 17th century.
Religion is the basic element of Afro-Brazilian society and culture. In Rio de Janeiro at the even of every new year, Brazilians of all social class and color gathers and ask the blessings of Yemanja, the Yoruba divinity that captive Africans brought in their heads in the slave ships. According to some brazil, at the new year eve, they are not Brazilians but Africans. Candomble is Afro-Brazilian religion that is spiritual epicenter for the people of brazil is largely based on the Yoruba people's religion in Benin and Nigeria.
Question arises, how African descendants has been able to impose their culture on the Brazilian society so successfully?. The key factor that facilitated assimilation of African culture into brazil was Catholic church that provided inadvertently hospitable environment to slaves and local population that helped to survive Africa spirituality and religions, while seeking their utter destruction. African slaves were sold in the Spanish and English colonies faced a stronger Christian indoctrination that eventually caused them to lose what little remained in the collective memory of the original African culture. This explains why in Latin America and North America were not explicit as African cults (Ratcliff, p27-38).
Afro-Latin religious and cultural practices and the interaction between European and African peoples and cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean
Afro-Brazilians's Africanity or African heritage is not alienated to them, or at least to the degree it is aliented to Afro-Americans through media and stereotypes associated with black community (they are thugs etc.). Dominated religious and cultural rituals which are dominated in Latin America, especially Brazil helped Afro-Hispanic community is proud of their heritage and have embedded their social and cultural practices and customs into the very fabric of brazil. The dominant and obvious cultural influence on Brazilian as well as other Latin american cultures is Yoruba. Spanish is largely spoken in the region Afro-Latin people maintain their residence but there are also a few countries that share some European ties by speaking Portuguese, so cultural and religious influence of these countries on Afro-Latin population is considerable. In this Latin culture, Catholicism is the predominate religion. There are also groups of Protestants, Jews and other religions ...