CHILDREN’S BOOK HELPS AFRO-BRAZILIANS RECLAIM HERITAGE
By Erin White
February 21, 2019
I love a good children’s book! And this one is informative and celebratory. Written by Brazilian author Waldete Tristão, “Conhecendo os Orixás – De Exu a Oxalá (Knowing the Orixás – From Exu to Oxalá)” is a glorious book aimed at educating youngsters on the beauty and vibrancy of West African culture and heritage.
In the series of 18 books, the first volume explores Afro-Brazilian culture through each of the orixás (Orishas), or deities, of Candomblé to contextualize and educate those of African heritage. Teaming up with Caco Bressane, the pair bring to life the peculiarities of the most worshiped deities.
This beautiful book series, “Livro dos Orixás Para Crianças (Book of Orishas for Children)”, is circulating just in time. In Brazil, there have been vicious anti-Black attacks on African-derived religions like candomblé and umbanda, due to ignorance and miseducation. People have even gone as far as to physically destroy religious temples, assault those who practice these religions, and more. This attempt at reframing the glory of Orixás is absolutely powerful.