Pomba gira as Alabê in Quimbanda: Ritual Change, Musical Innovation, and Challenging Social Hierarchies in Southern Brazil Marc

M. Gidal, Harvard University Prepared for delivery at the 2009 Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 11-14, 2009.

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O sino da igrejinha fazer le blem blom Da meia noite o galo ja cantou Seu tranca rua é o dono da gira O corre gira que Ogum mandou.

The chapel bell rings ding, ding, dong At midnight the rooster has already sung Thee Blocker of the Street is the lord of the mediums’ ring The spinning ring that Ogum ordered.

Attendees of Umbanda ceremonies in metropolitan Porto Alegre before 1970 would have sung or heard this sung prayer, or ponto cantado, just before the malevolent spirits, called exus and pomba giras or simply the “spirits of the street,” began “incorporating” some of the spirit mediums in the circle mentioned in the prayer. The spirits would arrive grunting, drink a small cup of Brazilian rum called cachaça, clear negative energy from the participants and the house, and leave the mediums to conclude the service. This veneration of ancestral spirits of mal intent typically occupied the last five to fifteen minutes of Umbanda rituals. Returning to the same worship house around 1990, one could hear the same ponto cantado, but this time it would be sung at the beginning of the ceremony. Instead of distinguishing the section for exus from the other Umbanda spirits, it now establishes the objective for the entire ceremony and sets the tone for the evening. Instead of calling this ritual Umbanda, many participants would distinguish the veneration of the “spirits of the street” as “Quimbanda.” The performance of Quimbanda rituals developed during the 1970s and 80s as they became more public and less restricted, though much of the underlying theology would remain the same. The exus and pomba giras now comprise the central focus of an entire evening that can last all night. Exus and pomba giras used to walk hunched over with contorted postures and hand gestures. They grunted and shouted but did not speak. Nowadays exus and pomba giras stand upright, dance, sing, and converse with each other and congregants more than other types of spirits in Umbanda. During Umbanda ceremonies spirit-mediums still wear white gowns or medical aprons, but for Quimbanda the mediums wear lavish and often expensive outfits – such as ball gowns, suits, fancy hats, and capes. After incorporated by the spirits, they drink hard liquor, sweet wine, Champaign, and beer, and smoke cigars and cigarettes throughout the night (Teixeira 2005; Batalla and Barreto 2008). During the resurgence of Quimbanda starting in the 1970s, rituals changed dramatically and increased in popularity. Scholars have interpreted some of the transformations in connection with the black-consciousness and women’s movements of the 1970s and as responses to the economic crisis and antagonisms from Neo-Pentecostalism in the 1980s, as will be discussed. Beginning in the 1970s, the wardrobe and behavior of the spirits changed in Umbanda, new compositions proliferated, new drum patterns emerged, and song-leading and accompaniment duties were shared among participants other than the musical leaders, including the possessed spirit-mediums. These musical innovations have in turn challenged social boundaries. My research shows that changes in musical participation, new compositions, and rhythmic innovations created tensions with the musical leadership of religious houses over authority and authorship. These power conflicts continue today, extending from the domain of religious ceremonies to the music recording industry. This paper argues that an increasingly egalitarian approach to musical practice and the proliferation of new liturgy in Quimbanda bolstered other anti-hierarchical contestations within the Afro-Brazilian religious community of Porto Alegre on theological and social levels. These efforts drew on the existing theology of spiritual evolution, the trend in race politics of “re-Africanization” (Prandi 1991), and changing

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gender roles. Despite these challenges, however, musical leaders maintain their authority within an inherently hierarchical religion.

Batuque, Umbanda, and Quimbanda in Southernmost Brazil
In metropolitan Porto Alegre, the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, a majority of the religious houses dedicated to Afro-Brazilian religion practice what is variously called “Afro-Gaucho religion” or “Afro-Umbandism,” a combination of three religious lines: Batuque, Umbanda, and Quimbanda (Corrêa [1992] 2006; Brites 1993; Rodolpho 1994; Polvora 1994; de Assis de Almeida 2002; Teixeira 2005; Anjos 2006; Braga 2003). Batuque, also called “Nação” and “Africanismo,” is one of the more orthodox, African religions in Brazil, along with those from the northeast such as Candomblé from Bahia, Xangô from Pernambuco, and Tambor de Mina from Maranhão. It has been practiced in southern Brazil at least since the mid-eighteenth century (Bastide [1960] 1978: 206 ff.; Corrêa 1992). In the Batuque feasts, or celebrations, reverence and thanks are paid to the divinities, called by the Yoruba term “orixás,” through prayers and sacrificial offerings. The orixás, in turn, “manifest” themselves, as batuqueiros say, in the bodies of disciples, to bless congregants by passing to them sacred vital energy called “axé.” Umbanda and its close relative Quimbanda are twentieth-century Brazilian hybrids, often called “syncretic” religions. Umbanda is believed to have begun in 1908, but was codified in 1920s Rio de Janeiro by a group of Spiritists. They combined aspects of several older spiritmediumship religions: French Spiritism, Afro-Brazilian Macumba, Folk Catholicism, and Amerindian Shamanism. During Umbanda ceremonies, mediums “incorporate” a diverse assortment of ancestral spirits. The spirits then cleanse congregants and consult with individuals seeking assistance and guidance, usually regarding problems of health, family, work, or finances. Starting in the late 1960s Umbandistas all over Brazil began reclaiming Quimbanda, and its theology and ceremonies began to change. Quimbanda, originally a pejorative term for Macumba and “black magic,” now refers to the veneration and incorporation of the so-called “spirits of the street.” These include spirits of vagrants, hustlers, prostitutes, and graveyard attendants as well as certain orixás who command these spirits, principally Ogum Medê. Unlike the benevolent spirits of Umbanda, these ancestral spirits can cause both harm and good. They are grouped under the categories of exus, pomba giras, and ciganos. The term exu was borrowed from the Yoruba orixá Exú, the messenger between divinities and humans, the remover of obstacles, the so-called “trickster” divinity. In Umbanda theology exus came to mean the male ancestral spirits of the street. Their female counterparts are called pomba giras, literally meaning “spinning pigeons” (Prandi 2005: 82f.; Trindade and Coelho 2006). Also notable are the spirits of Romani people from Spain and Portugal, called “ciganos.” Both Batuque and Umbanda feature hierarchical religious communities, with relationships between spirits and humans, and priests and devotees, based on loyalty, patronage, and protection. Francisco de Assis de Almeida viewed the hierarchical religious family relationships of Batuque as both reflective of the divine family of its theology and nineteenthcentury rural settlements of Rio Grande do Sul (2002). In a similar vein, Diana DeG. Brown presented Umbanda practices in Rio de Janeiro during the 1960s and 70s as reflecting the hierarchy and bureaucratic interactions associated with Brazil’s military dictatorship ([1986] 1994). The Afro-gaucho religion features social relationships of Batuque more so than those of the Umbanda community that Brown studied in 1960s Rio de Janeiro, thereby reflecting what

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Roberto DaMatta calls a system based on socially connected “persons” rather than anonymous “individuals” ([1979] 1991). In the 1950s religious houses in Porto Alegre began practicing both Batuque and Umbanda, somewhat distinct traditions that inadvertently began to mix, although cautiously. Sociologist Reginaldo Prandi describes two modes of worship in the Bahian Brazilian religions of Angolan-Bantu heritage that are useful here: worshiping divinities and venerating ancestral spirits of the land (Prandi 2005: 122f.). He extends this distinction to other Afro-Brazilian religious communities that evince a twofold division of practices, often within the same community. On the one side are religious lines considered more orthodox and more African whose central focus is the worship of divinities – such as Batuque and the Ketu-Nagô nation of Candomblé. On the other side are the religious traditions considered more syncretic, hybrid, and, in turn, Brazilian, which focus on consulting with ancestral spirits, such as Candomblé de Caboclo, Jurema, Encantaría, Umbanda, and Quimbanda. Musical differences between the more orthodox and more hybrid varieties of AfroBrazilian religion have occasionally been compared, but solely in the context of northeastern Brazil (Kubik 1979; Béhague 1975, 1986; Carvalho 1984b, 1994b; Pinto 1991b, 1997; Piper 2006; Sandler 2002). Generally speaking, the orthodox liturgy is based in African languages, antiphonal in form, and follows melodic conventions closely associated with West and Southwest (roughly Angola) Africa. The liturgies of the more hybrid religions are eclectic and dynamic. They use mostly vernacular Portuguese, strophic and antiphonal song-forms, melodic and harmonic conventions associated with Luso-Brazilian folk music, and influences from samba and other popular Brazilian music. Religious houses that practice both religious lines tend to distinguish their respective musical practices. Gerard Béhague observed an increased acceptance of “stylistic variety,” rather than “stylistic changes,” as Candomblé houses of Bahia began integrating rituals from the syncretic traditions (Béhague 1986: 22). 1 Both Gerard Kubik and José Jorge de Carvalho eschew distinguishing African from European musical systems and aesthetics to contrast the more orthodox from the more hybrid traditions. Kubik argues that distinguishing Yoruban from Angolan influences would indeed be more productive: since the Angolan systems share key qualities with Portuguese folk music, their intermingling in Brazil fostered more hybrid syncretic traditions such as samba and capoeira. 2 Having noted the lack of ethnomusicological studies of the more syncretic traditions, Carvalho suggested that future researchers create “new ethnomusicological criteria that can deal with the complexity and the accelerated dynamics of this stage of the process,” that process being the “acculturation of African music in Brazil” (1984b: 244).

Although perhaps overly influenced by Alan Lomax’s Cantometrics project, Béhague compared the musical styles of Umbanda and Candomblé ceremonies in the Northeast to speculate connections between vocal styles, culture, and demographics or religious lines (Béhague 1975). 2 “It was apparent that, in contrast to the Yoruba tradition, the “Angolan” strain in Afro-Bahian music had easily assimilated certain elements of Western European strophic form, solo and refrain in the songs’ structure, and diatonic harmony. The presence of modality and parallel thirds in the “Angolan” strain of street Samba could be easily interpreted as “Portuguese”. The fact is, however, that in the domain of tone systems and multi-part singing Angolan and Portuguese traits reinforced each other in Brazil. The near-equiheptatonic tone system of inland Angola structurally linked with singing in (neutral) third-plus-fourth or third-plus-fifth chains and the diatonic tone system of Western European folk music linked with singing in major/minor parallel thirds made a perfect blend possible in Brazil. Yoruba music on the other hand continued in Bahia with its pentatonic system and absence of harmonic part singing” (Kubik 1979: 22, italics in original).

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The present analysis of musical innovations in contemporary Quimbanda responds in part to Carvalho’s call. But rather than trying to describe a process of acculturation, that is, how African religion became more Brazilian, my goal is to reveal tensions between creative agency and social power relations within the religious community and to connect changes in ritual performance to cotemporaneous social movements during Brazil’s return to democracy from military dictatorship and corresponding civil liberties movements.

Transformations in Quimbanda
Transformations in Quimbanda ritual and its increased popularity also resonate with broader social challenges forged by the black consciousness movement and the women’s movement of the late 1970s. These movements helped gain civil liberties during Brazil’s long process of returning to democracy (Fontaine 1985; Andrews 1991; Hanchard 1994). Following Prandi, scholars of religion call this process “re-Africanization,” meaning the intentional assertion of aesthetics, theologies, and practices considered more African, a trend connected to the black consciousness movement (Prandi 1991, 1998). Through the lens of re-Africanization, the increased prominence of and respect for exus and pomba giras, spirits previously viewed as malevolent, shows Afro-Brazilian culture reclaiming the Macumba religion from white racist misinterpretations of it as black magic and an overarching ideology of “whitening” prevalent during the first quarter of the twentieth century (Ortiz 1991; Brown 1999). Brazil’s women’s movement, for its part, helped refigure gender roles that allowed the proliferation of pomba gira spirits (Gibbal 1991; Hayes 2005; Thiele 2006). The pomba giras of Quimbanda challenge notions of femininity within a patriarchal religion, as Monique Augras has argued: Umbanda seems to have promoted, in terms of the figure of [the orixá] Iemanjá, an almost complete emptying of sexual content. Such sublimation (or repression?) gave an opportunity for the growth of a new entity, a purely Brazilian creation, the pomba-gira, a synthesis of the aspects more scandalous than can represent the free expression of feminine sexuality to the eyes of a society still dominated by patriarchal values (Augras 2004: 17-18, translation by author). Through the lens of women’s empowerment, the leadership role that pomba giras assume during ceremonies in chanting the pontos subverts gender roles of musical participation in which leadership has traditionally been a male domain (Henry 2004: 118-9). Changes in Quimbanda ritual more broadly resonate with changes in Brazil’s governance from authoritarianism to democracy. Freedom of religious practices prescribed in the new constitution allowed more experimenting and innovating within the realm of Umbanda. The freedom of speech paralleled a growth in new compositions and a freedom for exus to speak and converse, though perhaps coincidentally. The evolution of exus began in Porto Alegre as early as the late 1960s, during the height of the military regime’s control. So these ritual changes in fact preceded eventual changes in governance, while the popularity of Quimbanda in the 1980s coincided with increased civil liberties associated with re-democratization. During Brazil’s cotemporaneous economic crisis, Quimbanda offered, and continues to offer, an inexpensive and potentially speedy antidote for the poor who sought immediate refuge from financial, material, domestic, and health problems (Westra 1988: 206). Jorge Jose de Carvalho’s argument that Umbanda is the latest sign of acculturation in Afro-Brazilian religion resonates with another common theme in the literature on Afro-Brazilian religion, sometimes called “umbandization,” that the more hybrid religions have diluted the more

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orthodox ones. Carlos Caroso and Núbia Rodrigues opine that the rise of exus in Bahian candomblé-de-caboclo is a result of the increase in umbanidization, “introducing ritual elements that permit them to compete in the market of good symbols.” 3 Roberto Matta calls the “umbandization of Xangô” in Recife “a special type of mass production that inevitably brings the degradation of mythic and aesthetic quality of religious articles.” 4 Through the lens of umbandization, the popularity of composing pontos to the exus and more egalitarian forms of participation are signs that the original meanings of Exú in Batuque (that is, the characteristics and roles of the orixá Exú, not the ancestral Brazilian spirit) are being lost in the representation of exu in Quimbanda pontos and looser ways of making music due to a diluted knowledge. Through this interpretive lens, the more egalitarian nature of musical participation reflects Umbanda’s corruption of authentic Afro-Brazilian ritual performance. Yet another way that these recent changes in the religion have been interpreted are as responses to cotemporaneous surges in Neo-Pentecostalism and Charismatic Catholicism in the 1980s, which have served as the greatest antagonist to Afro-Brazilian religions writ large (Prandi, Oro, Caroso, Rodrigues, Trindade). Through this line of reasoning, the changing behavior of the exus, from hunched over, grunting primitive beings to elegantly dressed, upright, dancing, singing, and consulting spirits, could be part of an effort to restore respect for AfroBrazilian religion in the face of such animosity toward exus including mimicry of the older way that exus behaved in Neo-Pentecostal exorcisms which are a central focus of conversion ceremonies at the massively popular denomination called IURD. Practitioners themselves have consistently explained to me that changes in Quimbanda ritual and its increased popularity are related to, first and foremost, the evolution of spirits, and rarely to any of the recurring reasons offered in the social-science literature. The theology of spiritual evolution comes from the Spiritist contribution to Umbanda. Spiritism organizes all spirits within an evolutionary hierarchy, with Jesus Christ at the top, residing in the “spiritual plane,” having the most spiritual “light,” and malevolent spirits at the bottom, in the “dark” “material plane” (Hess 1991; Greenfield 1992, 1995; Negrão 2005). In Umbanda, spirits can increase their spiritual light, thus evolve, through the charity of helping people. They thereby gain more attention, more devotees, and receive ritual offerings of greater quantity and quality. In Quimbanda, these offerings include sacrificial pigeons, hens, roosters, goats, sheep, and bulls (Rodolpho 1994), which in turn signify a spirit’s increased power, evolution, and efficacy. “The religion evolved a lot,” explained Mãe Ieda de Ogum, an early innovator of Quimbanda practices in Porto Alegre. “Before, the exu arrived shouting, hunched over, and with a candle. It was like this for many years. Today the exu has evolved because the people call, the people request, the people pray, the people present, the people thank, and they [the exus] oblige.” 5 I propose that the production, dissemination, and performance of pontos cantados (the sung prayers of Umbanda and Quimbanda) function similarly to offerings and sacrifices by both bolstering and signaling a spirit’s power. Mãe Miriam de Xangô of Porto Alegre, for example, wrote the ponto cantado, “Dama da Noite” in 1994 “specifically because it was the first party that I threw in my house, for her, so I made a new ponto for her.” 6 As exus, pomba giras, and
“introduzindo elementos rituais que as permitem competir no mercado de bens simbólicos.” (Caroso and Rodrigues 2001: 332) 4 “acarretando entretanto uma espécie de produção em massa, levando inevitavelmente à degradação da qualidade mística e estética do ‘artigo’ religioso.” (Motta 1999: 32) 5 Interview with author, May 13, 2008, Porto Alegre, Brazil, emphasis hers. 6 Interview with author, November, 30, 2007, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
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ciganos are enabled to speak, sing, lead the chanting of pontos cantados, and provide consultations to clients, they can earn more devotees and thus more power. The elongated Quimbanda ceremonies and its ever-expanding repertory of pontos cantados both aid and reflect the evolution of some of the lowest spirits. These ritual changes thereby challenge and alter the existing spiritual hierarchy, at least in the eyes of the Quimbandistas.

Mãe Ieda de Exu Rei das Sete Encruziladas
Eu vi a lua, clareando a lua, a lua, Tinha uma garafo de marafo, para o senhor Bará tomar. Passou homen, olhou e viu, tirou chapeu, e me comprimentou. Será macumba macumba, ou será imagem do amor. Seu Sete, meu amigo das almas, Seu Sete, meu irmão quimbandeiro Gira tudo mundo gira Mas seu sete é mesangeiro de Oxalá I saw the moon, the clear moon, the moon, I had a bottle of cachaça for Mister Bará to drink. A man passed, he looked and saw, tipped his hat and greeted me. It will be a macumba macumba, or it will be the image of love. His Seven, my friend of the souls, His Seven, my fellow Quimbandist, Spin, everyone spin, But His Seven is a messenger of Oxalá

When I told Mãe Ieda de Ogum (Ieda Maria Viena da Silva), also known as Mãe Ieda de Exu Rei das Sete Encruziladas, that I had heard her ponto sung in many religious houses, she exclaimed: “Who doesn’t copy my house? For my exu draws a crowd, so they use it. My exu was the first to wear a cape on the sea shore. I was the first to make Quimbanda on the sea shore. I was the first to make celebration on the crossroad. I did this. [...] Everyone sings it, here, in Argentina, in Uruguay, in the United States. Everything is from Mae Ieda. It’s good.” 7 Determining the extent of Ieda’s influence on the development of contemporary rituals aside, her involvement with Quimbanda certainly parallels its resurgence in Porto Alegre. Her story therefore serves to introduce the changes in ritual, theology, and music. Mãe Ieda de Ogum and Pai Neco de Oxalá composed pontos cantados that are widely sung in Quimbanda ceremonies, largely because they were early innovators in the 1970s. The above ponto by Mãe Ieda is often sung in other houses, whether or not practitioners know its origins. She wrote it with her daughter Anara around 1980 in honor of her exu spirit, Exu Rei das Sete Encruzilhadas, and the spirit line of Kings which he commands. The lyrics contain common images in Quimbanda pontos, including the moonlit night, the stranger on the street, the street-side offering (macumba, in this context), and a bottle of cachaça rum (also represented with “garafo de marafo”). The first stanza tells a story of encountering the entity and its place in the world – outside and nocturnal – and it leaves us with a question whether this encounter was romantic (amor) or devotional (macumba). The second stanza exalts the exu in the form of a greeting to him and his phalanx, the line of kings.
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“Quem é que não copia minha casa? Que meu exu botou galera, gaston. O meu exu foi o primeira que botou capa na beira da praia. Eu fui primeira que fiz quimbanda na beira da praia. Eu fui primeira que fiz festa no cruzeiro. Fui isso. [...] Tudo mundo tira, aqui, na argentina, na uruguai, nos estados unidos. Tudo que é mae ieda, é boa.”

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Although Ogum is usually considered the orixá who commands the exus, Oxalá is the lord of souls; so in this ponto Exu King is categorized as a soul under the command of Oxalá. This ponto is usually sung at a medium tempo. Mãe Ieda was born in 1940 in Porto Alegre in the Catholic religion and a member of the Daughters of Mary. Her mother was a Spiritist, which Ieda also learned. Later in her childhood she came to Umbanda to help cure a health problem. She was taken to a woman she described as a sorceress living in a hut, and that was when she first received her ancestral Amerindian spirit (caboclo). It was while serving as a ritual assistant (cabona) for an Umbanda ceremony in 1962 when she first received her exu, Exu Rei das Sete Encruzilhada, or “His Seven” (Seu Sete) for short. Four years later she became initiated into the Batuque tradition of Nação Oyó. Mãe Ieda is one of a number of pais- and mães-de-santo with long-standing transnational ties, especially to neighboring countries of the River Plate region (Oro 1999). She began visiting Argentina and Uruguay around 1980 to meet with clients, train disciples (filhos-de-santo), and help open new religious houses. She currently travels there three to four times a year. She also receives clients and disciples from Western Europe and the U.S. who have helped develop the royalty theme in her gala Quimbanda celebrations. When her exu first incorporated her, in 1964, it was during an era when exus briefly arrived at the end of Umbanda sessions, while everyone wore white clothes, sometimes medical aprons, sang pontos, and played only “maracas” (called in the U.S. an “afoche/cabasa,” an handheld idiophone with adjasent rings of metal beads tightly wrapped around a rippled-metal cylander) without drums or the agé shaker. It is what happened to Ieda’s exu thereafter that distinguishes her biography from others who came to the religion from Catholicism or Spiritism motivated to solve health problems as well as the many practitioners who first entered Umbanda before Batuque. She recounted to me the development of her exu, “His Seven,” paying particular attention to offerings in order to illustrate that the exu evolved spiritually largely due to his successful works assisting clients and their consequential gratitude. In so doing she directly associates spiritual evolution with the efficacy of the spirit’s deeds. “He used to arrive, discharge [negative energy], drink some cachaça in the street and go away, at the end of the works. And then he had a marvelous evolution [...] And he, with the crossing, with the rituals – the offering for him used to be one yellow tissue paper, one beef steak, one cigar, and one drink of cachaça. It was carried to the crossroads. From there it started increasing, enlightening. Afterwards he asked for a yellow hen, his clothes were white pants and a yellow shirt and a cap, a little white hat. Ten years later, he asked for a goat and – he came to have sacrificed for him a “four-footed” [goats and sheep], as it is called. [...] After some fourteen years he came to earn seven cows for a present, for thanks for the prayers of people. [...] There was a pai-de-santo, who is deceased, Pai Edi, the other is Pai Joãozinho of [Exu] Midnight. They, in ten years, they gave His Seven, seven cows. It was a promise while he lived. And His Seven came to be godfather of those two houses. So His Seven reached the maximum.” 8
“Chegava, descarregava, botava a cachaça na rua e ia embora... no final dos trabalhos. E ali ele foi tendo uma evolução maravilhosa de [...] E ele, com os cruzamento, com os rituais... a oferenda dele era um papel de seda vermelho, um bife, um charuto e uma cachaça. Se levava na encruzilhada. Dali ele foi crescendo, foi iluminando. Depois ele pediu um galo vermelho... a roupa dele era calça branca e camisa vermelha e um boné, um chapeuzinho branco. Depois em... dez anos, ele pediu um cabrito e... passou a cortar o “quatro pé”, como se chama. [...]Depois de uns quinze ano ele passou a ganhar sete bois de presente, de graças ao benzar das pessoas. [...]Teve um pai-de-santo, que já é falecido, o Pai Edi(?)... o outro é o Pai Joãozinho da meia-noite. Eles, nos dez anos, eles deram pro seu sete,
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When describing the development of His Seven’s wardrobe and celebrations in the image of European royalty, she noted the influence of non-Brazilians, especially Europeans and those from other the Southern Cone countries where she maintains strong relationships with the AfroUmbanda communities. A large photo of His Seven hangs in her salon, in which he is dressed in a green silk suit, a long green cape, and a green top hat. “After many paths he requested a white pants and a yellow shirt, which is his banner, yellow and white. After he was crossed, he came to have his guia [ritual beaded necklace] be red and white, red and black. Afterwards he asked Bará for a circle of devotees. So His Seven, in the terreiro, when working, doesn’t wear shoes, not in luxurious clothes. It’s a pair of pants, a shirt, and a small hat. 9 “Before he used to wear pants and shirt. Today he dresses as King for the passage on his birthday. The exu doesn’t make a birthday! But we have a date of passage for him, and of the levels that he was increasing. And the people are the ones who make the party for him. He earned it, from his friends, his clients. His Seven has clothes that he earned, made in Spain, Germany, France, California. I have disciples, friends, who go there and send me those wonderful clothes that I have [photos of] in albums.” 10 “He came without shoes. Today he wears shoes, a “gabela”. Oh, how do you call it, my god? There in Argentina they say “galera,” I already exchanged it. “Cartola!” [top hat]. Do you know what that is?” 11 “And he reached the largest cape. The cape worn by all kings. He earned a crown bathed in gold. The crown a king has. The crown an exu has. The spiritual entities, they already come with light. He got it. But he earned it from clients and people. So we had his coronation also in a club. The magic was done here.” 12 In addition to changes in offerings and the clothing of her exu, Ieda recalls how changes in the exu’s behavior expanded the clientele the exu could receive and help, moving from a more restricted position in the religion to a more public and open role.
sete boi. Era uma promessa que, enquanto ele vivesse... E o Seu Sete passou a ser o padrinho dessas duas casas. Então o Seu Sete chegou ao máximo e.” 9 “Depois de várias caminhadas ele pediu uma calça branca e uma camisa vermelha, que é a bandeira dele, vermelho e branco. Depois ele se cruzou, passou a ter a guia dele vermelha e branca, vermelha e preta. Depois ele pediu uma corrente do bará. Então o Seu Sete, na terreira, em trabalho, não usa sapato, não é roupa de luxo – é uma calça, uma camisa e um chapeuzinho...” 10 “Antes ele se vestia com uma calça e uma camisa. Hoje ele se veste de rei para as passagens das data de aniversário. Exu não faz aniversário! Mas a gente tem aquela data da passagem dele, né? E dos graus que ele foi crescendo. E... o povo é que faz a festa pra ele. Ele ganha... dos amigo, dos cliente. O Seu Sete tem roupas que ele ganhou. Fazenda da Espanha, da Alemanha, da França, Califórnia... Eu tenho filhos, amigos, que vão lá e me mandam aquelas roupas maravilhosas que eu tenho aí os álbuns. Deixa eu ver...” 11 “Ele chegou sem sapato. Hoje ele usa sapato, “gabela”(?). Ah... como é que se diz, meu deus? Lá na Argentina eles dizem galera... eu já troquei. Cartola! Sabe o que que é?” 12 “E chegou ao máximo de capa. Que todos os reis usam capa. Ele ganhou uma coroa banhada a ouro. Que coroa um exu tem. As entidades espirituais, elas já vêm com a luz. Ele conseguiu. Mas ele ganhou de clientes e de pessoas. Então houve a coroação dele também, no clube. A magia foi feita aqui.”

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“Because the exu, forty-five years ago he was dark. He was and he is. Depending on the levels that he reaches, when he’s learning to speak, to converse. When His Seven first arrived, he didn’t accept children, didn’t accept elderly people, because he was a very strong magic. And the hours of the exu are late. Today His Seven guards children, works for children, works for people of age. He no longer has any problems. But he reached that level.” 13 Saying that the exu “was and is” dark, or in the dark, refers to spiritual evolution. Each exu must evolve at their own pace, for most exus are still in the dark, less evolved. The level of spiritual evolution may correspond to the behavior and performance of an exu during rituals. Often novices who exus first incorporated behave in a monstrous manner, hunched over and grunting, rather than dancing upright. On the other hand, the exus of experienced practitioners may arrive hunched over at every ceremony only to soon lift their stance and dance, sing, and speak as other evolved exus do. This may depend on the person and their comfort and control during the onset of possession as well as the culture of the group with whom they regularly practice. Mãe Ieda is proud to claim that she was the first to rent a hall to hold her annual Quimbanda celebration that honors her exu. For many years she made large rituals in the street intersection near her terreiro in the Cidade Baixa neighborhood, for which she received a license from the police. In 1994 she moved the event to a private club to be able to hold a large gala event of around fifteen-hundred people. She conducts the opening rituals in her terreiro, calling the spirits to incorporate her and her inner-circle of filhos, “the queens of His Seven,” as she says. Thereafter, while incorporating the exus and pomba giras, they drive to the club and greet a multitude of disciples, clients, and dignitaries. A hired videographer documented one such event in 1999, the thirty-seventh anniversary of Exu Rei do Sete Encruzilhadas, which was the fifth year it was held in a social club. Club Glória is located in the Glória neighborhood of Porto Alegre, a mixed income suburb near the edge of the southern city limits. The video shows a large, function room filled with well dressed guests awaiting the entrance of Mãe Ieda’s exu and his entourage. Most of the guests were of European descent and middle aged, many of whom had come from Uruguay and Argentina for the event. Some were dressed in lavish gowns and fur wraps. The evening had begun with a dinner and live secular music. At a quarter to midnight an emcee welcomes the guests and announces the entities. Druming can be heard from outside the hall, playing the first part of the toque sambão (discussed later), as the entities slowly enter the room, spinning, dancing, singing, and dividing the guests down the middle. Ieda’s exu entered with her queens, Pomba gira Rainha. They entered singing the antiphonal ponto, “O mulambe mulambe / a mulambe e ganga.” The ponto praises Pomba Gira Maria Mulambo, who, according to Mãe Ieda, is in charge of the exus, here collectively called, “ganga.” “We sang Mulambe, Mulambe to clean the dirt from the street, and to sing a ponto lamenting the exus,” she explained. After her entire entourage had
“Porque o exu, há quarenta e cinco anos atrás ele era um escurecido [darkened/dark]. Era e é. Depende os graus que ele vai chegando que ele vai aprendendo a falar, a conversar. Na época que o Seu Sete chegava, ele não aceitava criança, não aceitava velho... porque era uma magia muito forte. Né? E os horários do exu são para grande. Hoje o Seu Sete cuida de criança, trabalha pra criança, trabalha pra pessoas de idade. Não tem mais, pra ele, problema. Mas ele chegou ao grau.”
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reached the microphone at the front of the room and stopped singing, the announcer called out, “Energy! Light! Life!” Then Ieda’s exu took the microphone and began singing her ponto discussed above, starting with “Passou homen olhou eviu tirou chapeu e me comprimentou.” They repeated the first stanza for five minutes and continued to the second stanza, “Seu Sete, meu amigo de almas,” for another two. She then initiated another ponto that served as a coda and underscored the royalty theme of the celebration. Vamos salvar a coroa Vamos salvar exu rei Vamos salvar a coroa Vamos salvar nosso rei Let’s save the crown Let’s save Exu King Let’s save the crown Let’s save our king

After a few minutes the pontos ended and His Seven greeted the crowd saying, “Friends, this is our anniversary. [...] Good axé [vital energy] to all. Positive energy!” Thereafter the guests each approach Ieda to offer well wishes and presents, the first of whom makes her greeting into the microphone, addressing His Seven and “his court,” meaning the court of a king. The pontos resume, entities begin incorporating the guests, and dancing spirits fill the hall. A ponto to Bará da Rua (Bará of the street) is the first sung, followed by one for the queen pomba giras, and other well-known pontos: one that wishes good axé to all the givers of presents, another for pomba gira of the crossroads (cruzeiros), a ponto for the souls in general (called “Eu adorei as almas,” discussed later), and pontos to Exu Tranca Rua, Bará da Rua, Cigano spirits, Exu Maravo, and again Mulambo before the video ends. Meanwhile the stream of guests greeting Ieda’s His Seven ends well after the video stops.

Musical Participation
Musical participation in Quimbanda differs from that of the more orthodox and more African religions like Batuque and Candomblé. This case study examines in detail this alternative, more egalitarian paradigm compared to the model of hierarchical group interaction in Afro-Brazilian religion that is ubiquitous in the ethnomusicological literature (Herskovits 1944; Merriam 1951; Cossard-Binon 1967; Lühning 1989; Béhague 1984; Carvalho 1984a; Pinto 1991a; Braga 1998). In this well-known model, either the religious leader or the musical leader, called the “alabê,” is responsible for chanting antiphonal prayers of African origin. The alabê or his assistants play percussion to accompany the prayers, called “rezas,” and the congregants chant responsively. While the disciples move in a circle, counter-clockwise around the salon, the orixás possess some of them, or “manifest,” as it is called in Batuque. There are indeed exceptional situations, such as when an orixá manifests in an alabê and someone else must take over his/her duties; or when an orixá of a disciple who has earned permission to speak initiates a reza. But these are infrequent exceptions to normative mode of musical participation. I filmed Video Example 1 at the religious house of Mãe Turca de Ogum in Porto Alegre on November 17, 2007, which was the first Saturday night of her annual, two-week festival dedicated to her patron orixá Ogum. The alabê leading prayers, or “rezas,” and playing the drum, Cleber de Oxalá, chants the prayer and the congregants repeat it. It is traditionally prohibited to photograph or video record the orixás once they have manifested, so this example only shows the alabê and assistants, in an alcove to the left, and the disciples moving counterclockwise around the salon in a circle. Both the Batuque and Umbanda altars in the front of the salon are partially visible in the right of the picture. Quimbanda altars are normally in a small

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shed outside the main building, as is the case at Mãe Turca’s house. The instruments used in Batuque ceremonies are the drum ilú, called more commonly “tambor,” the gourd shaker agê, the double bell agogô, and a small bell adjá, which is rung continuously. In certain Batuque houses, a larger, conical drum, inhã, is also used (Braga 1998). The atabaque drums used in Candomblé and may be familiar to readers are not used in Batuque. The prayer performed in Video Example 1, “Èsù lànà fò mi o,” is commonly used for cleansing individuals in private ceremonies. In the context of this public celebration, it is part of a longer series of prayers to the first orixá called in the ritual, Exú, otherwise known as Bará, Lebara, Legbara, and Elegua. Figure 1 provides the text by the Uruguayan priest Pai Osvaldo de Omotobàtálá in Yoruban orthography and Spanish translations. Since the 1960s, some practitioners of Batuque and Candomblé have sought to “purify” the existing rezas by seeking out the original words in African languages, primarily Yoruba, and attempt to translate the revised prayers (Prandi 1991). 14 Figure 1: Batuque prayer (reza) “Èsù lànà fò mi o” (Omotobàtálá 2004: 8, English translation by author) O [Onílù] - Èsù lànà fò mi o, Bàrà lànà fun malè o! (Oh! Exu, abre el camino limpiándome, oh! Bará abre el camino para los Orixás) [Drummer: Oh! Exu, open the way cleansing me. Oh! Bará open the way to the Orixás] D [Dáhùn] - Èsù lànà fò mi o, Èsù lànà fun malè! (Oh! Exu, abre el camino limpiándome, oh! Exu abre el camino para los Orixás) [Responder: Oh! Exu, open the way cleansing me. Oh! Exu open the way to the Orixás] Figure 2. Toque aluja do bará with notation key. Toque aluja do bará: (16) L x x x H x x x L x x x - L - L Key to toque notation: 15 (16) = number of fastest pulses L = accented lower-pitched tone (played near rim of drum head) H = accented higher-pitched tone (played near center of drum head) X = unaccented higher-pitched tone = rest; unarticulated pulse The drum rhythm, or “toque,” used in this prayer goes by various names, including “aluja do bará” by my teacher, Alabê Antônio Carlos de Xangô, one of the most renowned living Batuque musicians and with whom Alabê Cleber used to perform (Braga 2003: 92 ff.). It is one of a few Batuque toques that are commonly used today in Umbanda and Quimbanda, as will be discussed later. Assuming a time-line of 16 fastest pulses (see Figure 2), the toque emphasizes the first, fifth, ninth, fourteenth, and sixteenth pulses. Hearing the toque in a four beat meter, the first three on-beats are accented followed by two off-beat strokes during the last beat, which serves as a syncopated turnaround.
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I collected various transliterations of this prayer into Roman script more easily read by Portuguese speakers, including those of famous Batuque alabês: “EXÛ LANÃ FOMIO, EXÛ LANÃ FOMALÊ” (Paiva 1978), “Exú lana fomiô, exú lanã fumaléo” (Machado [1990s]), “EXÚ LÃNA AFO OMIÔ, OBARÁ LÃNA FOMALEO” (Carlinhos D'Osun [1990s]), “Eshú Lanã, fômio uô / Eshú Lanã, fômalé” (Ferreira 1997). The significance of these transliterations will be explored elsewhere that deals with issues of transmission of liturgical knowledge, authenticity, purity, prestige, and professionalization. 15 Drum-pattern notation derived from Kubik (1979).

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By contrast to Batuque, the musical roles are much more flexible in Quimbanda to the point of offering an alternative, more egalitarian model of participation. The next video examples illustrates how song-leading and accompaniment duties in Quimbanda are shared by congregants other than the alabê and the religious leader, including women and youth, who do not usually serve as alabês. I filmed the remaining examples during a Quimbanda celebration held on November 10, 2007 at the religious house of Mãe Glaci de Oxum in Porto Alegre, a house that practices all three traditions: Batuque, Umbanda, and Quimbanda. Mãe Glaci’s husband Toninho serves as the alabê, though he is not visible in the video examples. In Video Example 2, Alabê Toninho initiates off camera the popular and old prayer called “Eu adorei as almas,” or “I loved the souls.” Figure 3: Quimbanda prayer (ponto cantado) “Eu adorei as almas” Eu adorei as almas I loved the souls Eu adorei as almas I loved the souls Eu adorei as almas I loved the souls Sabe por quê? Do you know why? Eu adorei as almas I loved the souls As almas santas, almas bem dita Vem do reino de Oxalá As almas vem da calunga As almas vem pra trabalhar The saintly souls tell good They come from the kingdom of Oxalá The souls come from the cemetery The souls come to work

The lyrics venerate the spirits of the deceased in general, noting that they emerge both from the divine realm governed by the orixá Oxalá and from the “calunga” – here meaning cemetery (according to the participants), but also refers to the grave of the sea and an Angolan goddess of the sea who is venerated in Brazil (Bastide [1960, 1978] 2007: 288, 347). The lyrics say that these benevolent spirits do “work,” meaning the charity of cleansing and consulting with the congregants. Paying attention to who is singing which parts of the prayer, the call or response, is critical for my argument. Everyone visible in the video, except the drummers and some congregants in the distant background, are “incorporating” spirits, as Umbandistas call spiritpossession. At first the spirit of Pomba gira Maria Mulambo, whose medium Carla is wearing a black hat and black-and-white checkerboard skirt, dominates singing the call and Exu Ze Pelintra, whose medium Gustavo is wearing a white suit and white hat, leads the response. During the verse, they each switch roles, singing the opposite part. Later in the excerpt an assistant drummer, Luciano, becomes the loudest one heard singing the calls and response lines. By this time Carla and Gustavo are dancing elsewhere in the room. The use of drumming patterns adopted from those of Batuque is also noteworthy. Consensus among my older interviewees is that Umbanda in Rio Grande do Sul began using drums at least as early as the early 1950s when Batuque houses began practicing Umbanda. The drummers borrowed a few common patterns from Batuque that fit the basic rhythms of the pontos cantados, specifically the toques aré, jêje, and the one used here which also accompanied the Batuque reza in Example 1 above. Alabê Toninho calls this toque “balanço,” the younger drummers in his house Renata and Ariana call it “cabinda,” the name of a Batuque denomination, while Antônio Carlos de Xangô calls it “aluja do bará.”

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Not only do incorporated spirits sing both call and response lines of pontos cantados, they can also lead the chanting themselves, or as they say, “pull pontos.” The frequency of this varies by house and although alabês tend to describe this as positively contributing to celebrations, they avoid relinquishing full control to spirits and other participants. In Video Example 3, which occurred earlier during the same Quimbanda celebration of Mãe Glaci, the spirit Pomba gira das Almas of Mãe Miriam de Xangô pulls a ponto cantado to the pomba gira named Sete Saia, meaning “Seven Skirts.” At this moment in the fest, all of the spirits of Glaci’s disciples had already arrived and thus the pomba gira spirit of Miriam began calling spirits of her own filhos-de-santo. Miriam is one of two disciples of Mãe Glaci to have become religious leaders, or “mães-de-santo” (mother of saint). She opened her own house two years ago, but still attends most events at Glaci’s house, along with some of her own disciples. The video shows the second spirit she called, Pomba gira Sete Saia, whose medium is wearing a red dress and black hat, and begins spinning in front of the drums near at the end of the segment. Figure 4 : Quimbanda Ponto cantado to the spirit Pomba gira Sete Saia Quando a sete saia no terreiro chegou When Seven Skirts arrived in the temple Todos os exus ela saldou She greeted all the exus Mas ela é bonita, ela é mulher, But she’s beautiful, she’s a woman ela é a pomba gira, ela é exu mulher She’s a pomba gira, she’s an woman exu This ponto cantado is more typical of Quimbanda liturgy than “Eu adorei as almas” in that it addresses a specific spirit. The number seven appears throughout Umbanda liturgy, cosmology, and writings as having special spiritual significance due to its importance in the Biblical creation story and Jewish mysticism. The lyrics simply acknowledge the arrival of this pomba gira, praise her beauty, and establish her connection to the pantheon of exus, “the spirits of the street.” The drums alternate between two drum patterns, or toques. Toninho heard the first toque elsewhere and called it “macumba” because it sounded African to him. The second toque is jêje, one of the three most common Batuque patterns used in Umbanda and Quimbanda, and also the name of denominations in Batuque and Candomblé. At this house, Toninho and his assistant drummers often alternate between the toques macumba and jêje within a single ponto. Both toques fit into a four-beat meter, marked on the agé shaker, thus creating an audible contrast between a slower sounding macumba and the rhythmically denser jêje. Figure 5. Toques jêje and macumba as practiced by Alabê Tonhino. Toque jêje: (16) H - x x L - L - H - x x L - L L Toque macumba: (12) L - L L L L H x x H x x Musical composition is also an egalitarian and flourishing activity for Quimbandistas. As a religion using Portuguese liturgy, codified in the twentieth-century, Umbanda has always benefited from inspired devotees who contribute new pontos cantados. At least half of the religious leaders and musicians I spoke with have composed pontos cantados, whereas only some participants said they compose. Most of those over forty years old have composed pontos for Umbanda and Quimbanda spirits, while those younger tend to compose only for Quimbanda spirits. Pai Verardi, Baba Diba, and Mãe Turca have all composed pontos which they use in their houses during ceremonies. Alabês Antônio Carlos de Xangô and younger drummers I met

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have composed pontos. Even the conservative Umbanda Branca center, Cavaleiros do São Jorge, has an original anthem for its society that members sing at the beginning of most services. With the increased popularity of Quimbanda over the past forty years, newer pontos tend to address “spirits of the street” rather than the classic spirits of Umbanda. Even the ponto “Eu adorei as almas” was originally sung for the Umbanda spirits of old black slaves, whereas now it is sung to address exus during Quimbanda rituals. Mãe Ieda de Ogum and Pai Neco de Oxalá are two of Porto Alegre’s oldest innovators of Quimbanda, who advanced and innovated practices in the mid-to-late 1970s. Each had to compose new pontos to their preferred spirits out of necessity as much as inspiration. Today devotees sing their pontos without knowing the composers or that they are only thirty years old. One pai-de-santo who has practiced for twenty-five years told me that he prefers the old pontos to the new, but he actually sings the pontos of Mãe Ieda and Pai Neco in happy ignorance of their young age. The same Mãe Miriam who was leading a ponto cantado in Video Example 3 and was dancing with the exu of Gustavo in Video Example 2 also composes many that are sung during the ceremonies of Mãe Glaci. She finds it easier to compose pontos for Quimbanda spirits because they are more similar to her and her peers than are the antiquated Umbanda spirits of mythological Amerindian warriors and old black slaves. Earlier in the same Quimbanda ceremony, Alabê Toninho pulled a ponto called “Dama da Noite,” which Miriam composed, to call her pomba gira to possess her. Video Example 4 starts when the participants are already singing her ponto. Miriam’s pomba gira is the first spirit to arrive in front of the drums, followed by those of two other disciples. Figure 6. “Dama da Noite” by Mãe Miriam de Xangô Numa noite linda ela chegou no gira, On a beautiful night she arrived at the ceremony, Dama da noite com seu povo vem girar The Dame of the Night with her people comes to spin. Até a lua fica mais bonita Until the moon became more beautiful E toda a estrela brilha quando a dama da and every star shined when the Dame of noite chega, the Night spins. Alo pande dama da noite alo pande Greetings, Dame of the Night, greetings, Alo pande dama da noite vai girar. Greetings, Dame of the Night will spin. The lyrics in Figure 6 describe the nighttime arrival of this pomba gira and that she spins, two common themes in pontos cantados. Spinning, which can be seen in all the Quimbanda examples, helps induce or signals trance among Umbandistas. The greeting “alo pande” is specific to pomba giras, just as each orixá has his/her own salutation. Whereas Umbanda pontos merely used toques from Batuque, drummers who play for Quimbanda ceremonies created a new toque, called “sambão” among other names, adopting Batuque toques to the changing rituals of Quimbanda. “Dama da Noite” uses this toque. Rarely have practitioners and drummers told me that sambão means “a big samba,” its literal translation, reflecting a tendency to distinguish the religion from secular activities like Carnival and parties in which samba music is played. Alabês have told me a range of origins of the sambão toque including Candomblé Angola and the candombe music of Uruguay. Antônio Carlos de Xangô’s explanation seems most likely, which is that sambão is merely an up-tempo variation of the

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toque aluja do bará, which accompanied the examples of the Batuque reza, “Èsù lànà fò mi o,” and the Quimbanda ponto, “Eu adorei as almas.” Figure 7. Toque sambão compared to toques omãn and aluja do bará First part of toque sambão: (16) L L - - H - x x H - x x H - x x Toque omãn: (16) L L - H H - - H - x x H - H Second part of toque sambão: (16) L - x x L - x x L - x x L L - L Toque aluja do bará: (16) L x x x H x x x L x x x x L - L Figure 7 shows the two parts of toque sambão compared to two Batuque toques. Comparing the second part of sambão to aluja do bará reveals a common cycle of 16 fastestpulses; the accent on the first, fifth, and ninth pulses; and the same off-beat turnaround pattern. Among the twenty-six toques that Antonio Carlos de Xango uses for Batuque, aluja do bará is the closest to sambão. The first part of toque sambão bears close resemblance to a Batuque toque that Antonio Carlos de Xangô calls “omãn,” a toque played at quick tempi when accompanying rezas in Batuque ceremonies. Both toques begin with two short low tones and then accent a series of high tones. Given the overall four-beat feel of both toques, further emphasized by the accompanying agé shaker, the first of four beats coincide with the first low tone and the remaining three beats are each accented with high tones. The purpose of composition is not always to disseminate pontos widely and/or to sell recordings, but rather for self-expression of devotion to an entity and pride in one’s works can certainly be enough personal gain. Most newly composed pontos remain unknown, except to the composer and perhaps friends and fellow devotees within a religious house. Yet some new pontos spread locally among houses in a word-of-mouth manner. As practitioners visit houses other than their own for festivals or to visit friends, they hear and share new pontos as well as older less-familiar pontos; when returning to their own houses, they may choose to share newly learned pontos. The introduction of a new ponto can also receive resistance, however, for a variety of reasons including a general dislike of its musical or lyrical content. Given the high importance of familiarity and positive associations with pontos for them to effectively assist possession during ceremonies, it is a challenge for new pontos to gain acceptance within a religious house despite the fervor of composition activities in the community. It is no surprise, then, that because of their authority within their own houses and the community, prestigious religious leaders such as Mãe Ieda and Pai Neco have had the most success disseminating new pontos. New pontos are also disseminated through and with the aid of recording technology, the entertainment industry, and now the Internet. These technology mediations seem to impact the local community less than they do outside communities. Although there is a market for commercial recordings in Porto Alegre, very few people in Porto Alegre told me they learn new pontos through recordings. I nevertheless have witnessed people sharing new pontos from outside Porto Alegre that they heard via recordings and television.

Authorship, Ownership, and Authority
The efficacy of these equalizing efforts is another question. Lest a picture be painted that Quimbanda has allowed the marginalized to successfully overturn hierarchies in Afro-gaucho religion – whether musical, theological, or social – consideration should be taken of how authorship, ownership, and authority translate from the domains of worship houses to the

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recording industry. Despite the egalitarian process of creating, performing, and disseminating new pontos cantados, alabês often claim musical authority both by leading Quimbanda ceremonies and, in some cases, by marketing their own recordings of pontos cantados. Those who record pontos sometimes use those already registered, knowingly or not, including contrafacts of old popular songs by Brazilian musicians of yesteryear as famous as Cartola and Pixinguinha. Many try to avoid paying royalties by using old pontos already in the public domain or newly composed, unregistered pontos, most of which are for Quimbanda. Silver ti Oromilaia, the owner and producer of a small record label called Atabaques Records, distinguishes his enterprise from those of independent entrepreneurial alabês as valuing high production quality, providing detailed information, and abiding copyright laws. Silver takes precautionary steps to insure that he is not recording already registered music by searching online for copyrights registered in Brazil’s National Library and other sources. But even this precaution has its pitfalls. It is believed, for example, that a certain J. B. de Carvalho registered at the National Library many older pontos by unknown composers under his own name. Even within the contemporary Afro-gaucho religious community, musical authorship is contestable. Alabê Belerum, for instance, doubted that Pai Neco composed a ponto that others attribute to him. Silver has also found that a majority of pontos are unregistered in these institutions, even though most must have had at least one composer. Just the same, Silver defends the illegal actions of the independent alabês. For although recording companies, especially the large ones, have the wherewithal and means to verify the legal availability of the material they record, the entrepreneurial yet relatively poor alabês making independent recordings lack both. 16 The stores selling Batuque and Umbanda religious articles in Porto Alegre sell CDs of religious music made locally and from elsewhere from ten to fifteen Brazilian reais each (twenty to twenty-five reais for double CDs), which is more expensive than they are sold in São Paulo. The local CDs are either home-produced by independent alabês or professionally produced by Atabaques Records. As of 2008, Atabaques Records had sold 5,000 copies of its four titles, though Silver believes that many more pirated versions have been sold. The stores mark-up seven to ten reias above the price that Silver sells them. Local stores also sell legal and illegal copies of recordings made elsewhere, usually from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, most of which were recorded in the 1980s and 1990s. The Caritas and Luzos labels in São Paulo also recorded songs by popular musicians influenced by Umbanda such as Clara Nunes, João Bosco, Daniella Mercury, Margarita Menenzas, Ivete Sengal, Mariene de Casto, and others (Carvalho 1984b). Alabê Toninho has a home business producing and selling CDs of pontos cantados performed by him, his family, and a few disciples of Mãe Glaci. He sells them to stores of religious articles for eight reais, who in turn sell them for twice the price. Having produced six titles to date, this business has become his main source of income. He is one of a dozen alabês in greater Porto Alegre engaging in this commercial enterprise. Toninho’s CDs feature a photo of himself in front of the Umbanda altar in the salon of his and Glaci’s worship house.

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Interview with author, April 28, 2008.

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Figure 8. CD cover of “Exu Bandeiros do Sul” by Alabê Toninho

Toninho’s first CD of pontos cantados for Quimbanda, called Exubandeiros do Sul (see Figure 8), included a dozen pontos written by Mãe Miriam, including “Dama da Noite.” Yet Toninho is listed as the sole composer on the back cover and Miriam’s name appears as one of four vocalists. Unlike the communal practices of singing pontos cantados during ceremonies, recordings of Umbanda and Quimbanda pontos tend to follow the more traditional paradigm of Batuque where the alabê calls and the congregants respond – an arrangement that reaffirms the alabê as the musical authority. This situation illustrates the difficulties of transferring concepts of liturgical authorship and ownership from the religious domain to that of the commercial recording industry due to at least two power dynamics. First, an entrepreneurial alabê appears to be exploiting the intellectual property of a disciple in his house for self-promotion and financial gain. His justification for recording her pontos and not those of other composers is that the ownership rights of pontos cantados only exist if the written lyrics are registered at Brazil’s National Archive in Rio de Janeiro and if a ponto is less than seventy years old. Since Miriam had not yet registered her pontos, it is legal for him to record them. Second is the hierarchical power relationship between religious leaders and disciples which is governed by patronage, loyalty, and obligation. The disciples are supposed to abide by the decisions of their religious leader. There is no reason that Mãe Glaci, who supported the production of these recordings, should expect that her disciples would object. Miriam expressed to me mixed feelings about this situation. She is proud of her compositions and their inclusion on the recording, yet generally disappointed in her dependence on men when arranging, performing, and recording her pontos. At the same time, her pontos are publicly tested during ceremonies in which the vast majority of participants that must be won over are women, not men. The story continues southward into the Rio Plata Region where Brazilian religious CDs are currently being pirated and sold in stores of religious articles. In the suburbs of Buenos Aires, for example, the pirated versions are sold for a fifth the price that they are in Brazil. Silver spoke of the same situation in Uruguay, where CDs of Atabaques Records are copied and illegally sold in stores. The spread of Umbanda and Batuque through the region since the 1960s may have been significantly bolstered by tape cassette recordings of sung prayers, according to

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Pai Clovis, the head of the Umbanda Union and a religious leader with many foreign disciples. This allowed newly converted Uruguayans, Argentines, and Paraguayans to learn the prayers and practice chanting them at home in between visits to their priests in Porto Alegre. Figure 9. CD cover of the pirated version of “Exu Bandeiros do Sul”

I found a pirated version of Toninho’s CD for sale in one such store in Buenos Aires (see Figure 9). The cover includes the original title, but lacks his name, his photograph, and any contact information, let alone any mention of Miriam. Instead it has a number corresponding to a large catalogue of pirated CDs, which evinces that the CDs are produced by a single group or person. When I showed Toninho the CD back in Porto Alegre, he burst out laughing and shouted, “I’ve been pirated!” This is a type of work commonly blamed on exus and pomba giras, the “spirits of the street.” Everyone has a different reaction depending on the scope and objectives of their venture. Learning of a pirated CD two countries away is humorous for Toninho, as well as upsetting, because his market is currently the network of stores in metropolitan Porto Alegre in which he distributes himself. The situation frustrates Silver more because he is trying to expand beyond his current distribution network in São Paulo and southern Brazil (Porto Alegre and Florianópolis). Mãe Ieda expressed yet a different response. She has no business that produces recordings or videos of her ceremonies, but the spread of her name, image, and pontos by others through such media provides her with free publicity that increases her prestige and brings her more clients and disciples. “Who doesn’t want a good thing?” she said, outright admitting the benefits she gains from this situation. 17 Yet she finds the actions of the entrepreneurial perpetrators immoral and retreats to a higher moral ground by citing her humble abode, which also distances her from the ostentatious priests who have greatly benefited from their commercial interests. Rehearsing a hypothetical conversation with such a person, she asserts herself: “You come to my fest, don’t ask permission, record the ritual in my house, the playing of my drummers, the voices of my religious filhas and sell it! If I went there in your house, in your terreira, I will not do this. But they do it. There are millions of Argentines who I don’t know. “Whose filho are you?” “I’m of Mãe Ieda of Porto Alegre.” Why? The name? The fame? Fame because the people give fame. But you see that my house is
17

“Quem que não quer coisa boa?”

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humble. Humble for those who know my name, who come and tell me like this: “But you are so famous and your house is too poor.” Then I respond, “No, my house is a castle. Because here has to where many houses don’t have. But each one with his house, each one with his shirt, with his clothes, right?” 18

Conclusion
This case study illustrates power conflicts extending from the domain of musical interaction during ritual performance to issues of musical composition, dissemination, and ownership. Egalitarian ideals for music making and the prolific production of Quimbanda liturgy co-ordinate with a belief in the active evolution of spirits, the process of reAfricanization, and changing gender roles over the past few decades to collectively challenge hierarchies within Afro-Brazilian religion on musical, theological, and social levels.

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