Octávio Eduardo, René Ribeiro, and Melville Herskovits. Afro-Brazilian religions, acculturation and syncretism

João Leal About the author

Abstract

This paper addresses the contributions of Brazilian anthropologists Octávio Eduardo and René Ribeiro to the thematization of syncretism. Both anthropologists wrote majors contributions to the study of African-Brazilian religions from the 1940s onwards. Both were also supervised by Melville Herskovits and addressed syncretism through the lens of the herksovitsian theory of acculturation. The paper addresses their more general contributions to the study of African-Brazilian cultures and religions, as well as their more specific contributions to the study of syncretism, with special emphasis on the identification of different forms of syncretism and the discussion of the reasons for their importance in tambor de mina (Maranhão) and in xangô (Recife).

Keywords:
Afro-Brazilian religions; syncretism; acculturation; history of anthropology

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