With a lot of axé, Caminhada da Pedra de Xangô reaches its 14th edition

After the padê de Exu, a candomblé ceremony in which an offering is made to the orixá of communication – he is the link between ancestry and people – the povo de santo heeded the call of mother nature and carried out the 14th Pedra de Xangô Walk, in Cajazeira X, this Sunday morning (12). Mothers and sons of saints, as well as other adherents to religions of African origin, went from Campo da Pronaica, asking for an end to religious intolerance, to the symbol of resistance – the Pedra de Xangô was used as a hiding place by enslaved black people who fled from the farms located in the region during the 19th century.

Led by the sound of the atabaques, agogôs, by the greetings, plus the bath of white corn (a request for peace to Oxalá), and a lot of axé, hundreds of people started the walk around 9 am on Avenida Assis Valente, with the destination of Parque Pedra of Xango. The crowd occupied both lanes. Previously known as Pedra do Buraco da Onça, and also as Pedra do Buraco do Tatu, Pedra de Xangô was the experience of indigenous peoples, with great Tupinambá influence. An ifá game pointed to Xangô as the orixá of the rock formation, which is 8 meters high and approximately 30 meters in diameter, which is also called the Altar of Xangô – it is considered the largest orixá monument in Brazil and, with that, symbol of struggle of the axé people.

Hundreds of people participated in the 14th Pedra de Xangô Walk (Photo: Bruno Wendel/CORREIO)

“We ask respect to our people. People of other religions are attacking Pedra de Xangô, throwing salt and other things, as well as taking over the Itapuã dunes, preventing us from carrying out our rituals. We can coexist harmoniously, respecting spaces, but attacking or appropriating what is collective is wrong and we need to fight”, declared the head of the house Ilê Ayê Omin Oyá de Valéria, the mother-of-saint Iyá Jitadê.

The mother-of-saint Iyá Jitadê de Valéria asked for respect for religions of African origin (Photo: Bruno Wendel/CORREIO)

Valentina Tavares, from the philanthropic institution Voz do Subúrbio, came from Paripe. For her, religious intolerance is associated with lack of knowledge. “People see our background as something wrong. They demonized our cult, which is a very beautiful thing. People need to know and understand our ancestry”, explained the young woman, next to her grandmother, Angela Cristina, 60.

Present at all editions, friends Maria Auxiliadora, 58, and Gilzete de Jesus, 64, also commented on the importance of the walk. “What we want is just to have our right to comply with the sacred. We respect evangelicals. No saint attacks churches. But they (evangelicals) destroy the terreiros”, she said, from the Ilê Axé Opá Omin Ogi house, in Manguinhos, on Itaparica Island.

Friends, Maria Auxiliadora (red hat) and Gilzete have been participating in the event since the first edition (Photo: Bruno Wendel/CORREIO)

In addition to respect for religious diversity, the povo de santo asked that Caminha da Pedra de Xangô be included in the calendar of festivities in Salvador. “As has been the festivities on the 2nd of February. We want the grandiosity of the event, because this act carried out 14 years ago is our cry for freedom”, declared Kilson Melo, coordinator of Caja Verde, an environmental and cultural organization from Cajazeiras.

The Secretary for the Promotion of Racial Equality, Ângela Guimarães, also participated in the walk, and commented on the subject. “It is important that events like this are included in the pre-carnival parties, because of the visibility of the act, which symbolizes the resistance of the Candomblé people”, said the secretary, during the walk, highlighting that the demand will be one of her priorities in the management.

Secretary intends to include the walk in the calendar of events leading up to Carnival (Photo: Pedro Moares/Sepromi)

Pedra de Xangô Park is a symbol of ancestry, and it is the first park in Brazil named after orixá, deity of candomblé and umbanda. Pedra de Xangô was listed as cultural heritage of the municipality in May 2017 by the Gregório de Mattos Foundation (FGM).

“In addition to the sacred symbol and Afro-Brazilian cultural element, the Municipal APA was created against an unwanted advance into the Atlantic Forest, preventing the felling of trees for the implementation of clandestine subdivisions in protection areas”, said FGM’s Director of Heritage and Humanities , Milena Tavares. Many terreiros do not have green areas for their rituals and therefore use the forest in the park.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.