Macumba in Brazil

Macumba do Slayer in Florianopolis, Brazil

Macumba do Slayer in Florianopolis, Brazil

Until I first visited Macumba Beach I’d never heard of this type of magic but from seeing the evidence of it’s practice, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a serious “black witchcraft”. It’s surprising to me, how different the explanations of this ritual or religion of African origin were, from one Brazilian to the next. Everyone in Brazil knows it exists, and its use among actual practitioners is not viewed negatively, most people refer to all sorts of religious (or otherwise) superstitions and luck-related rituals and beliefs.

There’s one thing I know for sure; people use Macumba to inflict harm, financial failure, death, etc. on former spouses, friends, family members, etc. I have never heard of a “happy spell” because this is black magic. Enough said. This blog was not created to explore witchcraft, or religion but without talking about “what is Macumba?” I’d be missing chance to to add the mystique of one of the important details, that make the last beach in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the magical place that it is. The thing is, that every morning there’s new evidence of ritual, some of it is not very pretty, all of it is deadly serious and the sacrifice/burnt-offerings is found on the rock promontory of the beach and along the river bank that feeds into the sea.

Once upon a time in my life I was in Jamaica and witnessed an old abandoned building, on a beach near Port Antonio, where Voodoo had been practiced. The recollection of both instances is that it’s more of feeling you get, like a super-natural sensation, that something very powerful had been there before you, an energy perhaps? or a deity maybe…. something explainable.

The photo (from Wikipedia) is of an important monument in Florianopolis and here’s more information from the definition;

Macumba is practiced in Brazil. One symbol of Macumba in Amazonas is that of a black man wearing a white Fedora (a depiction of Exu, lord of the crossroads. There appears to be a relationship with the concept of the Boto (the fresh-water porpoise found in the Amazonas River and its tributaries) having shape-shifting abilities and then while in the form of a human male having sexual relations with young women. This belief was noted in several Indian villages along the Amazonas (Solimões) River, Rio Negro and Japurá River.

As an example of how Macumba functions, if a person desires to receive money, he/she visits a person or a shop specializing in Macumba. After paying a sum to the specialist, the person is then given a certain herb gathered in the jungle and is told to put the herb in bathwater and told to bathe in it daily for seven days. The person utilizing the herb is then supposed to receive money thereafter. In Brazil it appears that male adepts often are involved in the dispensing of Macumba knowledge/spells/materials.