The History in Afro Brazilian cultural Center
Have been asking myself this question some years back. Why is Brazil practicing some Yoruba culture? I got my answers after visiting the Afro Brazilian cultural Center in Lagos State, Nigeria.
Afro Brazilian cultural Center is a museum where some historical stories about the returnees from Brazil and their items were conserved. Many of them came back in the 1830s and I was able to understand that the Brazilian returnees did not just settle in Lagos State but also in Cotonou, Togo, Seme, and Ghana. But Lagos state has the highest population of Brazilian Returnees in west Africa. Majority of Brazilian Returnees are Yorubas. One of the leaders called Ramond Campos who led the Returnees back to popo AGUDA in Lagos island where they called the afro Brazilian community. The Returnees came back with a carnival called the Brazilian Bumba Meu Boi in 1881.
Bumba Meu Boi is an interactive play celebrated in Brazil. It originated in the 18th century and evolved into a nationwide festival. It is a form of social criticism. Lower class Brazilians mock and criticize those of higher social status through a comedic Folklore story told in song and dance. The symbol of the community is bull head being carry around by the masquerade during the Bumba Meu Boi carnival.
The returnees came with some certain foods, skills, electrician and they also came with their own language Called “Portuguese patual” it’s just like pidgin English and it’s the combination of many African words. They created this language so that when they speak, the Europeans won’t understand them.
The area or local name where the Afro Brazilian cultural Center is located is called “POPO AGUDA” and the name has meaning. “POPO” in Yoruba word is called area or road while the Brazilian returnees or people who came back from Brazil are called “AGUDA”.
Inside Afro Brazilian cultural Center, you can find some of the returnees item like old record music box called carillons, bricks, some slavery chains, Brazilian carnival Mask, old music box use by the Afro Brazilian Agidigbo Musicians and some bottles use in exchange of 10 human during those days.
The original owners of the Agidigbo Music are the ilajes fisherman but the returnees fell in love with the music and learned how to play the agidigbo music and today Agidigbo Music is synonymous to Lagos island.
It’s a great loss that almost all the Architectural houses built by Brazilian Architecture have been demolished although only few remain and it’s reserved for history purposes.
The Afro Brazilian cultural Center is a place to explore.
Thanks to Mr Anago Osha. He was my tour guide…
I’m Dennis Chukwuebuka Okeke AKA Onye-njem one of AFRICA your number one celebrity Tourist.