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Posted December 27, 2007
Tent of Miracles: Although not as fast a read as ¿Dona Flor and her Two Husbands¿ or ¿Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon¿, ¿Tent of Miracles¿ is an outstanding piece of work which relates the entire life and the posthumous celebration of the Centennial of Birth of the mulatto Pedro Archanjo, alias Ojuobá- the Eyes of the King-. Archanjo´s struggle throughout his entire life centers around the wellbeing of the mix breed and the understanding of miscegenation in the Brazilian area of Bahia from the early 1900´s until the time of his death around the end of WWII. Archanjo is a womanizer, a studhorse who could have only sons, an autodidact who mastered several languages,an antropologist, an ethnologist, a sociologist, a grand buddy and companion, a performer of voodoo ceremonies with a free laugh, a dancer, a great conversationalist and listener, and, principally, an utterly excellent reader and writer. Nevertheless, he does not put pen to paper on anything: the core of his work lies on the lives and struggles of the mestizo race and on proving, without little doubt, that the Brazilian face is a mestizo face and it culture is mestizo. He actually accomplishes to put in writing four books, rather pamphlets, namely: ¿Daily Life in Bahia¿, ¿The African Influence on the Customs of Bahia¿, ¿Notes on Miscegenation in the Families of Bahia¿ and a ¿Cookbook¿. ¿Notes on Miscegenation¿¿ was written when he was about fifty years old and proves that no single family in the area was pure white. As a matter of fact, pure or Aryan race was a thing that did not exist in Bahia or in Brazil for all that matters. These facts, which were supported with great evidence, brought about great controversies among the stiff nosed so-called whites of the region. He vigorously fought against racism. He declared racial democracy. The voodoo´s ceremonies were prohibited and prosecuted by the police, the intermarriages were just about forbidden or very badly considered and the mulattos, Negroes or mestizos were considered no better than animals. But what really stroke me was the real friendship that Archanjo was able to pursue with his ¿ so called- twin brother: Lidio Corro, the Miracle Painter at the Tent of Miracles. They both were in love with the same woman, Rosa de Oxalá, however, Archanjo, who could have had the woman he wanted, let go of her for Lidio´s sake. The book is also filled with myriad voodoo ceremonies, dances, faithfulness, enchantments, convictions and terminology. Definitely worth the read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.