BAHIA: The Spiritual Capital Of Yorubaland
Bahia is situated on the coast, with the turquoise Atlantic Ocean lapping at its shores. This state is in the northeast of Brazil, South America. Bahia is the fourth most populous Brazilian state. Its capital city is Sao Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos, commonly shortened to Salvador.
Founded in 1549 on a small peninsula that separates Todos os Santos Bay from the Atlantic Ocean on the northeast coast of Brazil, Salvador de Bahia became Portuguese America’s first capital and remained so until 1763. Its founding and historic role as colonial capital associate it with the theme of world exploration.
Brazil received more slaves from Africa than any other country in the New World. The 500,000 African slaves sent to America represents 10% of the number sent to Brazil, and 11% of the 11,128,000 African slaves were delivered live to the New World, including 500,000 to British North America; therefore, only 4.5% of the total African slaves delivered to the New World were delivered to the British North America. It is possible to trace the origin of slaves into three groups: those from modern day Sudan in which the Yoruba, also called nagos, dominate the region and those who came from the the northern tribes of Nigeria, mostly Muslims, called males or alufas, and the group of the Bantus, captured in the Portuguese colonies in the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique.
Black religious brotherhoods, supported by the Catholic Church and Jesuit missionaries, backed the process and raised the money. This happened all over Brazil, especially in Salvador da Bahia. This freedom gave the Africans firm grip in resisting the dominance of the white culture and religion. The Yoruba religion, which had been prohibited during the slave era, became widely practiced alongside Catholicism in every nook and cranny in Bahia.
People of African ancestry, according to the first national census of 1872, represented more than 65 percent of the population; this includes blacks and people of mixed African heritage. Also by 1872, more than half the people of Brazil were free people of African heritage. Afro-Brazilian slaves, in particular, left a disproportionate imprint on the culture of Brazil. Evident in almost every aspect of the culture and economy, Afro Brazilians not only were responsible for prodicing sugar, as stereotyped, but aldo developed the early infrastructure and architecture; were cowboys; were responsible for the culinary traditions; and , in the colonial period and during the early national period, were over- represented as health care workers. Afro-Brazilians contributed to every aspect of the economy as workers.
WHY SHOULD BAHIA BE RECOGNISED AS THE SPIRITUAL CAPITAL OF THE YORUBAS
1. SLAVERY OF ENSLAVEMENT: THE FIRST STOP?
The frittering away of our brothers and sisters to the other worlds remain an economic enslavement rather than slavery that is claimed by history. In those early years, the Yoruba race had no good system of mediation in politics, economics, or on social matters. Bahia’s position as the first major stop and slave market at the time is best described as the point of no return for many. Over 13million slaves from Africa were sold and traded here. This remains the first stop for everyone enslaved at the time. The pain and anguish tied to this point still remains indelible. But Bahia remains the main source to our missing heritage.
2. SOUTH WEST AS THE HOME OF YORUBAS
The entire south west is the home of the Yorubas. With a population of over 40million,a fact stated in world history, we need to also know that Yorubas are in over 80 countries of the world commanding over 500million people ( 98% of Cubans have been confirmed Yoruba). The Ooni of Ile-Ife is the spiritual head of this large race. This will give his Imperial Majesty a focus as the spiritual father to touch and be in contact with all descendants. If the South West of Nigeria is the Spiritual Home and Ile-Ife the Spiritual Base, Bahia will be the Spiritual Capital.
His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, the Ooni of Ife, in his quest to bring peace to the world and to stretch forth the hand of faith, love, partnership and prosperity to every black soul in the world. He is determined to spread the rebirth project to correct the unpublished facts and bring confidence back tok our right of birth. As the first descendants of the world, we have been given the right to own it by right of birth. No black person anywhere is born a slave.
3. THE SPIRITUAL ROOTS
Every tree that grows must have strong roots to remain alive. The fact that Yorubas are in over 80 countries is a confirmation that the Yoruba tree can never die. Cuba will be celebrated as a major Spiritual root, so also all other countries with affinities to us .
WHY IT SHOULD BE A BIG DEAL
FOR BAHIA AND BRAZILIAN PEOPLE
Bahia is fast loosing recognition as the:
a. Former capital of Brazil.
b. An important cultural and economic city.
c. A world acclaimed heritage center and important city
in the world.
Also, today, the Afro Brazilians are the largest population in Brazil. While this is so, there is a lack of recognision for them.
As Part of Kabiyesi’s spirituality of first project, there is need to:
a. Refocus the world’s attention on Bahia.
b. There is need to readdress the enslavement rather
than slavery history.