Characteristics of the Jeje-Mahi Liturgy in Bahia
The objective of this chapter is to examine certain liturgical characteristics of the Jeje-Mahi terreiros of Salvador and Cachoeira in order to evaluate those elements that differentiate the “Jeje nation” from other religious traditions within Candomblé. This highly ethnographic and descriptive task is not easy. As in many other social institutions, in Candomblé knowledge is power, and the logic of the secret is the strategy that sustains the initiation processes and the hierarchical organization of the group. In this sense, the Jeje religious experts have the deserved reputation of being the most “closed” and enigmatic in the preservation of their “secrets.” As Seu Geninho said, “Jeje is like Freemasonry.” The effort put into hiding their practices from the eyes of the curious is proverbial, not only for the researcher, with whom they deal with a certain facility, but more especially with initiates who come from other terreiros and are suspected of being present in order to “spy.”
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