abian or abiã: A novice or candidate for initiation in Candomblé.
adjuntó: A second protector orixá.
adoxu: An initiate in Candomblé who has worn the oxu, the initiatory cone of herbs
and other elements placed over the head during initiation.
aiyê: The material world of the living. From the Yoruba aiyé.
ajé: A witch. From the Yoruba àjé.
assentamento or assentar o santo: A ceremony to ‘‘seat’’ the orixá’s energy in an altar
representing the initiate’s head.
assento: The material representation of the sacred force of the divinity. It consists of
clay, ceramic, or wooden containers holding a stone (otan), symbolizing the
initiate’s head, and various other ingredients.
awo: A secret or mystery. An awo is also a high priest, linked to the Ifá cult. See
axé: The sacred force concentrated in objects and initiates. Axé is also a religious
tradition transmitted via spiritual kin. From the Yoruba àf s f e (order, command,
axexê: A funerary ritual in Candomblé.
baba kekeré: See pai pequeno.
babalaô, babalawo: Priest of Ifá, diviner. From the Yoruba babaláwo (baba awo:
father of the secret).
babalorixá: Nagô term for pai-de-santo. The female counterpart is iyalorixá. From
the Yoruba babalóòrìf (baba òrìf : father of the orixá).
baculo: A Bantu ancestral spirit.
barracão: The main hall of a terreiro, where public ceremonies are held.
Bombonjira or Bombagira: One of the names of Exu in Bantu terreiros.
borí: A ceremony dedicated to the head, often a preliminary rite to initiation. From
the Yoruba b f o orí (worship the head).
caboclo: Indigenous spirit, revered in Umbanda, as well as in Candomblé, and even
in the most traditional terreiros of Bahia.
calunga: Cemetery (calunga-grande means ocean).
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