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Whenever the word „Samba“or the typical rhythmic sounds of the music is heard, ones mind travels to Brazil . Samba music and dance are part of the cultural heritage contributed by Africans to the social life of Brazil . The east coast of South America was discovered by the Portuguese and named Rio de Janeiro ( January River ) in the 16th century. The population of settlers quickly grew and the new colonists needed labourers to work on their plantations. This need initiated engagement in the slave trade. The slave trade machinery took Africans mostly from West Africa across the oceans to new found lands of North and South America including the islands. The majority of Africans that later worked on the plantations of Bahia , in the north-east of South America that was to be known as Brazil were the Yorubas. The Yorubas as well as other Africans retained their traditional religion and music in the new continent. With time, these traditions, influenced partly by other cultures in Brazil , were transformed and adapted to the new environment of the next generations of Africans.

The transformation of the Yoruba religion became the Afro-Brazilian religion called Candomble. Elements of diverse African rhythm and dances form the basics of samba. The word “Samba” itself is associated with the African religion and means to pray and invoke one’s personal Orisha (A Yoruba word meaning god or saint). The frenzy dance with artistic movements of all parts of the body especially the hips exudes happiness and pleasant erotic. In the early days in European, the samba dance art was considered immoral and some authorities tried to stop its popularity. Samba survived and became even more popular over time with different variations of the music and dance being developed. Today, the annual carnival in Rio combined its samba de enredo and gorgeous dancers have become a national symbol of Brazil .









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