Africa in Brazil: How Ilê Aiyê Brought Blackness to Salvador's Carnival

Salvador's carnival, once a white-only event, was reclaimed by black Brazilians looking to celebrate their African heritage.

Those unfamiliar with the Ilê Aiyê (pronounced e-lay ah-ay) group, might assume its members come from Nigeria or Benin. The headdresses the women wear could be found at a Nigerian wedding. The cloth of their costumes sport the bright colors typical of wax cloth. The music is driven by just drums. But few people in this group have ever visited Africa.

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Watch Ibeyi Channel Yoruba Deities In Their High-Spirited Tiny Desk Concert

Start your morning off right with this moving performance from twin duo, Ibeyi.

Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, better known as Ibeyi, are the latest artists to appear on NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

The French-Cuban duo performed stripped down versions of four of their songs including "Oddudua," which the twins sing in Yoruba, "Deathless," "Valé," and "Transmission/Michaelion," from their 2017 album Ash.

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Photo by Kiratiana Freelon.

This Photo Story Walks Us Through Brazil's Beautiful Yemanjá Festival

Millions of Brazilians and practitioners of Umbandá and Candomblé honor the Yoruba goddess of saltwater in the days before the new year in Rio.

In Brazil, the goddess of saltwater, Yemanjá, is always represented by a woman wrapped in blue, flowing robes and long hair. Millions of people celebrate Yemanjá on February 2, or the Catholic holiday of the Day of Our Lady of the Seafarers. But in Rio, the Yemanjá festival happens in the days before New Year's Day when practitioners of Umbandá and Candomblé honor this goddess.

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