Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Ritual Outfit for a Priestess of Oxum (Oshun)

Catalog Number: C157


Amilton Sacramento Costa (interview May 29, 2013)

Materials: Cloth
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

Amilson Sacramento Costa explains that the colors of the outfit signify aspects of the goddess Oxum. The gold trim indicates that “Oxum is the owner of gold.” Other flourishes, such as the colors of the trim (bico) of the skirt, the ojás, and the bander are merely for aesthetic reasons.

Costa says that the blouse (camizú or camisa de crioula) is based on the clothing of enslaved people who were unable to wear the same styles as their masters. They elaborated on the styles they were permitted to wear, however. Thus, the term crioula refers to a black woman. The skirt is known as a Bahian woman’s skirt (camisa de baiana), or a black woman’s skirt (camisa de crioula).