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

Two Necklaces for the Afro-Brazilian Goddess Iemanjá Strung by Amilton Sacramento Costa

Catalog Number: C091


Amilton Sacramento Costa


#1 (green): 35.5" (circumference) x 0.38" (bead) 
901.70 mm (circumference) x 9.60 mm (bead)

#2 (pearl): 51.0" (circumference) x 0.55" (bead) 
1,295.40 x 14.04 mm (bead)

Religion and Denomination: Candomblé (Brazil)
Transatlantic Family of Religion: Orisha
Country of Origin: Brazil
Ethnographic Origin: Bahian (Brazil)
Materials: Glass
Date of Manufacture: 11/2008
Usage: Ritual (non-yet-used)
Detailed Description of Significance:

Many religions of the African diaspora incorporate beaded necklaces into their practice. These necklaces are two examples of the kind used in Candomblé practice. These necklaces are for the goddess of the ocean,known in the Nagô nation, or denomination, of Candomblé as Iemanjá and in the Jeje nation, to which the maker belongs, as Aziri Tobossi.

Necklaces like these may be strung by priests or mass-manufactured. Typcially, when worn as an expression of devotion or in pursuit of the god’s protection, such necklaces are first steeped in a sacred solution of consecrated herbs and sacrificial blood.  On ceremonial occasions, a priest wears multiple necklaces of this sort.  The colors and numerical arrangement of the beads on a necklace reveal the god to which it is consecrated.  Earch person is ruled by one god, who is said to “own the [person’s] head” and two auxiliaries, all determined through cowry-shell divination, calculations based upon his or her birthday, or the intuition of a priest.  Owning the head means that this orixá is the primary god associated with this person. Asking for a divination like this and receiving necklaces is often the first step towards initiation.