Children's Program:
Festival de Yemanjá
Celebrating the spirit of the ocean



In Brazil, the popular spirit of the sea is called Yemanjá. She is a Yoruba orixá carried to Brazil from West Africa (Nigeria, Togo, and Benin) during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Patron saint of fisherman and associated with motherhood, Yemanjá is celebrated on New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro and on February 2 in Bahia with massive public festivals at the water’s edge. Workshop participants make their own agogô (percussion instrument) and learn to play the Ijexá rhythm. Participants will learn Yemanjá’s gorgeous dances.


Program Detail

CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY AND STORYTELLING. A brief introduction (illustrated with photos & music) situates the art, music and dance components of the program giving participants a greater sense of the meaning and character of the activities.

DANCE: We begin with a guided improvisation, mimetic of the sea. Then, basic choreographic elements will be introduced. Continue building choreographic sequence to completion.

CRAFT PROJECT: Make your own agogô!

MUSIC: Participants will learn to play the Ijexá rhythm on the agogôs they have made. The Ijexá is one of the rhythms played in the Candomblé for Yemanjá, among other orixás. During carnaval and other secular events, Afoxé blocos invert the Ijexá. The rhythm remains the same, while the high and low notes are swapped. It is played on the agogô—or the gã in the sacred context.

PROGRAM FEE: Please inquire.