Photography by Renee Lipsey.
Sisterhood of the Good Death - Bahia, Brazil
Bahia - Brazil. Sisterhood of descendants of slaves who resisted slavery.
In the Brazilian state of Bahia, about an hour by car from the better-known city of Salvador, lies the historic city of Cachoeira, where the Irmandade de Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte, Sisterhood of Our Lady of the Good Death, holds their annual mid-August festival. Don’t let the name fool you; there is nothing macabre about this celebration. A unique testament to the strength and endurance of the African Diaspora, Boa Morte is a festival of deep cultural, social, spiritual and religious significance, a joyful expression of life, faith and happiness.
The Sisterhood is said to be the oldest organization for Women of African Descent in the Americas. It is a vestige of African Secret female societies, and began more than 150 years ago in pre-abolition era Brazil. Brazil had more than four times as many Africans imported to its shores as the United States, with the majority entering the country through Bahia.