Candomblé Ketu

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For the city in Ecuador frequently misspelled as Queto, see Quito.

Candomblé Ketu' (or Queto in Portuguese) is the largest and most influential nation (nação) of Candomblé, a religion widely practiced in Brazil.

Although related to the batuque cults that started in the late 16th century, Queto developed mostly in the early 19th century, chiefly in the region of Bahia, among slaves belonging to the Yorùbá (Iorubá) ethnic group. Its origins are entwined with the religious and beneficent brotherhoods (irmandades) organized by the Roman Catholic Church among ethnic Yoruba slaves, the Order of Our Lady of the Good Death (Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte), for women, and the Order of Our Lord of the Martyrdom (Nosso Senhor dos Martírios), for men.


Queto Orixás are those of the Yorùbá religion. Olorun, also known as Olodumare, is the supreme God, who created the Orixás. The variety of orixás still venerated in West Africa were reduced to about 16, of which around 12 are invoked in ceremonies:

  • Exu, Orixá guardian of roads (particularly crossroads), temples, houses, cities, and people. Being the orixá of roads, Exú governs access to the realm of orixás, so the preparation of every Queto ceremony begins with sacrifices to him, followed by sacrifices to the Orixás that are to be invoked.
  • Ogum, Orixá of iron, war, fire, and technology.
  • Oxosi, Orixá of hunting and plenty.
  • Logunedê, young Orixá of hunting, of rivers and fishermen.
  • Xangô, Orixá of fire and thunder, protector of judges.
  • Obaluaiê, Orixá of health ("physician of the poor"), skin diseases and plagues.
  • Oxumaré, Orixá of rain and of the rainbow.
  • Ossaim, Orixá of herbal medicine.
  • Oyá or Iansã, Orixá of wind, storms, and lightning, and of the Niger River.
  • Oxum, Orixá of rivers, gold, cowrie shell game, and love.
  • Iemanjá, Orixá of the seas, lakes, and fertility, mother of many Orixás.
  • Nanã, Orixá of marshes and death, mother of Obaluaiê.
  • Obá, Orixá of the Obá River, one of Xangô's wives.
  • Ewá, Orixá of the Ewá River.
  • Oxalá, the most respected Orixá, father of most other Orixás.
  • Ibeji, Orixá of twin children (ibi=born, eji=two)
  • Irocô, Orixá of the Sacred Tree. In Brazil, the sacred tree is a gameleira.
  • Egungun, important ancestor cultuated after death in separate houses of the Orixás.
  • Orumilá or Ifá, Orixá of divination and destiny.

In Yorùbáland, each Orixá was typically associated to a certain country or city: Sàngó in Oyó, Iemanjá in the region of Egbá, Ewá in Egbado, Ogun in Ekiti and Ondô, Oxum in Ijexá and Ijebu, Erinlé in Ilobu, Logunedê in Ilexá, Otin in Inixá, Oxalá-Obatalá in Ifé, divided into Osàlúfon in Ifan and Òságiyan in Ejigbô. In Candomblé Queto these local deities were combined into a single pantheon.

Ritual language[edit]

The sacred language used in Queto rituals (Iorubá or Nagô) is derived from the Yorùbá language.


External links[edit]