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 branch (nation) of Candomblé, a religion practiced in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Its liturgical language, known as Iorubá or Nagô, is a dialect of Yoruba.


Queto is a system of beliefs that merges the Yoruba mythology (brought to the New World by Yoruba slaves) with Christianity and Indigenous American traditions.[1] These slaves carried with them various religious customs, including a trance and divination system for communicating with their ancestors and deities, animal sacrifice, and sacred drumming and dance.[2][3]

Queto developed in the early 19th century, chiefly in the region of Bahia, among slaves. 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.


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:

  • Exú, 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.
  • Ogúm, Orixá of iron, war, fire, and technology.
  • Oxossí, Orixá of hunting and justice.
  • Osún, Orixá of stability and of the Orí.
  • Oxalá, the most respected Orixá; father of all Orixás.
  • Orumilá, Orixá of divination and destiny.
  • Xangô, Orixá of drumming, dancing, and thunder.
  • Yemanjá, Orixá of the oceans, seas, and fertility; mother of all Orixás.
  • Oxúm, Orixá of rivers, gold, love, and beauty.
  • Ossaím, Orixá of herbal medicine.
  • Oyá or Iansã, Orixá of wind, storms, lightning, and of the Niger River.
  • Obaluaiê, Orixá of health, illness, diseases, and plagues.
  • Nanã, Orixá of marshes and death; mother of Obaluaiê.
  • Oxumaré, Orixá of rain and the rainbow.
  • Obá, Orixá of the Obá River.
  • Ewá, Orixá of the Ewá River.
  • Ibejí, Orixá of twin children.
  • Logunedê, young Orixá of hunting, of rivers, and fishermen.
  • Irocô, Orixá of the Sacred Tree. In Brazil, the sacred tree is a gameleira.
  • Egungun, the ancestors.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lucumí Religion". New Orleans Mistic. Archived from the original on May 29, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ Lois Ritter, Nancy Hoffman (April 18, 2011). Multicultural Health. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 268. 
  3. ^ Abiola Irele, Biodun Jeyifo (April 27, 2010). The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. p. 305. 

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