Ilê Aiyê performs at a pre-World Cup celebration in Salvador
The Afro-Brazilian group Ilê Aiyê was founded in 1974 by Antônio Carlos “Vovô” and Apolônio de Jesus in the neighborhood of Liberdade, the largest black population area of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The expression stems from Yoruba language (ilê - home; aiyê - forever) and may also be interpreted as 'eternal heaven'.
Ilê Aiyê works to raise the consciousness of the Bahian black community. Persecuted by the police and the media during its first years, and still controversial for only allowing blacks to parade with the group, Ilê Aiyê is a renowned element of Bahia’s carnival.
During Bahian carnival, the group includes hundreds of musicians, dozens of dancers, and thousands of members. As Ilê Aiyê passes, carnival crowds sing along by the thousands to songs about the importance of African and Afro-Brazilian culture and religion.