More Than Models and Beaches: Your Travel Guide to Bahia, Brazil

September 17, 2012  |  

 

You Need to Go: Cachoeira

Two hours’ drive from Salvador, Cachoeira looks like a sleepy town punctuated by colorful architecture, quaint museums and the odd mule-drawn wagon, but this small town is a strategic economic center and important point for students and practitioners of Candomblé.  Originally home to natives and, later, colonial settlers interested in tapping the area’s fertile supply of sugar cane, tobacco, cotton, and gold, Cachoeira continues to export sugar, cotton and tobacco.

The terreiros or temples tucked in the hills attract visitors from all over the world. In the lower part of the city, look for the salmon pink building belonging to the Sisterhood of the Good Death, an order of enslaved and formerly enslaved African women who merged traditional African religious practice with Catholicism. They negotiated with their enslavers to do side work to buy their freedom and that of their fellow Africans.

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