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Photos by Pierre Verger and Mario Cravo Neto


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Pierre Verger

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Flux-Reflux

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One of Pierre Verger's major works is his dissertation study submitted to the Sorbonne in 1966, and published two years later in Paris: "Flux et reflux de la traite des nègres entre le Golfe de Bénin et Bahia de Todos os Santos, du XVIIe au XIXe siècle" (The Flux and Reflux of the Slave Trade Between the Golf of Benin and Baia de Todos os Santos *), from the 17th to 19th Century). He examines here both the cultural implications and the abduction of slaves from Africa to Bahia *), as well as the return voyage of freed slaves from Brazil to Africa.

A second and lesser known aspect in the relationships between the two sides of the Atlantic had also fascinated me, namely the Brazilian influence on the western coast of Africa, particularly in Dahomey and Nigeria - following the return of the freed slaves. They returned, as Gilberto Freyre points out, 'Brazilian-ized' and lived in their homes Brazilian style, similar to how they were used to living with their former masters, whose names they kept. They celebrated the Festival of Senhor do Bonfim *) on the same day it was celebrated in Bahia. And, like in Brazil, their twins were traditionally named Cosmos and Damian. They even ate Brazilian style.

P. Verger

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