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Edison Carneiro and Ruth Landes: Authority and Matriarchy in Candomblé Field Research, 1938-9

  • Author(s): Andreson, Jamie
  • et al.

This essay focuses on the intricacies of the relationship between Brazilian Ethnologist Edison Carneiro and American Anthropologist Ruth Landes in late 1930’s Bahia. It details their experiences performing field research in Candomblé terreiros, their personal relationship as lovers and academics, as well as the implications of their work together. Many contemporary scholars link the current commodification of Candomblé and Baianas in Salvador as a result of Landes’ thesis of Candomblé as a matriarchal religion. The original evidence provided throughout this paper addresses the many criticisms and the attacks against Landes’ work, her methods and conclusions in City of Women (1947). It also sheds more light on Carneiro as an influential and dynamic academic participating in important dialogues of Afro-Brazilian studies in the 1930-1950’s.

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