Açaí Hostel Salvador

Email: acaihostel@gmail.com    Address: Rua do Passo, 7, Salvador/BA    Contact Line: +55 (71) 3241-5518

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Museu Afro-Brasileiro

Distance from Açaí Hostel: 120km

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Not surprisingly given its name, the Museu Afro-Brasileiro exhibits wood carvings, baskets, pottery and other art and crafts linking Brazilian and African artistic traditions. The exhibit of photography, sacred objects and ceremonial apparel demonstrating the African roots of Brazilian Candomblé is especially fascinating.

The highlight of the museum is a large room dedicated to breathtaking carved wooden panels by Argentine-born Carybé – perhaps Salvador’s most renowned 20th-century fine artist. The panels are stylised depictions of orixás  (deities of the Afro-Brazilian religions), inlaid with shells and metals.

 

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Igreja e Convento de São Francisco

Distance from Açaí Hostel: 190km

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Defying the teachings of the saint to which it is dedicated, the baroque Igreja e Convento São Francisco is crammed with displays of wealth. An 80kg silver chandelier dangles over ornate wood carvings smothered in gold leaf, and the convent courtyard is panelled with hand-painted azulejos  (Portuguese tiles). The complex was finished in 1723.

Forced to build their masters’ church and yet prohibited from practising their own religion, African slave artisans responded through their work: distorting the faces of the cherubs, endowing some angels with huge sex organs, or making others appear pregnant. Most of these creative touches were chastely covered by 20th-century sacristans.

 

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