Politics of Afro-Carnival Music

  • Niyi Afolabi
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


This chapter analyzes the musical production of Ilê Aiyê in the course of its 40 years of existence via five CDs as well as live performances before and after Carnival. One of the essential dynamics of Ile Aiyê’s belief system centers on its spiritualized music in consonance with its ideological mission of bringing about racial equality for Afro-Brazilians. All Afro-Carnival groups or blocos afros depend on their ability to captivate their audience through the magic of music—that soul-force language that brings the unsuspecting audience-participant into a state of ecstasy without any need for provocation, manipulation, or persuasion.
Figure 7.1

Ilê Aiyê’s Canto Negro CD, 1984


Racial Equality Music Festival African History African Heritage African Diaspora 


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© Niyi Afolabi 2016

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  • Niyi Afolabi

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