Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Evani's not here tonight- she went to Paripe because she's going to a funeral early tomorrow morning. Someone she knew and grew up with was killed early this morning on his way back from a Candomblé festival.

I knew him too- I remember him from my first visit here, and my very first Candomblé. At that festival he was taken by the spirit of an Erê, which are child spirits that play a very important role in the Candomblé. He was very animated and charismatic, a young guy. After that I saw him at a bunch of other festivals, and he was always there in the middle of things. At the Candomblé that I brought my dad and two brothers to, he was taken by the spirit of Maria Padilla, in a black and red dress singing raunchy songs. There is a certain amount of showmanship in the Candomblé, and Jairo had it. A year or so ago he became a Pai de Santo, or Candomblé priest. There was some whispering that he was too young to be a full Pai de Santo, but there's a lot of whispering that goes on around the Candomblé as well.

Jairo left a festival after three in the morning and was walking back to his house along a notoriously dangerous stretch of road, by himself. He was knifed to death. Apparently the killing was not a robbery, as nothing was taken. He was close to his house, where he had lived his whole life, and there is some question whether this was the end result of a reixa, or feud. My question is whether he might not have been killed because he was gay, or possibly even because of his involvement in the Candomblé.

They bury their dead quickly here in Brazil, and Jairo would have been interred already if he didn't have a sister coming up from São Paulo for the funeral. I didn't know him well but I'll miss him all the same. I know I have some photos of him somewhere, I'll try to dig one up and post it here on the blog.

RIP Jairo


Stephanie said...

Sorry to hear about you and Evani's friend! I will definitely say a little prayer for him and his family! I have been thinking a lot about how life changes in an instant...and there seems to be examples of it everwhere!

markuza said...

Thanks Stephanie, I appreciate it. And you are very right- life can change in an instant. Personally, I think the less instants you have like that in your own life the better- but maybe that's just my mood talking.