Introduction to Part II
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Introduction to Part II book
Nina Rodrigues observes that syncretism was an ongoing process and that its degrees should be distinguished. The divergence between religious syncretism and magical syncretism should not make the differences between Africa and Catholicism diminishes. In Rio macumba, and more in Umbanda spiritism, the Catholic and African areas are completely merged, and the orixs are totally identified with the statues of their Catholic counterparts. In fact two phenomena that ought to be clearly distinguished are often confused by the Africanists: regional syncretism and ethnic syncretism. Magical syncretism is not the automatic result of contact between civilizations or of the pressure of the Luso-Brazilian civilization on the civilization of slaves or their descendants. African magic was supplemented, enriched, and intensified by the use of Catholic techniques that in this newly-created complex immediately acquired a magical character.