- Hardcover: 251 pages
- Publisher: Univ of New Mexico Pr (December 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0826315550
- ISBN-13: 978-0826315557
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,705,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The City of Women Hardcover – December, 1994
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From Library Journal
This 1947 title studies the religious sect known as the candomble-a spirit possession religion developed by West African female slaves brought to Brazil. In researching the volume, Landes interviewed those who practice the religion and observed its ceremonies. For anthropology, religion, and women's collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
This book is the landmark study of candomblé, the Afro-Brazilian religion of Bahia, Brazil. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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From a man's point of view this is a brilliant and inspiring work, and should be read buy all who honor the Ancient African Gods.
When I opened The City of Women I looked for the Index and the table of contents because I was interested some particular information that was supposed to be in it. What I found was that there was no index and the table of contents had very little content.
I first started reading The City of Women I was struck by the lack of purpose and even more so by the lack of structure, this book should have been called my wasted year of doing no real research in Brazil.
It seemed clear to me that in her time in Brazil she learned very little about the Black Brazilians that spent time around, what is worse she was the only English speaking anthropologist/ethnologist to meet Eliseo Martiniano do Bonfim the last Brazilian boy to be sent to Lagos Nigeria to be initiated into the priesthood and trained in preparation his return to Brazil. Dr. Landes calls him "an institution in Bahia and in all of Brazil. Yet Dr. Landes only dedicates around 20 pages to him, 20 pages in a 248 page book.
As both an anthropologist and a priest in the Yoruba tradition in the Cuban Diaspora I am appalled by her complete lack of academic rigor and generally cavalier attitude in general.
She has an opportunity to learn from a man who was now nearly 80 year old when she met him in 1938 who left Brazil around 14 years of age and came back 11 years later speaking 2 African languages and English as well as being armed with wealth knowledge on Yoruba tradition both in Africa and in Brazil.
Dr. Landes drones on page after page about the Germans, the English, the Americans she encounters and their vacuous boring lives.
Dr. Landes drones on page after page about the Mothers of the Saint who were as Eliseo Martiniano do Bonfim described them, not very well versed in their tradition or at least that is the way Dr. Landes makes them seem and what is worse Dr. Landes writes about the "Temples" being places where men could come to find a mistress to patronize with money and other favors and have sexual relations with the junior women in the priesthood in the temple. If any of this is the least bit true her portrayal of the temples of Bahia and the women who are priests in them are not centers of worship but brothels with a religious face. If these portrayals are not true then Dr. Landes spent a lot of time in Bahia Brazil gathering material with which to libel the African religious communities that she encountered there.
In closing I must strongly say that The City of Women is neither a good source of information on African religion or women's issues in Bahia Brazil between 1938 and 1939.