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  • "...But wait, here comes the mãe-de-santo, the ialorixá." Our meeting with the abbess of the terreiro was calm, cordial, civilized, and rich in folklore. She was a big black woman with a dazzling smile. At first you would have said she was a housewife, but when we began talking, I understood how women like this could rule the cultural life of Salvador.

    --Umberto Eco, 1988, Foucault's Pendulum, p. 186-187

    October 2, 2008