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Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons Again to Be Made of Cotton

11/29/2013 - 09h00

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JOÂO PEDRO PITOMBO
FROM SALVADOR

Religious people from the state of Bahia, and superstitious tourists, can renew their hopes: the traditional ribbons of the Senhor do Bonfim, in Salvador, will once again be made of cotton, which does not take as long to break as the synthetic material from which the ribbons are currently made.

Traditionally, the ribbon is tied around the wearer's wrist, with knots in three places. Each knot represents a wish, which must remain secret and is granted only when the ribbon breaks of its own accord.

"The stronger one's faith, the faster the ribbon breaks," says Moisés Cafezeiro, coordinator of the Artesans of Religious Articles Cooperative of Bahia, which is responsible for the factory in Salvador that makes the ribbons.

The change in material also marks the return of production to Bahia. For the last two decades, the ribbons have been made in the states of São Paulo (principally in the city of Sumaré) and Minas Gerais.

The Bahia cooperative will invest US$78,000 in the project, which will involve the participation of 50 members. They hope to produce 50 million ribbons a year.

Originally, the ribbons came in ten different colors, representing the orixás - spirits which correspond to the forces of nature in Afro-Brazilian religions.

However, the expectation for 2014 is that the green ribbons of Oxóssi, the yellow ribbons of Oxum and the dark blue ribbons of Ogum will be most popular, thanks to a surge in patriotic spirit for the World Cup.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

Read the article in the original language

João Alvarez/UOL
The traditional ribbons of the Senhor do Bonfim, in Salvador, will once again be made of cotton
The traditional ribbons of the Senhor do Bonfim, in Salvador, will once again be made of cotton

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