I took this picture in front of a house not far from where we live. At first glance, it might look like a pile of garbage. But look closer and you’ll see those are two full bottles of cachaça. The clay dish contains some kind of grain and probably held food before an animal got to it.
It’s an offering.
Nearly three quarters of the Brazilian population attests to faith of the Catholic nature, thanks to the eager missionaries of the 16th century. But there are still some that practice the Afro-Brazilian religions, native Brazilian religions influenced by the slaves brought to the country from Africa.
Based on some internet research, the best I can figure is that this is from the Quimbanda religion. It is quite possibly an Exu Trabalho, or ritual to call the deity Exu, and I’m pretty sure it’s not a nice one. Not sure exactly how these things go, but the house it sat in front of, a house that had already been abandoned and turned into an antique shop of sorts, was closed up. No one was around, despite furniture being left out and exposed to the elements. I’m guessing either this particular practitioner picked the spot so he or she wouldn’t be disturbed by owners, or their ritual worked…