Mulheres de Axé (Women of Axé) is a short documentary–with English subtitles–about the Bahian women of Candomblé and their roles in leading the community, keeping their culture alive, and being at the forefront of the struggle against religious intolerance and discrimination from evangelicals. The video features many of the same women featured in another documentary called Cidade das Mulheres (City of Women) which goes deeper into the exploration of the topic of race and gender and reveals Afro-Bahian women as leaders, cultural sustainers, and the heart and soul of Salvador.
In 1979, the second bloco, Olodum, was led by Mestre Neguinho do Samba. Mestre Neguinho do Samba was also a former drum leader of Ilê Aiyê and he re-introduced the hand and stick style of playing the repinique drum. Following Olodum was Timbalada, which is an afro-bloco that was directed by Carlinhos Brown who brought back the playing of the timbal drum, which was nearly extinct.
Because of these three groups, samba reggae bands such as Didá, Cortejo Afro, of course Batalá, and many others came into existence and created their own samba-reggae rhythms. Through Samba-Reggae (also known as Afro-Reggae), music genres such as Axé came along and until this very day samba-reggae inspires many people to create, live, and love.
Listen to the sounds and watch the images in this documentary about the birth of samba-reggae. There are no English subtitles, but the music speaks for itself.
Born Margareth Menezes da Purificação, on October 13, 1962, in Boa Viagem, the Peninsula region of Itapagipe in Salvador. She is an internationally known, award-winning Brazilian pop star, but her music genre is predominantly the axé, samba-reggae, and samba-funk music of Bahia. From an early age, Menezes was surrounded by music, through her family’s love for it, and in her teens she began performing in the trios elétricos in Bahia’s Carnaval. In 1985, at the age of 21, she won the Troféu Caymmi for the Best Female Performer of Bahia, and she would win it again in the 1990s along with the Troféu Imprensa. Four years later, she recorded her first solo album dedicated to Bahian grooves. Her second album, Elegibô (Uma Historia de Ifá), stayed in first place for 11 weeks on the American charts in the World Music category. It was also awarded by Billboard magazine and Rolling Stone magazine appointed the album as one of the five best in the world in the same category. Other big hits include Me Abraça e Me Beija and Kindala. She is credited and appreciated for bringing the music of Bahia to the world.