Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Thursday, August 22, 2013


The wish ribbons tied to the gate of the Bonfim Church and sold by the dozen in front of the church to be tied around one's wrist are a famous symbol of Bahia, ubiquitous in art and fashion - and yet another manifestation of Afro-Brazilian syncretism.

Wish Ribbons at Bonfim Church
At first made of silk and worn around the neck, at times with little votive charms, as a sign of gratefulness for a grace received, they gradually took on the colors symbolically related to orixás and became wish ribbons, or simply one of the most popular souvenirs from Salvador, produced industrially with the inscription "Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia" (lembrança means "memento").

The wish is supposed to be made while the ribbon is tied with three knots; if tied around the wrist, the ribbon is supposed to have been received as a gift, not tied on by the wearer, and to be left on until it falls off by itself, which can take several months.

Vendors, inevitably stationed outside the church, swarm around tourists offering a single ribbon as a gift and trying to sell their bundles, usually with a dozen ribbons in assorted colors, for about R$2.


The famous fitas have been used by Brazilian designers locally and nationally in many different ways. Aside from their fashion statement, the user must have three knots tied and if the ribbon falls off naturally, the wishes will be granted. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...