International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Raimundo Nina Rodrigues (1862-1906) is a key – albeit controversial – figure in the history of Brazilian anthropological thought at the turn of the 20th century. A forensic physician, the instigator of criminal anthropology in Brazil, he was an important member of the Bahia Medical School and a representative of the racialist thought that prevailed in Brazil at that time. He is also considered a pioneer in the study of Afro-Brazilian religions, to which he devoted his best-known work, O animismo fetichista dos negros baianos (originally published in a Brazilian journal in four parts between 1896 and 1897, then as a book in French in 1900, and in Portuguese after his death in 1935). This work is marked, among other aspects, by an ethnographic approach that was to characterize the “Nina Rodrigues School” or “Bahian School” of the 1930s and 1940s, when Arthur Ramos revitalized Afro-Brazilian studies.

Keywords: Criminal Anthropology | Evolutionism | Second half of the 19th century | Brazil | African-American studies | African-American religions | Afro-brazilian Religions | Race | Religious syncretism | Candomblé

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