The Guardian | Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado

The Gatekeeper

Exu was chosen to be the guard of the Casa de Jorge Amado at the request of Jorge Amado. Even before the inauguration of the museum, Jorge made sure the orixá would be placed at the entrance of the house. In his memoir, Jorge remembers this decision: Exu is known as the orixá of communication. Exu is always the first receiver of offerings, for he is believe to be the one responsible for the link between the material and spiritual worlds. Happy, playful, and generous, and also jealous, Exu can block pathways, provoke discussions, and create traps for those who displease him. It is common to see Exu at the entrances of candomblé houses as guardians.
Exu eats everything in sight, drinks cachaça, is a knight. He likes a commotion, travels on the roads, messenger of the gods, postman of the orixás, mischievous. For this reason he is associated with the devil, but in truth he is just an orixá in action, friendly to an uproar and bedlam, but, an excellent person. In some ways he is the “no” where only “yes”exists, the “against” amongst only those in favor, intrepid and invincible. All ceremonies at terreiros begin with padê de Exu to appease him and make sure he doesn’t cause a disturbance. His clothing is beautiful: blue, red, and white, and every Monday is the day of Exu. There are variations on Exu: Exu Tiriri, Exu Akessan, Exu Yangui and many others. Exu carries ogó, his insignia, and likes to feel the blood of sacrificial goats and roosters.

Jorge Amado

In Casa de Palavras (House of Words), the executive director of the Foundation, Myriam Fraga, recounts how the Exu statue was installed:

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