In both the exhibition and the book, The Axé Bahia collection of images, artifacts and music is a celebration of the African influences within Brazilian culture. There are almost three million people living in Salvador, the capital of the state Bahia. The majority of that population is drawn from people of color—ranging from people of African descent —Afrodescendentes— to those indigenous to the area.
Axé Bahia, the book, gives us an extensive well-researched portrayal of the creative and artistic expression of the people living in the region. From the spiritual dimension to the cultural legacy, the book demonstrates beautifully and cohesively the varied cultural expressions of the Afrodescendentes, and the intersection between the spirit, the body and the visual. Axé derives from the Yorubá term Àse, meaning light or spirit and refers also to a form of Bahian music, making it a fitting application for this thorough examination into Bahian culture.