Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: Viva Bahia!
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Viva Bahia!
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Publisher: Sunday Chronicle
Publication Date: 6/11/1972
Subject: Carifesta (1st : 1972 : Guyana), Festivals - Caribbean Area
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: South America -- Guyana -- Georgetown
Funding: Support for the development of the technical infrastructure and partner training provided by the United States Department of Education TICFIA program.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA00199825
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Holding Location: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: CARIFESTA I 1972

Full Text


The strange -story of th
Bahians and the Conjunt
Folklodico de Bahia (Viv
Bahia), which will be coming
to CARIFESTA and which
reflect in microcosmic an'
fashion the rhythmic hear
beat and lovable heritage o
100,000,000 Brazilians, began
four hundred and sixty years
vgo, in a fairy tale fashion
Long ago on a day in 1510
amazed Indian cannibals
vith threatening warclubs
Ind poison darts glaed on a
white being rising like a
silver fish from the blue
waters with a magic stick
that belched fire and brought
down a bird out of the blue
in a flash of lightning.
aramCaram u a Cramuru! A
God- A God! they cried, and
gave the Oacique's daughter
"Paraguacu," as a gift to this
"son of the thunderclap.'
And so the Bahian, the
Brazilian......was born.
For that God was none
other than Diego Alvares, a
shipwrecked P o r t u guese
sailor who climbed ashore
on the sacred spot that is
now the City of Salvador de
Bahia de Todos es Santos.
An introduction to the folk
art and life of Bahia is an
introduction to a fairyland-
like the Viva
Bahia and all that it means.
They portray in their song
and dance-the many festi-
vals....street festivals, church
festivals, strange voodoo fes-
tivals...unique festivals that
bare .the mark of the mixed
Brazilian blood their me.s
tize culture and civilisation.
It is also an introduction to
the Festival of the Inmnacu-
late Conception when the
people prepare mountains of
food and the world famous
Capoeira wrestlers rush into
the throbbing crowd 'before
the church, in the streets and
the Plazos and do a "dance
fight" to the twanging bows
and rhythms of the berim-
The Capoeira a form of
wrestling was brought to
Brazil from Angola in the
holds of slave ships. The
agility and strange techni-
ques of the Capoeira fighters
made them almost invincible
and as a result there were
many police decrees, persefu
tions and violence.
The old Capoeir giants
who were as quick as light-
ning and fought until they
were about 80 years old, be-
came legends in their life-
time and are now folk
Today in Bahia even the
children still hear tales of
these famous wrestlers. There
was the celebrated Besouro
(the beetle) for example who
is not forgotten in Recon-
cavo...There is Chico Porreta,
the hero of legendary fights
against the militia. Even the
Governors, the people and
his fellow wrestlers said that
he had a pact with Lucifer...
"he would disappear in a
puff of smoke just when the
soldiers thought they had
him cornered." The old
people say.
Many more have left their
names in Bahian animals and
the hearts of the people.
Like Ze Dou, Tibir da Folha

e Grossa, Pantalona, Sessenta
o and Gazunmba the butcher.
a Naje was said to be a
g monument of courage'butt he
h went down fighting bare-
d fisted against five armed
t- fishermen in front of St.
f Mary's Fort. It is felt by
a many people that the great.
s est Karate specialist today
L would have been cut down in
, minutes by these famous
s Capoeira fighters of Brazil.
s There is still Capoeira in
a-Bahia and other parts of
i Brazil today...but the Capo-
e eira now fight to music ..
k this sport of death is now in-
t fused with rhythmic move.
e ment, love and life. It is felt
that Capoeira done by Viva
k Bahia Group will be one of
I the biggest attractions at
P Temples
One would also learn from
Sthe Viva Bahia that January
Springs the great festival of
"Our Lord of Bonnfim" when
Sthe entire population of
SBahia virtually moves all of
their belonging to the sacred
hill. Come Thursday and
Saturday and Sunday, on
which the high holiday always
fall, and with them come
: thousands of women '-Ba-
ihainas"- with sacred songs,
water and a million flowers
to "wash the Church and
Perform the Procession of
the Waters" rites that
their forefathers have en.
acted for hundreds of years.
It is in this unique feast
that the awe of Afro-Brazilian
religious fervour blooms in
all its majesty...and here too
maybe more than anywhere
else in the Caribbean and
Latin American many reli-
gions are fused into one by
the masses;...the Indian, Ne-
gro, Portuguese and the lot.


Oliver Hunter
Here the people honour a
Catholic Saint "Our Lord of
Bomfiim" and the greatest of
African deities in Brazil,
"Oxala," the universal father
at the same time in Febru-
ary the whole of Bahia goes
down to the waterside to
offer gifts to the Mother of
Water "Yen4anja". All of
these colourful ceremonies
transform Bahia into a world
of unique religious folk Car-
nival infused wivh images of
devotion and the land.
An equally exciting present.
station of the Bahia folk
group will be Candomble re I
presenting the religions
which the slaves ,brought
with them from many'Africa
regions especially the Congo,
Ketu and Angola.
In Bahia alone there are
some 1,000 Candomble --or
voodoo temples registered
legally. And since each Can-
domble has many ceremonies
there are some 3,000 strange
but dazzling ceremonies in
Bahia alone in which the rich
and poor, prosperous middle
class or petite bourgeoisie gy-
rate in solemn fashion to the
beat of drums controlled by
In Bahia these spirit
houses are in every corner
and the adherents are White,
Indian, Negro and all that
make up the Brazilian poly-

glot. The Candonble now
does not belong to Afrcka
but to Braril ... Gee.Nago
Caboclo and the rest belong
to the land; and the Bjaili-
ans, the Bahians are proud of
'But what of art in Bahia?
To the folk artisian the mak-
ing of intricate silver ware
and copper figures; turning
out the traditional ceramic
of Maragogipinho and uni-
que wood carving "figos"
looking like clenched fist
with thumb between fore-
finger and including the fore.
arm is sacred ancestral art
and said to have been given
originally by the aged elders
in villages back in Africa to
the slaves who were coming
to the new world as a re-
membrance of their home.
land. The Bahians still make
these today.
Tme '"penca" a silver
clasp with chain and fruit-
is also still made in Bahia.
This ornament was given to
the Brazilian slave by his
master. The more cooper
tive the slave the more silver
fruits were added to his
clasp by the master. The
more silver fruits meant
that the slave was nearer to'
freedom. In the case of death
the "penca" paid for a
funeral in the style the slave
Viva Bahia captures all the
beauty and rich meaning of
all these art forms and folk
rituals, and will bring the
whole enchanting world of
Brazil to the world of OARI.
FESTA from August 25 to
September 15.,



Wood rings ro the famous artisans of Rio de ontas

Wood carvings from the famous artisans of Rio de Contas

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