Tag Archives: Bahia

Rare videos of Mestre Bimba, Capoeira grand master

Bimba in action

Pelé is the king of soccer. The Gracie family rules in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world. In the universe of capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art, the big name is Manuel dos Reis Machado, aka Mestre Bimba. Born in 1900 and deceased in 1974, Bimba codified the fight, developed a learning method, introduced new elements, such as the uniform (white t-shirt and pants), performed for the governor of Bahia and president Getúlio Vargas and, this way, gained respect for a martial art till then illegal.

There are very few images of Bimba practicing capoeira, playing berimbau and giving interviews. These are some of them:

 This is the full version of 2007 film “Mestre Bimba, a Capoeira Iluminada”:

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Children’s songs from Bahia

Girl from Chapada dos Guimarães, Bahia. Photo by Otávio Nogueira/Flickr
Girl from Chapada dos Guimarães, Bahia. Photo by Otávio Nogueira/Flickr

Listen to these wonderful children songs from the countryside of the Southwest region of Bahia state, collected by Project Cantigas de Infância. It was conceived by Christiana Fausto, that spent her childhood in that region, and wanted to keep the memory of those songs alive. She collected their lyrics and partitions and also 18 downloadable songs. They speak of love, family, complex relationships – or challenge you with tongue twisters.

Con cuis cuis

Moda do viuvo


O Ze

Read also: Scary Brazilian Lullabies


The most beautiful Brazilian caves

Ubajara cave in Ceará. Photo by deltafrut

Brazil has at least 3,000 caves officially identified – and some of them are absolutely phenomenal. You will find here a selection of images found at Flickr. You should also visit Fotografia magazine’s website to check 20 years of underground photos by Alexandre Lobo.

In case you are wondering, the best source online of information about these geological formations is the Sociedade Brasileira de Espeleologia website (unfortunately, most of it only in Portuguese).

Also, read the post Maquiné, the cradle of Brazilian paleonthology.


Ubajara , again, by deltafrut

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Azulejos – the Portuguese tiles everywhere in Brazil

Azulejos, the very typical Portuguese white and blue tilework, can still be found in several Brazilian cities, generally remnant from the colonial years. They began to arrive in the country around 1630 and were used to adorn churches, monasteries, palaces and other mansions. Check this series of images of azulejos seen in the states of Bahia, Rio, São Paulo and Maranhão.

Find here a brief but good history of the presence of azulejos in  the country (in Portuguese).

Photo by Eneas de Troya/Flickr, from Convento de São Francisco (Saint Francis Cloisters) in Salvador, Bahia, the biggest collection of azulejos in the country.
Vestry of the church of the Cloisters of São Francisco, in Salvador. Photo from Wikipedia

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Capitães de Areia – the movie

Only two Brazilian writers made it internationally: Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of mystical parables, and Jorge Amado, the politically engaged storyteller that eviscerated the society of the state of  Bahia.

Amado, who would be a 100 next year, was active in the Communist Party and his social concerns show in his literature. “Capitães de Areia” (Captains of the Sand), one of his first books, published in 1937, tells the story of street kids from Salvador, Bahia’s capital. It was converted into a film to be released in Brazil next October by Cecília Amado, grand-daughter of Jorge. The score was produced by Carlinhos Brown.

This is the preview:

Wonderful musicians you never heard of

Jay Mazza and Lionel Batista, two of Via Euterpe “Music People”

What if you could get insider information about great Brazilian musicians that are ignored by the wider public?

Sparrow Roberts is an American that runs a record shop in Salvador, Bahia. A few weeks ago he had a great idea: he launched Via Euterpe, a website named after the Greek music muse where you can help promote musicians that you love. “I  think of Via Euterpe as one of those small record stores with a cadre of devoted employees who have made it their business to know as much as possible about their own little niche. But THIS record shop is a labyrinthine hall-of-mirrors, twisting and winding its way through an Escher-like cyberspace, wherein along the way anyone who cares to may recommend, and should they feel inspired, elaborate”, in Roberts’ words.

The project reveals a few pearls from  Bahia (here described by Roberts):


Bule Bule…the griot of Bahia! Within the folds of the cerebrum within the bearded head under the folded-leather hat are engraved the recordations of the folkloric universe of a very musical people (those of the parched, hardscrabble interior of Brazil’s great Nordeste…northeast).


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Brazil essentials: 18 Unesco World Heritage sites you must visit

Ouro Preto by Marcelo Costa/ Flickr
Ouro Preto by Marcelo Costa/ Flickr

You decided to make a list of all the absolutely must-see Brazilian sites – but don’t know how to begin it? Here is a great starting point.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared 18 Brazilian places of outstanding historic or environmental value UNESCO World Heritage sites. They are a precious guide for those who want to discover the country’s riches. I have visited most of them and couldn’t agree more with the selection.

See below the full list and the UNESCO’s justification for its choices:

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia


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The most beautiful Brazilian waterfalls

Véu da Noiva/ The bride's veil, in Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso state, by Jeff Belmonte/Flickr

One of the divine experiences of traveling along the Brazilian lands is the surprise appearance of little waterfalls along the road. You stop the car, dive into the shower, fill your bottle and go back to the car, dripping, in bliss.

Here is a selection of images of Brazilian waterfalls for your delight. But first, check the list with the 12 most beautiful cachoeiras, according to Guia Quatro Rodas, a tourism guide that is the bible of the country’s tourists. Continue reading The most beautiful Brazilian waterfalls

Krajcberg, the poet of fire

Photos by Manu Dias/ Government of Bahia/Flickr
Photo by Manu Dias/ Government of Bahia/Flickr

Frans Krajcberg, the Jewish refugee that creates beauty from burned hardwood in a small beach of the Northeast, just turned 90. His work is frequently seen as an environmental libel, but it is also the use of nature as a metaphor by someone that couldn’t be in peace with History and humans. “I go to the woods and feel as burned as the trees”, he often says.  “My works are my manifest. The fire is death, abyss. The fire is always with me. The destruction has forms. I am searching for images to scream my revolt.”

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