Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Sunday, October 27, 2013


The Municipal Market of Manaus reopened after a 7-year revamp.  The reopening took place along with the birthday of Manaus, which completed 344 years on Wednesday (23).
At first sight one might think of a theater, but the building was born to be a public market. It was built over three decades,since the late nineteenth century and the architecture therefore shows an eclectic mix of various styles.
The central pavilion with columns made in cast iron came from Scotland and the entrance reminds us of Italian buildings. "The facade was inspired by the first shopping center in the world,  the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan," says historian Liciana Gil.
The original blueprints dated as far back as1881 were found two years ago by chance, in a used bookstore in Rio de Janeiro and supplied valuable information to historians. In every market there is much more history than one can think of. The cast iron spiral staircase structures, for instance, are not only beautiful to see - a closer look shows that there are hidden signs, markings of a time.
Moreover, acanthus and oak leaves, lillies are reckoned as European codes which are camouflaged in the semi-circular gate, showing how great the English influence was on the nineteenth-century Manaus; side pavilions for selling meat and fish are embellished with stained glass and iron cast lacelike lattice.
The roof is covered with zinc scale tiles, the same material used on the roof of the newest of the pavilions from 1909, in which turtle meat used to be sold. "Here almost anything was sold: from drugs, to witchcraft stuff, meat, fish, turtle, and tin handcraft" says scholar Alfredo Loureiro, a member of the Center for Mustered Studies.

One hundred and eighty stallholders, some of them working there as long as half a century have started to return after the revamp. Marketer Adelaide Perente sells pink peppercorns, crabwood, all-in-one healing plants.

SOURCE: jornal hoje / globo

Monday, October 14, 2013


According to indian Ronaldo Apolinario, peppers are "anti-Curupira". Curupira is a boy who, as the legend goes, is the protector of the forest and has inverted feet with heels pointing forward. But the added sense of protection comes from the fact that pepper has 20 times more vitamin C than an orange. 
Walking into a clearing in the woods with resident Vera Lucia is like taking a trip back in time. The baniwa people have inhabited the region for at least three thousand years. At least that is what the archaeological records show. Perhaps longer before that. And as pepper is the main ingredient in the indigenous culinary it is likely that since that time they have domesticated various pepper species that can be found in the northern Amazon.
Baniwa mythology accounts for primordial beings in the beginning, who were neither people nor animals nor plants. Then one day a group discovered the source of power over the other species. "Previously there had been a large tree in baniwa  called 'cari catadapa.' And on this tree existed various types of fruit, one being pepper. Among the beings called 'wacawene' in baniwa  there was a primal being called "inhapculiqueu", which is a major conqueror of all baniwa cultural aspects. Pepper has therefore been used as an instrument to protect the body itself and also to cook food.
In the rites of passage to adulthood, young people learn that pepper is bactericidal, helps prevent contamination of food consumed fresh.
Throughout the Amazon over 150 types of pepper have been catalogued and as they are planted together, the crossings have given rise to new varieties. "There are several new species, so to speak, that baniwa can not name because  birds consume much pepper. Then they eat them, dropping the seeds somewhere else thus helping people spread it," says the Indian André Baniwa.
Some villages have even pepper charmers. It's usually an old woman who inherited the secrets of ancestors and who has passed many rituals of  lifelong preparation. 'Abomi', which means "grandmother" in baniwa, sings for the peppers to shine. She bestowed on us a great honor - visiting her private garden. Abomi believes to be 75 or more, diificult to tell by her face. Moreover, she is in excellent health. The explanation she has for this is because she lives next to the garden where she cultivates pepper plus all the meaning that  pepper adds to cooking, health, religion and indigenous spirit. This shows how much pepper is completely blended in the baniwa culture.

The malagueta pepper is one commonly used in Brazil to make different hot sauces and add a kick to any dish. The Scoville scale, which measures the heat of chili peppers, rates the pepper at anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 units. For reference, consider a jalapeño, which sits anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 units.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Brazil is the mecca for neotropical birding, simply an essential pilgrimage for any birders wanting to enjoy the tropical birding trip of a lifetime. Boasting the second richest avifauna in the world, an incredible 1837 bird species and an amazing 230 endemics and rising with new species discovered every year!

Red necktie hummingbird

Ubatuba, on the Paulista coast, is an ideal city for bird watching. It is surrounded by one of the largest areas of intact Atlantic forest, the biome with the second largest variety of birds in Brazil after the Amazon. It lies at the foot of the mountainous descent to the ocean, whose many altitudes are home to several species of birds.

The manakin is the official bird of Ubatuba, although the seagull might seem a more appropriate choice. After all, the city promotes its beaches, not its birds. So the majority of tourists have no idea that this resort has much more to offer than idyllic conjunctures of sand and water.
Araripe Manakin
SOURCES: Folha de Sao Paulo and Birding Brazil Tours

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